In 2009, there were 880 million international tourist arrivals, creating an industry that in one year made $944 billion. Seniors traveling make up a large percentage of this number, and have the luxury of being able to travel during off-peak times and to amazing destinations.
Retirement destinations need to encompass everything a vacation needs to have – which differs greatly varying on who the vacation is with and for. If you like to travel alone you will find a retirement destination quite different from someone who wants a senior trip full of adventure! Figure out what activities you want to do on your trip, and then find a retirement destination that fulfills those goals.
Before traveling to any retirement destination, think about the cost of the trip, both on your wallet and your body. AARP has countless travel deals for senior destinations all over the world, as do many other travel companies. Senior tours tend to offer companionship with people of similar interests and age, as well as incorporating the best bang for your buck. Once you have a retirement destination in mind, making sure you budget correctly and can afford the trip is the next step.
Finally, choose your retirement destination! Figure out if the best senior vacation for you is relaxing at a beach resort on the western shores of France, or trekking up the lower mountain ranges of New Zealand. We will go over the most typical retirement destinations in detail, highlighting the good and bad of both and what types of personalities would enjoy what.
Beach vs. mountains
The most popular retirement destinations deal with the age-old question of beach or mountains. Beach destinations are more for the senior who loves to relax but also have the option of socializing with people at a resort. Beach resorts tend to offer packages, which include hotel accommodations, transportation to/from an airport, excursions, and resort activities such as discounts to the hotel restaurant. TripAdvisor, one of the world’s most trusted travel advice services, created a list of top beach vacations. Some of their most senior friendly destinations are:
- Maui, Hawaii
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Phuket, Thailand
- US Virgin Islands, Caribbean
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Sydney, Australia
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Aruba, Caribbean
- Nice, French Riviera, France
- 10. Santorini, Greece
If you’d prefer your retirement destination to have more physical components to it, than a mountain senior trip might be the best for you. There are mountains for all types of pallets; snow topped for skiing and snowboarding, lush mountains perfect for biking and treks through forests, plains and rivers. European mountain ranges tend to have more resorts than American ranges, but those resorts are usually focused on skiing, a sport that might be challenging for some seniors. Remember, your health is the most important thing to keep in mind during a retirement destination.
Retirement Vacations With No Destination
The saying “it’s not where you’re going, it’s how you get there” is the perfect ideology for cruises, safaris and whale-watching senior trips. Although you do travel to a specific destination to start your senior adventure, the transportation of the trip is the actual vacation! Cruises top retirement destinations are more focused on the cruise line or type of cruise, not necessarily where they travel. Some of the top senior cruise lines are
- Crystal Cruises (enrichment programs)
- Silversea Cruises (small-ship cruises)
- Royal Caribbean International (active seniors)
- Carnival Cruise Line (seniors on a budget)
- Cruise West (soft-adventure itineraries)
Cruises are not the only retirement destinations with no destination! Safaris and whale-watching expeditions enter you into a world completely separate from our own while keeping you safe from the harsh environments you might encounter while exploring. These retirement destinations are for seniors with a taste for adventure.
City Senior Destinations
Vacationing in a city has become more and more popular, especially in a time of economic struggle where beach resorts are just too expensive. Traveling to a city allows seniors an array of activities to do from biking in parks, to seeing a musical to watching street performers and visiting museums. Cities are areas where seniors with all interests can combine and have a good time without spending too much money.
To find out more about city senior destinations, read our blog on the 2010’s top city travel breaks.