Senior living can be whatever you want—from a quiet chance to reflect or give back to your community to a challenging adventure full of globetrotting. Most older adults, regardless of health or other retirement goals, say they want to travel in retirement. In 2015, AARP found that Baby Boomers planned to take four to five trips the following year.
Traveling opens up new worlds. It can spark new passions, new hobbies, maybe even new love. And it’s more than just a luxury. Research from the National Institutes of Health found that men who take frequent annual vacations are 32 percent less likely to die from heart disease. Travel can reduce stress and depression and can enhance creativity. Travel can help older adults feel less isolated, improving their physical and mental health. Travel also gives older adults an easy way to remain physically active. No one is too old for exercise, which can reduce the risk of mental illness, help you live longer, and help you recover more quickly from injuries.
So where should you go on your next grand adventure? Consider the following destinations that are ideal for older adults.
Alaska is a wild paradise filled with glaciers, waterfalls, caves, whales, and ocean views as far as the eye can see. A cruise is a great, exciting way for older adults to see the world. Alaskan cruises feature picturesque scenery for older adults who like to sit back and relax. Try getting a massage on the cruise ship or going for a dip in the pool. For those with a more adventurous spirit, cruising Alaska may present fishing, hiking, and even camping opportunities.
For older adults who love the idea of relaxing water views, but who are uncomfortable floating on an endless ocean, river cruises are a great alternative. Cruises of the Rhine and Danube rivers in Central Europe rank among the most popular cruises for older adults. Sample local fare on board the cruise or enjoy walkable cities and lush vineyards when the cruise ship docks for the day.
If a European cruise is too adventurous—or too expensive-—try a day trip on a river closer to home. Waterfront cities like Savannah, Georgia, offer historic sites and beautiful scenery. Visitors can tour the city on luxurious watercrafts and then return to a cozy hotel at night.
Florida Beach Trips
Florida is among the most popular retirement destinations for older adults. That means that many Florida cities are already well-adapted to the needs of local older adults, making them safe and comfortable places to visit. The state offers a comprehensive guide for older adults who want to visit or move to Florida. Not sure where to visit? Try staying in Orlando for a quick Disney World getaway with your grandchildren. Or consider a trip to the culturally rich southeast region of Miami and Pompano Beach.
California has much to offer older adults, from the luscious mountain views of Monterey to the active bar scene and busy beaches of Los Angeles. If you’re a movie buff, you need to make at least one trip to Hollywood. Older adults who want to get in lots of healthy exercise by walking should consider a trip to Oakland. As one of the nation’s most walkable cities, Oakland is an outstanding destination for older adults who want to shop, eat, and enjoy waterfront views.
If you crave entertainment, consider Las Vegas. With dozens of themed luxury hotels, you can access food, gambling, and world-class entertainment without ever leaving the building. A number of organizations also offer senior bus tours of Vegas, so if you want to go with a large group, consider contacting an organization such as Las Vegas Senior Tripsters.
Missouri might seem like an odd destination for a getaway, but Branson is a lesser-known treasure. It’s home to more than 50 theaters with a distinctive country-and-western theme. Take in shows from a range of country, folk, and other traditional artists or spend the day shopping. Check out Ozark specialties such as woodworking at Branson Landing or enjoy a game of golf at one of Branson’s many golf courses.
Every travel buff needs to see Paris, France, at least once. Food lovers can gorge themselves on bread, cheese, and coffee in one of Paris’s legendary cafes. Stop into a used bookstore or stroll in front of the Eiffel Tower with your forever love. Paris can be a luxury destination for those who want to stay in a resort or historic hotel. Or it can be a budget stop for older adults who want to stay in a hostel or a small apartment.
Don’t speak French? Don’t worry. Most locals speak English, and it’s a myth that they’ll refuse to have English-language conversations. Prices tend to fluctuate depending on the time of year, so plan ahead and check air and hotel fares frequently to score the best deal.
Take off to one of the destinations on this list and see for yourself how travel can increase your energy and lust for life