Having just returned from a trip to my hometown of London, vacations are definitely on my mind at the moment. Having done a little bit of research this week, I’ve found a wide variety of really great tips and hints for a fabulous senior getaway. This generation of those aged 50 and over are traveling more than older adults ever have before!
Washington D.C is a great budget option for seniors because most of the cities main attractions are free to enter, a flight with Frontier in March can be found for as low as $100 each way and there are a huge number of hotels in the city. Try and avoid festivals or weekday travel and you’ll get the best deals. Keep in mind that as with any larger city, safety can be an issue and some parts of the northeast and southeast are best avoided at night. Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle and the National Mall are better choices, it’s also a good idea to check hotel reviews, if the neighborhood is unpleasant, someone will have written about it. There are also plenty of low cost places to eat and an extensive, easy to use metro system.
New Orleans is another fun option, keep in mind you may want to avoid the city during Mardi Gras though (in 2015 it will be on the 17th February but parades begin already on the 6th)! Southwest vacations have packages from $400 for flight and a four night hotel stay, make sure to check the provided TripAdvisor reviews for the hotels (and also their exact locations) before booking. Your low cost food options are both plentiful and delicious and New Orleans is a fabulous and easy city to view on foot, it is completely flat and there are things to see on every corner. Specific sights worth seeing are the large aquarium and World War II museum.
Florida is always a great option with beautiful beaches and warm weather all year. Flights with Southwest to Fort Lauderdale are around $130 each way in February.
Scenic journeys are of particular benefit to seniors, as they offer the opportunity to see incredibly sights from the comfort and ease of your ship. Of course shore excursions will still be an option on these types of cruises but there is the added benefit of still seeing plenty from the comfort of your state room.
Alaska is probably the number one on many peoples cruise dream list and many voyages in the region will offer plenty of stunning views without ever leaving the boat. Other types of journey to consider include river cruises and much further afield, the fjords of Norway. Pretty much any cruise where you are hugging land for a good portion of the trip.
Here is an article discussing various cruises lines, locations and cruising priorities.
Driving is a great way to see many sights whilst avoiding the hassle of airports, train stations and other public transportation. Not to mention, there’s nothing more American than a good old fashioned road trip!
Some spectacular drives to consider: Route 66 from LA to Chicago, driving the Big Sur in California, Great River Road from Minnesota to Louisiana and more local, the Loneliest Road in Nevada.
A short guide to planning your road trip adventure.
The Great Outdoors
My Honeymoon was an incredible trip through some of the best national parks that the United States has to offer, I add this section in purely to let you know (in case you didn’t): seniors aged over 62 are eligible for a $10 lifetime pass for all US National Parks here. They are all absolutely incredible sights and many are within easy reach of Nevada: the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, Zion and Bryce Canyon to name a few. I would also strongly recommend Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park and note that Yellowstone, although spectacular and convenient, is incredibly busy and the entire road area resembles a large car park (that being said, for individuals with mobility issues it can be incredibly beneficial that most key sights can be reached by car).
Would you be interested in travelling abroad and doing some volunteer work while you’re there? There are a number of fantastic organisations that offer opportunities to help developing communities with vital services such as childcare, healthcare and environmental awareness. Although the costs can be high, it is worth noting that these trips can be tax deductible and there are even available grants for volunteer travel. Many websites also offer tips and hints on great ways to raise money for your trip. The following companies have a large number of older adult volunteers:
Staying in Nevada
And last but by no means least, there are an absolutely massive array of exciting and interesting things to do right here in Nevada (including several of the National Parks I already mentioned!)
Red Rock Canyon National Park
The Hoover Dam and Lake Mead
Visit gold mines
Valley of Fire State Park
Eureka – one of the best preserved mining towns in Nevada
Mount Charleston to beat the summer heat or find some winter snow
The AARP has a fantastic holiday website (including a trip finder section that asks a few questions about the vacation you’re looking for and then suggests relevant destinations): travel.aarp.org/
Travel tips for seniors: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/senior-citizens
Senior travel savings guide: www.travelhoppers.com/2013/07/23/senior-citizens-can-save-money-on-travel