One of the best bits about being a senior citizen is that if you’re retired you have time on your hands. This gives you the chance to finally get out there and see the world.
Travel can be scary sometimes. But these tours and tour companies below are a great way to see the sights safely. Even if you are traveling alone.
Age is Just a Number
You might feel like you’re getting older, but that means you’re wiser and have more freedom too! The kids have left home, and you can spend your retirement savings having fun. This is your chance to travel your way and do the things you have always wanted to do.
Traveling solo, even if you’re going somewhere within the United States, can be scary. If you go abroad it can be even more intimidating. You don’t know your way around, you don’t know where the ‘safe’ spaces are and where might be a little rough around the edges. It’s normal to feel a little nervous about going somewhere new.
Challenges Facing Senior Travelers:
- You have a nice watch, a smart suit, a good phone. You’re a target for pickpockets.
- Walking long distances might be a challenge while navigating unknown public transport is tricky.
- Yes, you know some about using technology, but that doesn’t mean you know all the latest apps. So, booking online might worry you.
- Special diet requirements could make it harder for you to travel.
- You need comfortable seats and lots of breaks.
- While you were happy with cheap motels in your youth, you want a better room now.
- Sometimes, traditional tours whisk you from place to place too quickly for your tastes.
Great Tours for Senior Solo Travelers
The good news is there are plenty of companies that offer special tours for seniors who are traveling solo. These tours take into account the different requirements of older people who travel solo, giving you a chance to have fun, potentially make new friends, and enjoy yourself in a safe, stress-free environment.
Tour the Midwest US
The Midwestern USA is a great choice for seniors looking to take a tour. Tauck offers tours of the Midwest, covering Mackinac Island, Mount Rushmore, Chicago, and other great spots.
A tour spread over eight days gives you plenty of time to take in the sites, and relax and unwind in well-appointed accommodations between stops. Slower-paced destination tours like this are ideal for those who want to broaden their horizons and really enjoy each sight.
Head Up North to Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a nice option for a tour and one that you might not think of immediately. Odyssey Traveller offers small group tours that are perfect for solo travelers.
Visit Sweden, Denmark, and Finland over the course of 21 days, soaking in the sights along the way. The tour takes place over 21 days, so you won’t feel rushed, and since the tour is a small group with an experienced guide, the atmosphere is more relaxed and you get more attention from the tour leader.
See Africa While Working as a Volunteer
Volunteering is an affordable way to travel and to spend a bit more time in a given destination. You can head to Namibia with Good Hope Volunteers and spend 1-2 weeks, or even as long as up to a year, volunteering with on of their programs.
It’s as far removed from a luxury tour as you can get, but you’ll be safe and well looked after, and get to give something back to a good cause at the same time.
Luxury Cruises to the Caribbean Are Always Good for Solo Travel
If you’re after something more luxurious, the Caribbean is always a good choice. Friendship Travel offers special tour packages for solo travelers. Their cruise tour combinations depart from Miami and Orlando and offer a chance to explore several Caribbean islands, taking in the sights along the way.
The best thing about cruises? You get room and board and excellent service, so you’ll feel like Royalty. There’s a reason cruises are so popular with mature travelers!
Good Mobility? Try Small Group Walking Tours
For those who have lots of energy, Walking the World runs walking tours to various destinations. These are small group tours that are led by experienced leaders and are a lot of fun. You’ll meet great people, see incredible scenery, and come home with stunning memories.
You will need to be fairly fit for these and have good walking gear, but the operators will make sure that you are well looked after. Destinations vary, so give them a call to see where they are planning next.
5 Travel Tips for Seniors Traveling Alone
- Go Off the Beaten Track – Don’t limit yourself to the big cities. They’re busy, stressful, and places where tourists are more likely to be targeted for crime. Go off the beaten track and you’ll have more fun and see a different side to your destination.
- Choose Your Food Carefully – Look for the places that are on side streets and that are full of locals, not tourists. Learn a few words of the spoken language and you will find restaurant staff eager to help. Choose ‘safe’ foods to avoid indigestion. If you’re on a special diet, research in advance in case any local herbs or spices could be a problem for you.
- Build in Extra Time – Make sure you have plenty of time to get to the airport or train station and your hotel. If you’re running early then sit down and relax at a bar or explore for a while. It’s better to have time to explore than to be stressed.
- Make New Friends – Find meet up groups in the areas you’re going to and make friends with locals. They’ll be your ‘guides’ at your destination and they’ll help you to find the coolest places to go. You’re also less likely to be hassled if you are with someone who clearly knows the area. Your new friends will know all the best places and all the best discounts too.
- Let Tech Work for You – Consider setting up location sharing so people back home can keep track of you. Share your itinerary and use your smartphone’s tools for mapping and check-ins too. Even most basic model smartphones have such features these days. So you can travel with a sub-$150 Android phone and enjoy some peace of mind since your family will be able to keep tabs on your location.
See the World on Your Terms
The variety of options available to older travelers is incredible and proves that you can see the world at any age. All inclusive tours are a good option for people who want someone else to handle the boring bits of arranging transport, picking destinations, and managing the trip. The tours mentioned above are run by people who understand the needs and wants of older travelers, so you can be confident that you will have a good time.
My Favorite Suggestion
If you want something truly special, the trip to Scandinavia really appeals to me. The region is rich and varied, the scenery is stunning, and while the weather might be a bit different to what you are used to, the culture and heritage is interesting and the people are relaxed and friendly. If you want to broaden your horizons, start with one of the most scenic parts of the world!
Most people there speak English pretty well and while Scandinavia is vastly different from America it’s not “as different” as Asia so it’s a good way to get some travel experience before taking on some of the more unusual destinations.
Another idea I love is a train trip on Amtrak.They offer great tours and travel packages there too.
Tours for the More Confident Senior Traveler
When you’re a more confident tourist you have the option of Asia, South Africa and other more challenging destinations. You can try “Voluntourism” if the moods strikes, go walking, or lounge on a deck chair on a cruise.
You’ve worked for most of your life and taken care of the kids and grandkids, so now is your chance to enjoy some well-deserved “me time.” Now is your time to do all those things that have been on your bucket list for decades.
Do you have any other tours for seniors traveling alone that you can suggest? How about a place you have been to as a senior that you recommend? Tell me about it in the comments below.
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