One of the best things about retirement is finally getting to do things you have put off for quite some time. Among this list of activities, travel remains on the bucket list of many retirees – a startling 67% of them. As such, there are numerous resources dedicated to travel experiences for seniors, which allow them to have their adventures abroad while still ensuring their special needs are attended to.
While travel was at a standstill for over a year now, vaccinated seniors are getting ready to continue with their travel experiences once again. In fact, several travel providers have already seen an uptick in bookings coinciding with the vaccine rollout. And although visiting family may be first on the agenda, group tours and adventure travel will likely be next.
From cruise lines to bicycle tours, exotic destinations to walking tours, and singles vacations to group tours with friends, there is something for everyone's senior travel preferences on this list.
Opting to travel with a tour company is a great way to make sure that you, as a senior, reap all the benefits of going on a vacation in your golden years. This is time you finally have to yourself, and participating in group travel means that you will be in good company. Out of the numerous tour groups out there, there is one geared towards your specific needs and concerns.
You can choose a tour group based on the activity level, modes of transport, customizable options, and excursions suited to your particular interests. Going on trips with groups allows you to be with likeminded individuals who are on the same page as you, who may become your new companions. Tour groups for seniors are also more cost-effective, and understand the special needs of mature travelers.
Here are some of the best senior travel tours in 2021:
Insight Vacations is one of the best travel companies for senior tours because they arrange their trips by activity levels. Travelers who want a more leisurely trip can choose their Easy Pace Journeys, with less hectic schedules, slow mornings, and more time spent in a particular destination. For those who want to go a notch higher in terms of activity level, they have their Balanced Tours.
Balanced Tours have a fair amount of walking on potentially uneven ground. Travelers who seek action and adventure may go for the Dynamic Tours, or even their Discovery Journeys which are recommended for first-time travelers as they show you the top spots of every region. Your tour experience is made even better with a Well-Being Director.
Insight Vacations' Well-Being Directors are expert guides who have been purposefully trained to support and help you during your trips. They are updated with the latest global and local health news from regulating bodies, so you will always feel safe. They also maintain that all sites meet the highest health and hygiene standards, and conduct daily health checks on all adults.
They have over 100 unique Insight Experiences ideal for every age group and across their various destinations. Whether you want to make pasta in Italy or play hurling in Ireland, there are numerous adventures abroad in their senior tours.
One of the best travel options for active travelers is to see new sights on a bike. Senior Cycling is a fantastic tour company that makes sure travelers get the most safety and care, as they limit their tours to 13 riders. Should you need any assistance, a SAG wagon comes along every excursion in case you need a break or a lift in between cycling.
Bike tours span various locations across the US and Canada, with options for custom tours if you want to go with your travel club or friends. Although retirees can bike at their own pace, which is usually 8-14 miles per hour, Senior Cycling ensures that there is a tour leader to check on all people during rides. They choose only the safest routes during every trip as well.
Tours are relaxed so that each traveler is able to soak up the scenic views. There are enough breaks, and riders are always briefed on the proper protocol prior to the journey.
Base Tours are inclusive of most of the overnight accommodations, meals, snacks, use of the SAG wagon, entry fee for side trips, and the Senior Cycling shirt and water bottle.
For a group tour via cruise ship, Overseas Adventure Travel has relatively smaller travel groups. Their ships are also smaller in size, allowing them to bring you closer to hidden gems through easier land transfers. Both of these features mean that you will get to explore the interests of locals, and blend in with the neighborhood scene. You'll even get to try out local transport!
All travel groups will be accompanied by Trip Experience Leaders who are well-versed on each of the tours and destinations. You will have the chance to approach your Trip Experience Leader for additional insight for one-of-a-kind learning adventures.
Even their choice of lodgings are based on this tourists-as-locals mission, as they book travelers in smaller bed and breakfasts, family-owned places, and historical sites. With Overseas Adventure Travel, you will also have more room to personalize your trip according to your interests and preferences. They allow you to combine adventures, select your airlines, make extensions, and do so much more.
Solo travelers, particularly women, will also be able to find vacation packages suited for them. They have singles spaces for independent travelers who want to travel to various destinations without feeling limited or held back. Rest assured, you will also get to meet other people within the group and make new companions along the way.
Road Scholar is one of the leading travel providers that sort their packages according to your interests. Older adults who want to discover new hobbies or pursue educational travel experiences may decide to book a vacation with Road Scholar. During the pandemic, they pivoted to delivering online lectures and learning options, but they are now ready to resume their physical travel provider services once again.
With destinations in over 150 countries, there are opportunities for learning in a variety of activities and excursions. Travelers who want structure or freedom; action or leisure, among tons of other preferences will surely be able to have their doors opened with Road Scholar. They have 5,500 different adventures led by expert instructors so you know that you are in good hands.
Road Scholar is also a not-for-profit organization, and they firmly believe in making travel more accessible for all people who consider themselves lifelong learners. As such, this travel company aims to make their offerings as cost-effective as possible. Most needs, from accommodations to meal, taxes, compensation, lectures, sites, and learning materials, are already included in the overall cost.
Given this, you will get to save as much as 20% every night. They have a global network of partners who will give you the best of every activity at the best rate possible. The travel company has an Assurance Plan for emergency assistance and insurance 24/7 during your travels.
Intrepid Travel is one of the best senior travel tour providers for people who want tailor-made packages and deals. Their team works directly with you to come up with the vacation of your dreams. Whether you want to adapt one of their existing trips or to create one of your own, Intrepid Travel is extremely flexible when it comes to your booking and departure preferences.
They give you access to their destination specialists and local networks so that you have the most unique adventures no matter where you visit. All you have to do is tell them about your dream vacation – what you want to do, where you want to go, how many people you want to be with, and other special concerns. Afterwards, they will match you with specialists who will help you arrange everything else.
Their team will also iron out technical and logistical concerns, so you don't have to worry about much else. You'll have an idea of what your daily schedule looks like, as they create a daily itinerary with all the possible costs so that you are informed of everything beforehand prior to confirming and booking.
For seniors or individuals with disabilities, they have a whole suite of Accessible Tours. These deals aim to be as inclusive as possible, and any mental or physical limitations will not be an obstacle during your travels. Intrepid Travel understands everyone's unique needs, which is why they are always happy to make adjustments and work closely with you to make them happen.
Those who want a senior travel adventure at a slower pace may check out Odyssey Traveller's offerings. They have a range of small group walking tours in locations around the world. You'll get to select trips that suit your level of fitness or the level of activity you wish to partake in during your vacation.
Odyssey Traveller has Pilgrimage Walks, and walks along rural landscapes in Europe, Britain, Asia, and other places in between. You will be exposed to history, cultural landmarks, and local color in these different destinations.
Tour groups are also smaller as they recognize that this is the best arrangement for mature or senior travelers. They limit their tour groups to 4-16 people with a tour leader to guide them throughout the trips. This smaller group is also ideal for tightening your travel bubble and making sure that you get the most hands-on experiences throughout your travels.
Odyssey Traveller has been in the industry for nearly 40 years. They know for a fact that smaller travel groups increase the chances for individuals to be surrounded companions who have similar interests. This makes for a great bonding journey, especially if you are a solo traveler.
With the rise in world travel and technology, it is now easier than ever to plan your own dream vacation at a price that works for you.
There are many ways of cutting costs on transportation such as looking into organizations that offer discounts for seniors, shopping around for budget-friendly options, being flexible with dates (particularly when traveling during periods where there is high demand), and booking connecting flights rather than flying direct.
The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a list of safety guidelines that seniors should follow to ensure their travel is as safe as possible.
The CDC recommends wearing masks at all times during the airport, flight, or in any public spaces until we know more about how these new viruses are being transmitted. It also suggests carrying large supplies of hand sanitizer with you on your trip so it can be readily accessible when needed most.
Senior citizens are often the recipients of good deals when it comes to travel. There are many ways for seniors to save money and every time they travel. When you're over 65, there are plenty of deals out there for you from hotels and tours to theater bookings and flights.
Traveling alone can be a great adventure, but if you are worried about safety then it may be worth the extra cost to go on tour. A tour group will allow you to see all of your favorite sights without worrying about most personal security issues like pickpockets.
If you have a lung condition but are still keen to travel, there is no need to worry. Planning ahead for your trip can help make sure that the experience goes smoothly and doesn't get in the way of any important appointments or activities.
It's a good idea to tip your tour guide whether you are on an organized group or private tour. It would be worth tipping anywhere from $5-$20 per person, but it all depends on what type of service they have given and if everyone in the group was satisfied with their experience after the trip has concluded.
Traveling as a senior is one effective way of staying safe and active with age and having fun while you're at it. The world is your oyster – now is finally your time to go on the adventure you've always dreamed of. Need more advice on making this happen as you approach retirement? Contact Senior Strong today!