Retirement Travel Ideas
Once retirement comes around, it gives you time to take the vacation you have always dreamed about. You don’t have to punch in on a time clock anymore, your time is your own, and your children are grown adults. What better time for a retirement trip?
Before You Go
Before you leave on your retirement trip you’ve always dreamed about, there are some things to think about before you go.
- Do you have your personal bucket list of places you want to travel to?
- Do you want to travel occasionally, once a year, once a month?
- Do you want to see specific places and have everything mapped out, or are you planning on the spur of the moment travel?
- Who are you taking with you? Are you traveling with a spouse, a friend, a sibling, a grandchild?
- What is the reason you want to travel?
If you’re traveling with your spouse, make sure you both are in agreement. What might be your perfect dream trip could be your spouse’s nightmare. Talk over what each of you wants out of your retirement travel and make sure that it’s something you will both enjoy.
Try visiting someplace that the two of you have never been before. You may have a familiar destination that you both enjoy, but now you have the time to explore and go visit somewhere new. You can see sites that are fresh to you and your spouse. Visit a place that you thought you would only see in your dreams.
Discounts and Places to Stay
Keep in mind, too, that some airlines and hotel chains will offer discounts to seniors. The hotel’s website should state that they provide a senior discount.
Another idea is not to stay in a hotel at all but try Airbnb or VRBO. These services let you rent apartments, houseboats, single-family homes, condos, and even tree houses. There is the Home Exchange also with matches homeowners for a house swap. You stay in the person’s house who is going to stay in yours. It cuts down on hotel expenses, and you have a home to stay in when visiting the sights in that area.
Although spur of the moment trips is fun, planning a trip together may be the better option. Planning ahead and the anticipation of a trip is all part of the excitement of a retiree’s best vacation. You can plan what you’re going to see, where you’re going to stay, and even where you’re going to eat. But do let a little leeway for impromptu surprises!
Plus, you can save some money if you plan longer trips since you’re no longer punching a time clock. You have no demands on your days, so you have unlimited time to travel and enjoy yourself. You can take a couple of months, rent an apartment somewhere you want to visit for a period of time. Cooking at home, taking time to walk to places can really allow you to enjoy where you’re at. With no pressure about when you have to be back home, you can relax and just go with the flow.
There are many places to go, whether you travel within the states or go outside the states. Traveling can benefit your health and your relationship, and it can reduce the risk of depression. So, where to go on your retirement vacation?
Ideas for Traveling
There are many places to travel within the United States when you retire. Some of the best vacations for retirees can be visiting the National Parks. There are 61 National Parks within the United States. The ones which are the most popular are the Grand Canyon, the Great Smokey Mountains, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain Zero, and Yosemite.
Every park is known for its own brand of natural beauty. There are dusty deserts and mountain ranges that tower high in the skies to visit. Waterfalls that crash downsides of mountains or murmur gently over rocks to dip your feet in. There are thousands of historic trails with beautiful scenery for exploring at your leisure during your retirement vacation.
As a senior citizen, you can buy a lifetime pass that covers the entrance cost to over 2,000 federal recreation sites. These passes cover national parks, grasslands, wildlife refuges, and lots more.
Another option that may be on your bucket list for retirement travel is going on a cruise. A cruise is the perfect combination of sightseeing, shopping, hopping from island to island, and shopping. There are cruises for a retirement vacation that are seven nights sailing around the Caribbean, which keeps you within the United States range. Just remember when planning your trip to add the cost of the airfare and daytime excursions you might want to enjoy.
If you are uncomfortable with leaving the United States on your retirement vacation, you have another cruise option. You can take a cruise to Alaska. You will see whales, enormous glaciers, grizzlies, and other natural wonders.
There are different ways to sightsee once you reach Alaska. Flightseeing is when you take a helicopter ride and are provided with fantastic views of the forest, mountains, and waterways. You can also take the Aurora Winter Train, which is a leisurely alternative on your retirement trip. The train goes through Anchorage and Fairbanks from fall into spring. It’s also the perfect opportunity to catch the Northern Lights.
If castles have always been your dream, you’re in luck. You can rent a tower that has a rooftop patio in Drogheda, Ireland. The privately-owned Drummond Castle allows people to rent the tower for a night or longer, depending on how long you want to stay. You can also stay at the Kilcolgan Castle with access to the Cliffs of Mother that can be seen and enjoyed during day trips.
But suppose you want to rent an entire castle for you and your family members? The Tudor Manor House in Somerset, England, is where you should look. The whole chateau can be rented for about $3 400 for two nights. If you’d like to stay the week, then the price is around $12,000. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Traveling to New Mexico
New Mexico’s Santa Fe is the capital filled with adobe buildings. Santa Fe is at the bottom of the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and is known for the beautiful scenery. It’s a perfect retirement trip with a warm, dry climate and soft winds. The historic downtown is walking-friendly that’s compact and centered around a leafy plaza dated from the 1600s.
Art galleries and restaurants that serve southwestern food line the streets. Museums devoted to the region’s Native American traditions are interesting and informative. If you’re into hiking or skiing, the rugged mountains are suitable for either activity depending on the time of the year.
Machu Picchu, Peru
One way to reach Machu Picchu in the Andes is to hike along the Inca Trail. However, if a high-altitude trek isn’t something you’re up for, you can take a train from Cusco. The train ride goes through snow-capped mountain peaks and lush valleys. A guided tour will make sure you don’t miss anything on your trip and be able to talk and socialize with other people.
Visit the Canadian Rockies
From the comfort of a train, another retirement trip is through the Canadian Rockies. The landscape is stunning and booking a train ride with the Rocky Mountaineer train is a viable option. The train offers plush berths, gourmet meals, and glass-domed carriages. The glass-domed carriages provide an unobstructed view of peaks and turquoise lakes that are too beautiful to be believed.
St Augustine, Florida
For those who are history buffs, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement. It was settled in 1565 and is a compact, historic district lined with magnolia trees. The four blocks that run from St. George Street to King Street to the Old City Gate are the center of it. For seniors who can’t walk far, it makes the sights easy to explore.
There is also a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing trolley, which makes traveling throughout the area even more effortless. Places to see and explore are the Victorian curio stuffed Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, and the 17th century Castillo de San Marcos masonry fortification.
Does an African safari have a spot on your bucket list for a retirement trip? Being able to see elephants, giraffes, lions, and zebras in their natural environment can be a once in a lifetime experience. Wildlife viewing tours are done in all-terrain vehicles, not on foot. The ride can be a bumpy experience unless you’re visiting a game preserve with a tourism infrastructure to accommodate visitors.
One excellent choice for a safari adventure is in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The park has lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards, and Cape buffaloes among the inhabitants. For other sites on your retirement trip to see, you can take a vineyard tour, tram ride up to Table Mountain in Cape Town, and even spend time on a beach.
The Galapagos Islands
If you’d like something a little off the beaten path, then a visit to the Galapagos Islands may be for you. These islands are off the coast of Ecuador. You can stay on a couple of the islands without booking a guided tour. Enjoying the access to Galapagos’ unique flora and fauna is only part of the adventure. You can rent snorkeling equipment to view the splendors of the underwater. Also, on any beach where the sea lions are, you can get a selfie for free if you dare to get close enough.
Explore Costa Rica
If you don’t like the remoteness of the Galapagos Islands, then Costa Rica in Central America is another choice. There is impressive wildlife in Costa Rica, with over 500,000 species of animals and plants. It can be inexpensive to stay in Costa Rica and even more if you avoid the all-inclusive tours. You can make your own itinerary and eat at local restaurants where you’re staying.
One place to visit is Tortuguero National Park, where there are monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, and endangered green turtles. You can hire a boat or kayak tour to take you through the sights. If you go to Monteverde Cloud Forest, you can experience the thrill of walking through the tree canopy, visit the butterfly gardens or see the workings of a coffee plantation. Or you can just stroll at your own leisurely pace and hike throughout the park, enjoying what wildlife you see.
A road trip can be an eventful vacation for a retiree. Hit the road and explore the iconic Route 66. Look for landmarks and places that have appeared in films over the years. Or, if you want to go off the beaten path, drive along the Columbia River Scenic Highway that’s in Oregon. Another experience is the Million Dollar Highway, which runs between two mining towns with historical significance in Colorado. You can rent an RV for overnight camping or plot out what Bed and Breakfasts to stay in along the way.
There are wine tours throughout the states if you’re a wine connoisseur. Walla Walla, Washington, has more wineries than can be counted. You can also find winery tours that will take you from winery to winery, so you don’t have to drive. At the end of the day, the tour driver will deliver you back to your hotel safely.
In the Niagara of the Us and Canada, just a short plane ride from the East Coast or a few hours’ drive, are more than 100 wineries. Each summer in the village of Lewiston, New York, is the annual wine festival celebration.
Retirement travel can be the best kind of trip. It’s at your own speed, and you can stay as long or as short at your destination. You can go where you want and when you want. The only decision you have left is where do you want to go?