Best Vacations For Older Couples

If you’re an older couple looking for the best vacation ideas, we’re here to help. From local spots around the corner to global explorations, get ready to pack your bags! Whether you’re looking to plan a romantic rendezvous with your partner or you’re hoping to experience the world and check some destinations off your bucket list, we’ve compiled a compelling list of the best vacations for older couples.

Traveling as an older couple can be a deeply poignant and beautiful time. Maybe your kids have all started lives of their own, you and your partner both retired, or you suddenly have plenty of free time and energy to devote to your own relationship. Whatever your reasons are for planning a vacation as a senior couple, make sure that your trip is filled with joy, memories, and plenty of fun adventures.

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Leisure Vacations for Retired Couples

After decades of working or raising a family, taking a leisure vacation as a retired couple can be a wonderful way to relax, reset, and rejuvenate. Soak in some leisure time, just the two of you—and explore all the wonderful sights the world has to offer.

Take a Cruise

Cruises are one of the most popular vacations for older couples—and it makes sense. If you opt for a cruise vacation, you can enjoy a number of activities, fancy dinners, or even late-night balls. You can also swim in the pool, attend exercise or yoga classes, and play games with fellow cruise-goers.

Cruises are one of the best vacations for senior couples who might have different ideas of what they want out of a vacation. Taking a cruise provides the best of everything—so you can spend quality time with your partner while also exploring your own interests and favorite leisure activities. Stopping at ports allows you to witness a new city for a few hours and then provide reason to go back and spend more time. You can cruise the oceans or on a riverboat, a popular option for seniors as of late.

Cruises are also a wonderful way to spend time with other friends—particularly if they are also a retired couple looking for a leisurely vacation. Attending a cruise with another pair of couple friends makes the time even more enjoyable. You can split off and do your own thing but reconvene later in the night for dinner, cocktails, and a beautiful sunset. What’s not to love?

Go to an All-Inclusive Resort

For many senior couples, an all-inclusive resort offers stress-free, joy-filled travel. With very few exceptions, everything you need at an all-inclusive resort is covered by the initial price—from accommodations to meals to daily activities.

There are a number of wonderful couples-only resorts that offer romantic and luxurious experiences. Try Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, a transformational wellness resort that offers curated services based on your individual goals. The all-inclusive resort offers more than 35 daily activities spanning from yoga and guided meditation to cooking classes and outdoor excursions. Plus, you’ll have access to a full-service spa, tennis courts, cycling studios, and two pools.

Or consider the Red Mountain Resort located in southern Utah. Beautifully situated between the red rock cliffs, Red Mountain Resort offers various all-inclusive retreat packages that include nutritious, balanced meals along with daily fitness classes, guided hikes, and more. If you’re feeling adventurous, join a day trip to Zion National Park or spend your afternoon enjoying a full-body massage.

Small Group Tours

If you want to enjoy a guided tour through a new destination, consider small group tours. Exploring the world accompanied by a small group of fellow senior travelers—and led by an experienced guide—can provide a sense of confidence and offer companionship.

There are countless small group tours available, many of which are particularly designed for senior couples on vacation. Road Scholar is one of our favorite tour options, offering tours in more than 100 countries and in all 50 states. All of their programs are ranked by level of activity, so depending on your overall mobility and confidence with physical activity, you can find the perfect tour.

ElderTreks also offers a number of travel tours designed for people over the age of 50. Catering to a retired audience, ElderTreks offers small group adventures in over 100 countries. Choose the perfect trip for you—from active hiking trips in the Andes Mountains to exciting expeditions in Asia.

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Destination Vacations for Seniors Couples

A destination vacation for senior couples can be a fantastic time to cross off a few destinations on your bucket list. Have you always dreamed of visiting some of the world’s most beautiful and memorable areas? Your golden years are the perfect time to venture on a destination vacation as a senior couple. Take a look at the following best places for older couples to vacation abroad.

The Danube River

The second-longest river in Europe, the Danube flows throughout much of central and southeastern Europe—through Hungary, Austria, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine, Germany, and Romania.

The Smithsonian offers an exciting Danube River Cruise. Over the course of two weeks, you’ll discover nine countries and many World Heritage sites as you cruise through the heartland of central and eastern Europe. You’ll see ancient capitals, quaint villages, and many magnificent churches, castles, and palaces.

Viking River Cruises also offers several different Danube River cruises ranging in length and destination. Regardless of which cruise you’ll pick, safely explore the best vacation spots for older couples along the Danube River, with an intimate and dramatic look into Europe’s history.

The Canadian Rockies

For the slightly more adventurous retired couple looking for a vacation spot, the Canadian Rockies are a must-visit. The Rocky Mountains promise wildlife, incredible views, and plenty of enjoyable outdoor activities. Depending on your preferred level of activity, you can try hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and so much more.

Train vacations in the Canadian Rockies are a particularly popular option. You can see panoramic views of the mountains, meet new couples, and explore the world—all from the comfort of a train.

If you’d prefer to settle down and relax at a luxury resort, consider booking a trip to the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts (CRMR). CRMR is home to a number of stunning resort properties throughout the Rockies, gourmet dining options, and plenty of fun outdoor activities.

The Caribbean

One of the best vacation spots for retired couples is the picture-perfect Caribbean. For traveling seniors, choose an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean to enjoy a mix of luxury, accessibility, and serenity.

One of our favorites is Sailrock in South Caicos, a slightly more remote and secluded island that’s perfect for the senior couple looking for peace and quiet. The resort offers all-inclusive meal options, state-of-the-art swimming pools, and the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen.

Another great option is the Excellence Punta Cana, one of the top all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic. This is an adults-only resort located on the northeast coast, featuring white-sand beaches, tropical forests, and stunning dunes. If a romantic getaway has been on your bucket list, this resort is perfect for you as one of the most relaxing vacation spots for older couples.

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United States Vacations for Senior Couples

Some of the best vacation spots for senior couples can be found within the United States. If you’re in the mood to stay within the country and explore all that America has to offer, keep reading for senior-friendly activities and vacation spots.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is one of the best vacations for older couples interested in seeing one of America’s most famous natural wonders. Stretching nearly 300 miles from end to end, the Grand Canyon descends more than a mile to the canyon’s floor.

A great vacation idea for older couples, the Grand Canyon is home to a number of attractions, adventures, and activities. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try hiking and biking on paved trails at the Canyon. For history buffs, visit the Yavapai Museum of Geology, Verkamp's Visitor Center, Hopi House, and Kolb Studio.

You can also explore the Grand Canyon with airplane or helicopter tours, hiking adventures, and even rafting expeditions.

The Pacific Coast Highway

The classic Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous drives in the entire world—and it’s also one of the best vacations for retired couples. Spanning from Washington to California, the Pacific Coast Highway is a picturesque, memorable vacation. Driving Highway 1 means hours of quality time together cruising near stunning bluffs and scenic outlooks with sparkling ocean views.

A Pacific Coast Highway adventure offers something for everyone. Stop by the Bixby Bridge in Big Sur for an incredible photo opp before finding a lunch spot nearby. If you’re a big reader, stop at the Henry Miller Memorial Library. As you continue toward Los Angeles, check out the Getty Center and explore the galleries within.

However you tackle your Pacific Coast Highway expedition, do a bit of research in advance to plot out where you’d like to stop and visit. But one of the joys of a good road trip is being spontaneous—so if you see a roadside attraction that looks fun, don’t be afraid to pause and explore.

Visit National Parks

One of the best vacations for older couples, the National Parks span 27 states in the United States with each one filled with natural wonders ideal for exploring. Plus, the National Parks offer discounted rates for seniors over the age of 62—an annual pass is just $20 and a lifetime pass is $80.

America’s National Parks offer stunning natural wonders for you to observe and explore. Plus, you’ll enjoy volcanoes, glaciers, caves, fossilized trees, deserts, and more. Some of the most popular National Parks include Arches in Utah, Yellowstone in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, and Mesa Verde in Colorado.

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Family-Focused Vacations for Older Couples

Family-focused vacations for older couples are a wonderful way to build long-lasting memories with your loved ones—including your grandchildren or your children. From opting for a week at an amusement park with the grandkids to planning a family reunion, some of the best vacation ideas for older couples are ones centered on family.

Go to an Amusement Park with the Grandkids

A popular vacation idea for retired couples, planning an amusement park trip with your grandkids is a surefire way to make memories together—and provide you with a great opportunity to bond with your family members and loved ones.

If you’re looking for an amusement park to explore, consider the Epcot Theme Park in Orlando, Florida, and their innovative ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. You’ll race with Remy—the gourmand rat star of Ratatouille and feel like you’re traveling through the streets of Paris. This ride is perfect for preschoolers and other young fans of Ratatouille.

For any dinosaur lovers, check out Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park. This park includes a prehistoric journey to Jurassic Park with the VelociCoaster, a thrilling roller coaster that catapults up to 70 miles per hour and more than 150 feet in the air. If your grandkids love an exhilarating ride and an exciting day spent at the theme park, consider a trip to Orlando.

Perfect for the animal lovers in your family, The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash is located at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. With a minimum height requirement of 34 inches and an endearing puppy theme, The Secret Life of Pets is ideal for preschoolers or grandkids who prefer a gentle and comfortable ride.

Plan a Family Reunion

A family reunion can be a wonderful vacation idea for older couples. Not only will you strengthen bonds between relatives and reunite with family members you might not see frequently, but you might also be able to make a road trip out of it.

Planning a family reunion can be complicated. If you’re considering a family reunion as a vacation idea for older couples, here are a few tips:

  • Start by picking a date and a location. Is there a location that is particularly convenient for most family members? Or is there a time of year that works best for everyone’s schedules? Start by talking with fellow family members and consider sending out a questionnaire to figure out the best destination for your family reunion.
  • Delegate tasks. Depending on the size of your family and how many loved ones will attend your reunion, delegate tasks as necessary. Consider if you’ll need to make reservations at restaurants, plan and organize activities for all age groups, organize a potluck, or even create signs and name tags to get the party started.
  • Find activities that bring your family together. Choosing activities that cater to everyone’s needs can be challenging. As you prepare for your family reunion, consider what activities can bring your family members together—particularly ideas for all ages.

Take a Cross-Country Train Ride

One of our favorite vacation ideas for retired couples is taking a cross-country train ride—and when you bring family or loved ones along with you, it makes the experience even better. Train travel is a comfortable, scenic, and relaxing way to explore the world.

Plus, if you’re dealing with any mobility challenges or physical limitations, enjoying a cross-country train ride can be a great option.

Some of our favorite cross-country train rides include a leisurely ride on Amtrak’s Empire Builder from Chicago to Glacier National Park in Montana. You’ll experience Big Sky country as you explore this stunning National Park. In addition to the round-trip train ticket, this getaway also includes a boat cruise in the scenic Two Medicine Valley, a ride along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and a tour of the Lake McDonald Valley.

For a completely different atmosphere, consider this roundtrip train ride from New York City to Montreal and Quebec. In five days, you’ll navigate through three incredible cities and experience Montreal and Quebec’s old-world charm.

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Close to Home Vacations for Senior Couples

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a close-to-home vacation for senior couples—in fact, staying nearby can give you the opportunity to see your city or your state in a new light and admire all the gems it has to offer. You never know, one of the best vacation spots for elderly couples may be in your own city or backyard.

Enjoy a Staycation

If you’re not up for a long trip out of town, enjoy a staycation. This can be a great option for a senior couple to feel like they’re experiencing a getaway—without having to travel far at all. Here are some of our favorite ideas for enjoying a staycation, all from the comfort of your own home:

  • Be a tourist in your city. Create an itinerary with a list of places in your city you’ve never tried. It can be easy to forget all of your city’s hidden gems—so take this time to discover something new and find a new favorite coffee bar, cocktail speakeasy, or even a cute boutique.
  • Bring the adventure to your home. Thanks to modern technology, many senior citizens can travel the world via a computer or mobile app. Many museums, national parks, and zoos offer virtual tours and interactive online exhibitions. Try visiting the Louvre, Virtual Yosemite Tours, Yellowstone Virtual Tours, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the San Diego Zoo.
  • Cook an elaborate meal. Have you always wanted to cook an elaborate or particular meal but haven’t had the right ingredients or the time? Select a recipe you’ve always wanted to enjoy—perhaps a dish from one of your favorite countries—and get all the ingredients you need. You can even include your family members or friends in the festivities and invite them over for a potluck or dinner party.

Stay a Night Downtown

Staying in your own city as a senior couple can be an exciting and romantic way to explore all the hidden gems near you. Maybe there’s a quaint bed and breakfast or a luxurious boutique hotel in your hotel that’s calling your name. This might be the perfect opportunity to book a night or two and take a relaxing trip together.

Once you’ve found the perfect place to stay, put together a short itinerary of fun activities you can do together. Are there wineries or cocktail bars nearby? Museums or other attractions? Make a list of anything you’d like to visit during your night downtown—and make the most of it.

Take a Day Trip

Find a local treasure in your area and plan a day trip with your partner or spouse. This can be a wonderful option, particularly if you’re feeling spontaneous and don’t want to deal with the hassle of planning an adventure that requires overnight stays or complicated travel plans.

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Benefits of Traveling Together

Traveling together as a senior couple comes with a number of positive benefits—from staying active and connected to gaining confidence in yourself and your abilities.

  • You’ll stay active. Staying active in your golden years is important. Without a doubt, traveling is one of the most enjoyable ways to get your steps in, tackle a new activity, and keep your body—and your mind!—active. Plus, it’s even better if you’re outside with stunning views.
  • You’ll gain confidence. As you age, you might start feeling moments of insecurity or anxiety about your age, your mobility, or even your mental capacity. During this time, your friends and family members might even start trying to make life easier for you. Traveling can help you regain your sense of confidence and help you feel stronger about what you’re capable of achieving.
  • You’ll bond with your partner. Exploring new places with your partner will help you deepen your bond and learn new things about one another. Even if you’ve been together for decades, seeing your partner or spouse in a new environment or a new culture will remind you of all the characteristics you love about them.
  • You’ll have new experiences and meet new people. No matter if you’re a naturally adventurous person or if you prefer a serene vacation spent with your spouse, traveling almost always pushes you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to try new things. Plus, depending on what type of vacation you pick, you might even meet new people and make new friends!
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Tips for Traveling Together

As a senior couple embarking on a trip together, you’ll want to be prepared. Here are our top tips for making your trip together the best one yet.

  • Buy travel insurance. If you’re traveling internationally, purchasing travel insurance is one of the easiest ways to make sure your trip is covered. If you end up with an injury or an illness while abroad, travel medical insurance ensures that you’re able to obtain the medical attention you need. This is important because Medicare has limited coverage if you’re traveling out of the United States.
  • Make sure you have enough medicine. For senior travelers who might need a few medications, make sure you have several days’ worth of all your important medications in your carry-on—not your checked luggage. If you put your medication in your checked bag and your flight is delayed—or worse, your luggage is lost—you’ll have to figure out how to access your medication in a new city. Avoid this stress and frustration by making sure you bring your medications in your carry-on.
  • Pack light. Depending on your physical abilities, pack light to save yourself any stress or worry. Prepare for the length of your trip, knowing that you can re-wear or even wash your clothing items if need be. If you’re worried about being able to lift your carry-on luggage into the overhead compartment, just ask your flight attendant or your seatmate for help.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider. Before you head off on your next great adventure, check in with your doctor and discuss any precautions you should take in advance. Depending on where you’re heading, your doctor might recommend that you come in for a brief check-up—or even obtain new shots to protect your health.
  • Ask for senior discounts! Some airlines offer reduced fares for seniors, some museums offer discounted entrance fees, and some hotels even have a special deal for seniors. Get into the habit of asking if there’s a discounted rate—some companies might not advertise it publicly.
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What to Pack

Packing is, arguably, one of the least enjoyable parts of traveling. But with these tips and recommendations, you’ll feel better about getting your packing out of the way so you can enjoy your future trip.

  • For senior travelers, wheeled luggage is a gamechanger. Instead of dealing with backaches and tired shoulders, a wheeled suitcase makes traipsing through the airport a breeze.
  • If you’re going to be doing a lot of sightseeing or walking, consider a backpack or a tote bag to carry your maps, snacks, and water throughout your explorations.
  • Leave your expensive jewelry at home.
  • Roll your clothes in your suitcase instead of folding them. This helps save room and makes it easy to see all of your clothes at a glance.
  • Only bring a few pairs of shoes. They tend to be heavy and you often don’t need many pairs. Make sure to bring a comfy pair if you’re planning on being active on your vacation!
  • Depending on your location, bring rain gear—so you’re prepared for anything.
  • Don’t forget the right adapters! If you’re traveling overseas and need plug-in appliances or electronics, you might need a voltage converter.
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