People over 50 who are now considered seniors by travel and tour agencies are often looking for good trips to take. They are often retired and have both the time and money to finally take off on excursions they have dreamed about for years. In addition, many women in particular have lost their husbands or partners due to illness or death. Therefore, this article is dedicated to those single seniors who want adventure to keep them physically active and mentally still alert. Due to the large number of baby boomers now at retirement age, there is a lot of choices for people in this category. While single seniors might be afraid to travel solo there are some great small group tours available.
Here are just a few of the companies that are catering to seniors to give you some general ideas. Road Scholar (roadscholar.org), now celebrating 40 years of operation, offers educational trips to various places and has some trips under the heading “Adventures Afloat”. It is advertised as “the not-for-profit leader in educational travel since 1975, offering 5,500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries. Alongside local and renowned experts, experience in-depth and behind-the-scenes learning opportunities, from cultural tours and study cruises to walking, biking and more.”
Perhaps education is not your thing. How about a very active trip with Eldertreks (eldertreks.com)? Again you can travel to almost every continent with a small group with headquarter in United Kingdom and North America. The website advertises “small group exotic adventures for travelers 50+”. The pictures on this site are truly amazing and certainly would peak the interest of adventurous travelers and hikers. However, there are also small group trips on yachts carrying perhaps 30 people with trips to Alaska, Arctic regions, circumnavigating Newfoundland and around the Sea of Cortes in Baja California.
This one got my attention: Over The Hill Gang International (othgi.com), a company catering to very active seniors who want company of ski trips or hiking such as “Hike the Wonders of the Southwest” (now sold out for this year). Again the trips are local or international as you prefer.
Here are a few questions to ask when choosing a senior vacation:
- Do you want to travel with only singles or senior couples and singles? I notice that couples tend to socialize with other couples and exclude the singles. However, some singles only trips might end up being a dating situation. It depends upon what you are seeking. I’m sure there must be trips for women only or gay couples only.
- What is your budget and what other expenses will you have not included in the tour price listed?
- Do you want to travel with a sister, friend, brother or other relative over 50 instead of a spouse?
- What is going to be a stimulating but relaxing trip for you?
- What is your goal for going – meeting new people? getting out of the same routine for a while? getting some exercise? It makes a difference with which excursion you pick.
- Do you have any health problems that may need attention? It’s tempting but you better not go to some remote corner as your issues may influence others’ experience.
Lastly, I’d like to introduce a tour company that does not cater just to seniors. However the trips are designed to appreciate nature and especially wilderness in various parts of our world – Sierra Club (http://content.sierraclub.org/outings/). The group started by John Muir over 100 years ago has a catalogue of excursions from local neighborhood jaunts to cleanup campaigns and trail building. They also have a fund to allow inner city children to go on trips to the forest and woods, places they have never been before. These come under the category of “Adventures with a Cause”. Now there are some for returning military personnel too. I especailly like the Local Outdoors and Inspiring Connections trips. Here are trips that can benefit you in natural settings. Many of the tour guides are dedicated volunteers and well trained for any emergencies as well as ways of getting people together. Singles are certainly welcome. The Sierra Club trips are known to be very bonding so that the members become like your family no matter what backgrounds they (or you) come from.
Please leave comments about these excursions or trips that you have found worthwhile.