Senior Travel Tours and Travel Guide
Senior Travel Attractions & Landmarks Guide
Traveling in your golden years can be very rewarding. Unique and active educational and cultural experiences are waiting to be discovered - at your own pace of course. A wide variety of tours are available to older travelers - from relaxing river cruises through the heart of Europe to coach tours around Australia, to more active pursuits like going on an African safari. Start the next stage of your life by embarking on a truly special trip.
Destinations that may have once seemed too remote or exotic are now not only accessible, but accessible via multiple options.
Interested in a river cruise? They go all over the world and are a perfect option to maintain a little comfort as you visit the exotic unknown. Interested in a safari? You can travel in luxury and not worry about the logistics. Want to explore the in depth history of a country or city? You can find a tour specifically focusing on your interests.
More Time and Resources for Senior Travelers
With more time and resources to indulge your passions and curiosity, the world is your oyster. Professional travel providers and outfitters can help you make the most of -- and truly savor -- each experience.
There has been a remarkable rise in the number of organized tour operators, including small ship and river cruise lines that have responded to the needs and interests of older travelers who have more leisure time.
Today's tour companies and growing and expanding at a rapid pace, and are constantly including new activities and innovations on their trips. Going on a "group tour" is no longer synonymous to being packed in a bus and shuttled and around. In fact, even coach tours are working hard to appeal to a more sophisticated, informed group of world travelers.
A Desire for Authentic Experiences Among Senior Travelers
The new generation of travel providers seek to offer authentic experiences that create lasting memories, without the hassle of having to plan and execute every detail yourself. These travel providers go to far corners of the globe and offer expert guidance that ensures you’ll be able to spend your time doing what you want to do -- and not what you have to do just to get from one place to the next.
Many of them have special expertise in organizing trips for travelers of all ages, but especially older travelers. Whether it’s an adventure like an African safari or a visit to Machu Picchu, a European river cruise, or a small ship expedition to the Galapagos.
And let’s not forget North America, where U.S. and Canadian national parks and Mexican and Central American archaeological and natural treasures beckon. Prepare to see the world in comfort while learning about and interacting with locals.
Classic Senior Travel Destinations
Trips catering to an older demographic can still be adventurous but may offer somewhat less physically demanding itineraries, as well as accommodations that are a step above those that cater to younger groups. They will also concentrate more heavily on including authentic cultural or culinary experiences, which many consider a necessity rather than an indulgence.
Stride is here to help you make your way through the clutter and clamor and to find the travel providers that understand your needs and interests.
Where do most seniors travel? Well that depends. Europe is probably the most popular destination of all - particularly the UK and Central Europe. The constant ancient history, food, views, and architecture here is a draw for many.
Choose to see it all go by on a river cruise for the perfect combination of luxury and activity. You can choose which ports you’d like to see, and which guided excursions you’d like to participate in.
Or perhaps you're in well enough shape to take a walking tour through the cobblestoned streets of idyllic European cities, such as Vienna - a popular destination for senior travelers interested in classical music. Or enjoy a trip that combines various modes of transportation, like classic cars in Germany, or double decker buses in London. The choice is yours.
Regardless of your physical condition, travel options abound. Caring.com, a resource for seniors to find assisted living, believes travel is a great way to remain active. Check out their article on Senior Travel Tips to make the most of your experience.
The northeastern United States is another popular choice, especially for photography buffs looking to capture those spectacular fall colors. Spend a lovely time staying in local bed and breakfasts, visit museums dedicated to the long pre-United States history of the area, as well as the incredible revolutionary history.
Birding is one of the quickest growing tour types for seniors. These go all over the world as travelers seek elusive species. Guided by professional photographers and fellow birding enthusiasts who are encouraging and helpful. Get in depth advice on the best way to spot new birds, the best lenses to use, and the best camera settings for the perfect shot. Some of the best birding destinations include British Columbia, Costa Rica, the Amazon, and Britain.
Tour Physical Requirements (and what to expect from them)
Knowing the physical levels for your desired tour is very useful. This can help prepare you for what the tour will be like, and how much physical activity you can expect. This is especially helpful for those traveling with limited mobility such as walkers, canes, or wheelchairs.
On Stride we have 5 main physical levels you can filter by when searching for a trip: Very Easy, Easy, Moderate, Strenuous, and Extreme.
Knowing the physical level of your tour is not only a good way to ensure you get to experience everything on your vacation, but it can also help relieve stress. Knowing the intensity of your tour can help with knowing what to pack. For example, for walking tours that are “Easy” you may want to pack a few extra days worth of walking clothes.
If you’re going on a river cruise, (“Very Easy”) you’ll only have to unpack once, so you can indulge in packing a few extra choices for dinner. Small ship cruises sometimes have laundry facilities, so know that you could take advantage of this if need be.
Senior travelers will generally enjoy most tours in the Very Easy to Easy range. These include river cruises, small ship cruises, coach tours, and guided tours that involve very little walking. These tours might instead have a hobby-specific or cultural focus. For example, if you are touring through China, you might forgo hiking in order to enjoy an authentic tea tasting ceremony, attend a traditional classical music concert, and visit local communities.
More active senior travelers will be fine on a selection of Moderate tours. These tend to involve regular half days of walking or cycling, and may offer more adventurous activities, such as riding a camel in Morocco or kayaking.
Those who have limited mobility will find that traveling on tours labeled “easy” will be the best fit. River cruises, small ship cruises, and train journey’s are some of the best ways to travel if you’re wheelchair bound. However always check with the tour company directly to ensure the particular itinerary you’re interested is wheelchair accessible. Some may not be but they can steer you toward an itinerary or destination that will be more welcoming.
Things to Know Before You Go
Senior Travel Bus Tours
One popular option for senior travel is by coach. Coach-based tours are a convenient way of getting between the sights without having to wait in line, or worry about which route is the most efficient. Traveling by bus is also a great opportunity to see a lot more of wherever you are visiting -- not just the tourist sites -- and get a good feel for the place you’re in.
If you love the outdoors, bus tours are an extremely popular option for seniors in the U.S. They provide a great way to move between the national parks, and, as mentioned, see everything in between. Even if you don’t love nature, consider taking a cultural bus tour around a specific region or state. For example, travel by coach between ranches and bustling metropolises in Texas.
Senior Travel Deals & Discounts
Another advantage of traveling when you’re older is that you qualify for plenty of discounts! Regardless of where you are traveling, you should always ask to see whether or not there is some kind of senior discount. With that being said, some countries are notorious for the bargains they offer both senior citizens and visitors.
For seniors who intend to travel the USA, and are citizens, there are plenty of opportunities to save money. The National Parks System offers a lifetime entry ticket for seniors at a very low price, and an AARP membership can guarantee even more discounted rates on hotels, flights, and cruises. Other good senior vacation destinations known for their senior deals are the United Kingdom and Italy, which both lower the cost of train tickets and airfares for seniors.
Traveling with Medication & Other Health Issues
One common concern amongst older travelers is how they are going to travel with various medical conditions, and while on medication. It is possible to travel almost anywhere, as long as the traveler is prepared. Before leaving the country, make sure to pack enough of medicine for the entire duration of your trip, and then a few day extra, in case there are any delays. If the traveler is flying, they should also make sure to keep their medication in a carry on.
If at all possible, keep your medication in its original prescription bottles -- this allows TSA inspectors to confirm that the medication belongs to you. On a similar note, TSA also allows for liquid medications above the usual liquid limits, so make sure to tell an agent at the security checkpoint about any liquids you might have.
If you are concerned about other health issues, it is not a bad idea to visit a doctor up to 6 weeks before you travel. And regardless of their specific advice, seniors traveling internationally should plan for a recovery from any jet lag or motion sickness. If you suffer from mobility issues, make sure to double check the physical intensity of any tours you are looking at.
Also consider the types of transportation on your trip -- if you your legs cramp up, inform your tour company that you may need extra leg room, and make sure to find out how long flights and bus rides might be.
Finally, some seniors choose to invest in a travel health insurance plan. Many health care plans, including Medicare, will not cover you once you’re outside the country.
Why Travel with a Senior Travel Group?
Group travel boasts a number of benefits. First and foremost, group tours are convenient. Whether you select a budget or all-inclusive senior travel package, your tour operator will likely manage at least some portion of your travel details. This means more less energy spent stressing, and more time enjoying your vacation.
Travel groups are also a great place for seniors to meet like-minded travelers. Reading about each tour will give you a better idea about who you will be traveling with, and there are many trips that have a minimum age, or focus on a particular activity. For those with a passion for lifelong learning, consider embarking on an educational adventure with a tour provider like Road Scholar (previously known as Elderhostel), which offers over 5,000 tours in 150 countries.
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