If you’re retired with a bit of spare time on your hands, it’s the ideal time to start planning your next great adventure by looking into the best vacations for seniors. Not only is traveling an enjoyable way to spend your time, but taking vacations as a senior can have a profound impact on your health, wellness, and overall emotional health.
Ready to sightsee, explore, or maybe enjoy some well deserved rest and relaxation? We’ve done our research to find the best vacations for seniors—including the best vacation destinations for seniors abroad, unforgettable trips, the best vacation spots for seniors in the U.S., and even the best way to fully experience life in your own state.
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There are hundreds of potential destinations for your next vacation. If you’re wondering how to plan the perfect trip and find the best vacation places for seniors, here are a few things to consider:
If international travel has been on your bucket list for years, now is the perfect time to cross it off—all while you experience new cultures and deepen your knowledge of the world. If you’re ready for a trip overseas, here are some of the best places for seniors to vacation abroad:
If you want to sit back and relax on your vacation, the Rocky Mountaineer is one of the top vacations for seniors. This luxury train operates scenic trips on four different rail routes through British Columbia, Alberta, Colorado, and Utah. Featuring comfortable, luxurious glass-domed railway cars, the Rocky Mountaineer also includes onboard meals, incredible scenery, premium service, and wonderful tours along the way. There are a number of expeditions you can choose from at the Rocky Mountaineer.
Nearly everyone’s bucket list includes seeing the northern lights up close and personal. If this event is on your to-do list, there’s no time like the present to start planning your adventure. Catching the aurora borealis comes with its own set of unique challenges, however. The mysterious lights only appear during certain times of the year—usually September through March—so you’ll have to plan your trip in advance and hope for the best. Although Iceland is one of the best vacation spots for senior citizens to view the northern lights, there are many exciting destinations to view this once-in-a-lifetime event, including Alaska, Sweden, and more. Wherever you end up, make sure to pack your trip with other fun activities, such as hiking, enjoying the wintery weather, or cozying up with a cup of hot tea.
If you love wildlife and have always wanted to see the incredible flora and fauna of Africa, add Cape Town to your list as one of the best vacations for seniors. Seeing lions, giraffes, zebras, and elephants in the wild is an incredible and unforgettable experience. Wildlife-viewing tours offer great vacations for seniors with limited mobility or reduced physical abilities. You can experience the African wildfire via an all-terrain vehicle with a guide. One great spot for booking fully guided safari tours is through Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Plus, South Africa is home to a number of other awesome attractions—so you can make the most of your trip with vineyard tours, beach getaways, and much more.
The picture-perfect European getaway is calling your name as one of the best vacation spots for seniors. Rent a villa and experience the quiet, peaceful lifestyle of Italy. Tuscany, a region in central Italy, is home to some of the world’s most incredible Renaissance art and architecture—Michelangelo’s “David,” and many of Botticelli’s works, just to name a few. If you stay in Tuscany, it’s easy to hop on a train and enjoy the coastal villages and countryside towns—including Cinque Terre, in the neighboring Liguria region.
The Caribbean is the ultimate tropical getaway and one of the best vacations for senior citizens who are seeking comfort and views away from the cold. If there’s nothing you love more than a breathtaking, white-sand beach, book your trip to the Caribbean today. Nevis, one of the smaller islands in the Caribbean, is known and loved for its sandy beaches, lush scenery, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy hiking, fishing, cycling, sailing, and horseback riding. Plus, Nevis is home to a number of incredible restaurants featuring a fusion of African, European, and American flavors.
If you’re traveling on a budget, consider Bangkok, Thailand as your adventure destination. Vacationing in Bangkok can afford you a luxurious experience but at a lower price — making it one of the best vacations for seniors looking to maximize their experience with minimal impact on their finances. Plus, in Thai society, seniors are revered and treated with respect, which can be surprising for many American visitors. The capital of Thailand, Bangkok is a lively city that features numerous historical and religious sites. From incredible architecture and wall painting to multiple palaces, museums, and parks, spending time in Bangkok is an enjoyable and exciting experience.
If you’re not in the mood to jet set internationally, there are a number of amazing stateside travel opportunities that are perfect for seniors to enjoy. Here are some of our favorite benefits when it comes to picking vacation spots for seniors in the U.S.:
One of the best vacations for seniors in the U.S., sunny Scottsdale is a popular destination for many. And while the traditional picture of Arizona might be filled with rattlesnakes and unbearable heat, Scottsdale is actually a vacationer’s dream destination—particularly if you like art or architecture. Home to a walkable neighborhood called Old Town, enjoy streets lined with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and craft breweries. Continue the fun at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which features an incredible collection of paintings, sculptures, artifacts, and more. The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is also a great place to visit. If you admire the architecture and genius of Frank Lloyd Wright, don’t miss checking out Taliesin West, Wright’s beloved winter home and desert laboratory.
Another great option for art lovers and history buffs alike, Santa Fe is home to a warm, dry climate and a vibrant arts and culture scene. Wander the halls of the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. Plus, there are over 250 galleries throughout Santa Fe that are open to the public, marking Santa Fe as a city with more art galleries and museums than almost anywhere else in the world. After you spend the day perusing the beautiful art, take a bike ride through the winding trails that weave through the mountains and land—or try hitting the links at a nearby golf club.
If you’re interested in American history, Williamsburg is a fascinating place to visit. Home to Colonial Williamsburg, known as the world’s largest living history museum, you can take part in immersive and authentic programming that tells the stories of the 18th century. Through reenactments of pivotal events to tours of iconic landmarks, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of American history. Williamsburg is also home to a number of popular activities for seniors, including golfing, shopping, museums, and great dining options.
Known for its Spanish colonial architecture and beautiful tranquil beaches, St. Augustine is America’s oldest continuously occupied European settlement—making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history. Home to magnolia-lined streets, St. Augustine features convenient sightseeing trolleys so you can get around easily. A few favorite sightseeing spots include the 17th-century masonry fortification, Castillo de San Marcos, the Lightner Museum, and the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum.
Not looking to go far? Some of the best vacations for seniors are closer than you think! Great vacation spots for seniors don’t have to include complicated travel plans. Planning a staycation in your city or state is a great idea for vacations for seniors as the planning and expense can be minimal, and you can better control how you travel to best accommodate your unique needs and preferences.
Sometimes, the most comfortable vacations occur when you stay close to home and relax. You can book a short stay at a local hotel in your city—or you can even stay home and cancel all responsibilities, so you can relish your staycation. If you opt to hole up at a local hotel, take time to chill at the pool, hike a trail you haven’t tried, or visit a restaurant that’s on your bucket list.
We’ve compiled a few of our favorite ways to help you make the most of your local area—for fun, cost-effective travel that comes with plenty of time for rest and relaxation.
Finding a local bed and breakfast is like finding a home away from home. Just as the name implies, breakfast is usually included in your nightly fee (making it a budget-friendly way to check one of your meals off the list). Not only do you get private accommodations, but there are also often shared living spaces, such as a living room or a library. Bed and breakfasts are typically owned by locals looking to preserve the history of their building and keep the narrative of the town alive. In addition to interacting with the owners, you’ll also likely get the chance to meet other travelers.
Let’s face it: Hotel rooms can be cramped—and with no easy way to do laundry or cook your favorite meals—they don’t always accommodate extended stays well. The easiest way to rewrite this script is to rent a home away from home. When you opt to stay in an Airbnb or VRBO property, you can select a home with as much space as you need: A full kitchen stocked with utensils and even basic ingredients? Perfect. In-unit laundry? Even better. Want to bring along your dog? There’s a place with your name on it. Start your search at Airbnb.com or vrbo.com.
The marvels of the U.S. national parks are far and wide—from scenic drives through wildflowers to nature walks at Yellowstone or hikes through the Grand Canyon, visiting the National Parks is a great way to explore all the scenery that the U.S. has to offer. Most National Parks have varying day costs, so it can be worth it to invest in the yearly pass if you plan to visit a few different parks—and don’t forget to ask about a senior discount! Not only are these areas pretty to look at, but most parks are working towards conservation and education to ensure the experience is available for our future generations. You can learn about their specific projects and take part in helping further them to leave a legacy your family can treasure long after you’re gone.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a city, there’s a chance there’s at least one hidden gem you could discover. Plan a city tour to explore your city with the eyes of a tourist—either a pre-planned guided tour or a “choose your own adventure.”
If you live near a larger city, you can even turn this into a weekend adventure—stay overnight in a historic hotel downtown and spend the day learning about the architecture and culture that shaped the city you call home.
When it comes to playing tourist in your city, here are a few things you won’t want to forget to see:
Your home state is likely filled with a number of well-known and undiscovered gems. If you feel like you haven’t truly experienced everything your state has to offer, plan a road trip. Make your way through the best spots in your home state. You can camp, glamp (camping but fancier!), rent a trailer or an RV, or just stay at a local Airbnb rental. As you embark on your trip, see where the open road takes you. The best road trips are those where you can stay flexible and soak up all the little surprises that come your way.
Before you hit the road, take your time in planning the perfect trip—whether you’re off internationally or just enjoying a staycation. Don’t forget to take photos, make memories, and enjoy the experience every step of the way.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Everdays encourages individuals to seek advice from their own investment or tax advisor or legal counsel.