One major perk of growing older is that you may be a lot more flexible with your time and travel. Maybe you’re retired, or perhaps you’ve built up a nice stash of vacation days, and now is the time to get out there and explore. If you have children, they’re probably old enough to handle international travel or you may already be an empty nester. Hopefully, your spouse or partner has just as much free time to enjoy as you do. But if not, there are also lots of options for solo travelers as well. Here are some great websites to help navigate the world of travel for the 50+ crowd.
Though the Independent Traveler is not exclusively for mature adults, the site has been around almost since the dawn of the Internet and boasts the title of being one of the world’s very first travel websites. What that means is that it features a wealth of information, much of which is geared toward users that have stuck with the site for over 20 years — it does an excellent job of catering to its experienced readership. Though you’ll find lots of tips and advice throughout the site, as well as pages of collated travel deals from around the Web, it does feature a subsection dedicated to senior travel.
AARP’s travel mini site features lots of tips and advice, destination information and trip ideas all wrapped up in a slick package. There’s even a nifty feature that allows users to input some of their travel goals and likes and then based on that information the site spits out some recommended destinations. You can also easily navigate over to another mini site that features all available travel deals and discounts available for AARP members.
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Seniortours offers traditional escorted vacation tour packages to destinations both within the United States and abroad, including cruises. Every trip and the associated excursions are designed with older travelers in mind, so they move at a slower pace and hit points of interest that may interest seniors a bit more. Don’t expect more adventurous options like hiking and rock climbing to be on your itinerary. Though airfare is not typically included, accommodations, meals, snacks, beverages, excursions and lots of extras are. Seniortours strives to make their vacation packages as affordable as possible.
If you’re a bit more of an active adventurer, the packages offered by ElderTreks may be right up your alley. The company offers small-group vacation tour packages to exotic destinations throughout the world including those in Africa and Asia. Want to go on an African bush walk or go camping with penguins in Antarctica? ElderTreks will take you there. Trips at various activity levels are available, and typically include accommodations, meals, excursions and all transfers.
Walking the World
Per its name, Walking the World features a variety of walking tours and hiking vacations designed for travelers 50 and older. Domestic and International trips are available and may include airfare, accommodations, guided excursions and tours, meals and more. Trips feature major outdoor components and time spent with natives in each destination, as well as opportunities to give back to local communities.
Elderhostel was developed many years ago when its founder decided to create experiences for older adults similar to what was available for young people in many of the European countries he visited after he retired. That is, lots of intensive cultural learning experiences, affordable safe accommodations and community involvement. Today, the company works with a number of learning institutes to provide not-for-credit educational travel experiences for adults throughout the world, through its Road Scholar programs. Accommodations, meals, lectures and excursions are all included, and scholarships are available.