Best Vacations for 60-Year-Olds
I started getting serious about traveling in retirement when I was in my early 60s. Before then, I had kids to raise, then college and weddings to pay for. After that, it became my turn to do something for me. It was time to look at the best vacations for 60-year-olds.
According to USA Today, Dr. David Lipschitz, noted geriatrician and author, believes travel helps senior citizens live longer lives. I completely agree.
Travel Far and Wide
In the last 10 years I have been to seven continents, 15 countries and countless cities on trips lasting anywhere from 10 days to six weeks. It has been exhilarating and eye-opening.
Along the way, I have been enriched, learned many things, met fascinating people and have done things I never thought I would do (like eating fried rat — it tastes like salty chicken).
So, get out there and explore the world in your 50s and 60s. This is the time for you to do things for yourself. Plus, there are too many benefits for you to pass up when it comes to the best vacations for 60-year-olds.
Since I’m pretty much retired, I'm at least lucky enough to be able to work from anywhere and am not tied down to a set schedule. I can pretty much pick up and go whenever.
The discounts available (of which there are plenty) make it a lot more affordable to travel, which also means you can take more trips annually.
I also try to book trips just off of the prime season when prices are better. Right now, for example, my fiancé and I are on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina enjoying a long weekend filled with golf, eating and relaxing.
Since it is off season, we were able to get a large two-bedroom villa that would have costed $768 for the three nights for less than $300.
We also worked a deal to play some of the area’s top-notch golf courses for $60 per person (including the cart fee). Yesterday’s temperature was absolutely perfect. All I needed was for the golf ball to cooperate, which it did not!
If you don't appreciate the cold and want a warmer place, then Alaska might not be for you. However, if you want to experience something different, then start booking!
Even if you aren't a fan of the great outdoors, an Alaskan cruise might be what you need to relax and enjoy retirement. You'll be able to view tall waterfalls, immense glaciers and even whales, all while enjoying the comforts of a cruise.
2. The Caribbean
This location is for those who want to soak up the sun and see the vibrant leaves of palm trees. For this vacation, you will be able to enjoy the warm sand between your toes and the turquoise waters. You can even sip some drinks on the beach. This area is quite tourist-filled, so make sure you look for all-inclusive packages.
If you want a closer destination in North America that's still tropical, then go to Hawaii! This gorgeous place is easily accessible, with a shorter airplane ride. They also offer cruises that start as low as $599. Similar to the Caribbean, you can relax on the beach or in an all-inclusive resort, or you can snorkel or hike and enjoy the wildlife and volcanoes.
Engaging in Different Cultures
When I started thinking about seeing the world in earnest, I bought the book "1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler's Life List" and read it cover to cover. As I did, I checked off the places I wanted to go. I am still working on the list, but I have made a good dent.
For me, the best thing about traveling is learning about different cultures. When I was in Thailand, the group I traveled with met with a monk who explained what his life is like. I never realized until then that married men could become monks, even for short periods of time. They leave their families, live the life of a monk for months and then return to their normal lives.
Again, in Thailand, I learned that when an elephant is born in captivity and ready to leave its mother, it is assigned to a handler, with whom it stays with for life. The handler works with the elephant, teaching it. It is an amazing bond to see between a human and animal.
Traveling around the world has opened my eyes and heart to things I had read, heard about or studied. It has brought the world of art, books, movies and history to life for me.
I have had the opportunity to see, up close and personal, pieces of art that I had only seen in the pages of books. Actually seeing Rodin’s The Thinker, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss and the Sistine Chapel was breathtaking.
Traveling has also had a profound effect on my soul.
I went to Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial, in Israel. Like most other people, I had read about the atrocities that occurred during World War II, but seeing the writings, drawings and pictures of actual people who had gone through it was another thing. I sat there for hours mesmerized. I literally could not move. Reading about lives lost is one thing. When those lives are brought to life in pictures and words, it is quite another.
I had the same feeling going through the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. I had read "The Diary of a Young Girl," the writings of Anne Frank, when I was young. I used to close my eyes and think about where and how she and her family lived. However, seeing it in person took those feelings to a whole new level.
I am quite sure that without taking advantage of seniors’ discounts, I could not have taken the trips I have.
Do your research! I never book anything without finding out if there is a senior discount. One of the best places to find what discounts are available for seniors is through The Senior List's Travel Discount List.
Also, take advantage of travel programs designed for seniors, such as those offered through AARP Travel. They offer everything from trip planners to a questionnaire that will help you decide where to go and when.
There are so many places in the world I have yet to explore. At this point, I am looking forward to when my fiancé retires next year. We intend to buy a comfortable RV, pack our golf clubs and clothes and take off. We are going to stop when we want to, play as many courses as we can, go to museums and see the things that have made this country amazing.
I cannot think of anything that will forestall old age more than experiencing life in new ways and making unforgettable memories along the way.