Vacation Travel for Older Adults

Vacations can be fun, exciting, relaxing, and a true adventure.  Travel to foreign destinations also gives people the opportunity to
experience new cultures and gain perspective on how people live in other parts of the world. Older adults, who are retired and now have the time, flexibility, and financial resources available, especially enjoy vacation travel.

Many seniors take generational trips with children and grandchildren to experience travel with family and to forge closer bonds with each other. However, vacations for older adults, especially those after the age of 75, can come with its own set of unique challenges.


Factors to Consider for Senior Travel

  • Travel to English-speaking destinations (for medical advice, hospitalization, or medication needs);
  • Make sure there is easy access to medical care;
  • Don’t over schedule yourself (take only one tour a day and use the rest of your time to relax and take in the local scenery and culture);
  • If you have limited mobility and need assistance with a cane, walker, or wheelchair make sure there is handicap accessibility at hotels, and on tours, and excursions;
  • Access to rent a motorized scooter, if necessary;
  • Travel insurance (some insurance companies cutoff coverage for travelers after a certain age or double premiums for seniors);
  • Car rental (if you are over the age of 75 you may be faced with a higher rate from a rental agency or in some countries senior drivers can be turned down completely).


Best Destinations for Senior Travel

According to a 2016 research study commissioned by Merrill Lynch, a list of preferred travel destinations for retirees in the United States include:

  • Hawaii
  • New York
  • California
  • Alaska
  • Florida


Internationally, the top places for older Americans to travel include:

  • Italy
  • Australia
  • England
  • Ireland
  • France


In addition, cruise vacations are popular trips for older adults, especially those with limited mobility. Cruises allows passengers to enjoy a variety of activities on board the ship–without having to ever leave it.  You can enjoy beautiful scenery from the comfort of a cabin or deck, dine in a variety of restaurants, see first-class entertainment, meet people from many different countries, and participate in enrichment and educational opportunities to learn about the local culture–all in one place. For seniors who do want to get off the ship, a variety of excursions are available. Because cruising offers activities for everyone–from the very young to a super senior–it is an ideal vacation for multigenerational families who are traveling together.

There are many companies which cater to the needs of travelers over 60, such as Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises, a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. Furthermore, Royal Caribbean has many ships in its total fleet which go above and beyond to accommodate the needs of people with limited mobility. Some of the most popular cruise destinations are Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, and Northern Europe. In recent years, river cruises have exploded in popularity. European riverboats give you entry to explore smaller cities and villages which larger ships are not able to access.



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