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5 Amazing Travel Destinations for Recent Retirees

By Annie Q
February 21, 2018

Baby boomers are retiring in record numbers every year. The vast majority of them will take at least one leisure trip every year. Many take several trips. After all, it is the perfect time to travel. They no longer have the obligations of a career and can enjoy the freedom of being empty-nesters.

The joy all really boils down to choosing the right travel destination. Where should you go for your first big trip during retirement? Here are some great travel ideas.

1. Alaska

Whale breach in Alaska

Alaska may not sound like the ideal travel destination when you first think about it. However, it has become a very popular state to vacation in recent years.

It is particularly popular among retired baby boomers. They can enjoy the majesty of the beautiful Alaskan landscape without being disturbed by rowdy college kids.

Jaxson Maurer, owner and operator of the Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Seattle, gave an interview with CBS about the sudden interest in Alaska as a tourist destination among aging boomers.

"Demand has gone through the roof this year for Alaska. Guests can enjoy dinner while watching cascading waterfalls sail by, see massive glaciers come up around the corner, eagles soaring above head and whales popping up to say hello," he said. “Look at value instead of cost. There is always something cheaper out there, but what will your experience be like?"

2. Leeward Islands

Caribbean Islands

The Leeward Islands is a small chain of islands in the Caribbean Sea. It offers the best of both worlds for retirees that cringe at the thought of staying in a cold climate. The Leeward Islands are beautiful year-round, with an average temperature of 79 to 81° even in December. The temperature is a bit warmer in the summer, but the lack of humidity makes it very comfortable.

The nice thing about the Leeward Islands is that they are far removed from the more populated parts of the Caribbean. It is an ideal location for retirees that want to escape the hectic tourist zones.

3. Danube River Cruise

Danube river cruise 

If you are interested in taking a tour to Europe, the Danube River should be at the top of your list. This spectacular river spans a number of countries. While taking a river cruise, you will be able to do sightseeing along the shores of the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary and other coveted destinations.

During your trip along the Danube River, you have the opportunity to visit a number of historical landmarks. These include Schonbrunn Palace, Kunsthistorisches Museum and Rhine Gorge.

4. Hawaii

Hawaii at dusk

Hawaii is the smallest state and the last one to join the union. Yet, it is the number one tourist destination of Americans throughout the rest of the country. It is especially popular among retiring baby boomers, despite the stereotype that all retirees want to go to Florida. Slightly over 18% of retiring baby boomers would like to visit Hawaii in the next year.

Hawaii can be a great place to go RVing. However, it is important to check RV rental prices before your trip.

5. Douro River Cruise

Douro River sunset 

The Douro River is another popular European river to visit. You can visit beautiful bridges, wine houses and plenty of other exotic destinations. Cruise Critic states that the river isn’t as widely traveled as the Danube, but it is still a very pleasant destination. It will also be less hectic, which is the main appeal to many retirees that want a quiet trip.

Cruise Critic’s Sue Bryant took a trip along the Douro and shared her experience with her readers. Here is an excerpt from her blog:

“Although a Douro cruise sets a pretty leisurely pace, there are some wonderful experiences along the way. We wandered around medieval hilltop villages that have barely changed over the centuries. We visited the cellars of some of the big port-growing dynasties and saw their names gracing the steeply terraced vineyards along the river in huge letters. And we ventured outside the area, too, spending a day across the border in the magnificent Spanish university town of Salamanca, one of the best-kept secrets in the whole of Europe, thanks to its exquisite beauty and history. And then there are the simpler pleasures like eating freshly-grilled sardines at a deck barbecue organized by the crew.”

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