Planning a trip can be exciting, but it's sometimes hard to focus on the reasons you want to travel. If you're considering a trip, here are some ideas to help you get started.
Is a “milestone” anniversary – perhaps your 25th, 30th or 50th – coming up? Consider celebrating with a romantic trip. You could escape on a weekend getaway or plan a second honeymoon. Some couples prefer to take their original honeymoon trip a second time. Others choose a new destination that offers fine dining and a tranquil atmosphere.
Sample trip: Book a Caribbean cruise through AARP and enjoy a romantic vacation at a discounted price.
Some of us have always wanted to see a Broadway play, go on safari or climb the Eiffel Tower. With so many seniors traveling the globe, tour operators are offering trips for mature travelers to hundreds of destinations. With a little research or a trip to your travel agent’s office, you can plan a trip to that very special place.
Sample trip: Cruise Russian waterways with Grand Circle Travel. See Catherine the Great’s priceless art collection in St. Petersburg, explore the Kremlin’s golden-domed Russian Orthodox cathedrals in Moscow and immerse yourself in Russian culture and cuisine.
There’s nothing quite like spending time with your grandchildren. Whether you travel to their home or meet them for a special, multigenerational adventure, you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime. If you have a favorite hobby or pastime, consider sharing it your grandchildren while you travel.
Sample trip: Take your grandchild to Branson, Mo., with Elderhostel to learn about theatrical production, see kid-friendly shows and participate in a production.
Taking a cruise or escorted tour is a great way to begin friendships. Some tours cater to single seniors. Others provide ways for couples and singles to interact. For example, you may find yourself seated next to different people on each day of your motorcoach tour.
Sample trip: Join O Solo Mio Tours for a singles-only trip to Australia. Visit Sydney, explore the Outback and cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. O Solo Mio offers singles tours only; most participants are “in their late 40’s and 50’s,” according to the tour operator’s website.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to quilt or to speak Spanish. Why not try a learning vacation? It’s easy to combine travel with learning opportunities. University extension programs, local recreation departments and Elderhostel offer trips and classes on a multitude of subjects. You can bring a friend or forge new friendships while you learn.
Sample trip: Travel to Hilton Head Island, S. C., for famed quilt artist and teacher Jinny Beyer’s annual Quilting Seminar. Your spouse or non-quilting friend can play golf or relax on the beach while you learn new techniques from some of America’s finest quilters.
Volunteerism combines well with travel. You can build homes with Habitat for Humanity, help a church mission project in Mexico or participate in an archaeological dig. Some tour operators offer “voluntours” or “service learning tours” for seniors who want to contribute their skills and experience to help others. You probably won’t sleep in luxury hotels, but you’ll bring home priceless memories and a sense of achievement.
Sample trip: Fly to Romania and help Habitat For Humanity build homes for residents of overcrowded Cluj-Napoca.