We plan for our senior years all our lives, daydreaming about long vacations. As you enjoy your well-deserved retirement, you may decide it’s time to take the trip of a lifetime. You browse travel sites and brochures, imagining yourself in exotic places.
Then, like many people, you find it more comfortable to stay home. Buying tickets and booking flights are too much of a hassle. You’re not sure what you’d do to fill your time on the trip. You put it off one more month, one more year.
The trip never happens—you never book your dream vacation.
At the end of 2015, 99% of Baby Boomers said they anticipated traveling in 2016. But only one in ten trips were booked at the time of the survey.
You can break the cycle!
If you join a senior travel club or a senior tour group, you won’t have to plan the trip. You won’t have to go alone. These groups can guide you through any adventure.
Think of senior travel groups as a support system—with their encouragement, you can see the world!
WHY TRAVEL IN GROUPS?
33% of Baby Boomers are unmarried, and that number continues to increase.
Traveling alone can be fulfilling, but the solitude limits your enjoyment. We go to the theater because it’s fun to hear others react to the movie. And when we travel, we prefer to share the experience with friends.
A senior citizen travel group lets you socialize with others your age who share your interests.
When you take a trip with a group, you’re more likely to laugh, to discuss what you’ve seen, and to retain the experience. Whether a one-day trip to a national park or a month-long journey overseas, senior group travel provides the social benefits of retirement living without the full-time commitment.
On the financial side, traveling in groups with other seniors will also help you save money. Travel companies and popular attractions often give discounts to large groups, like the discounts you receive when you buy in bulk from a surplus store.
Instead of paying full price with your spouse or by yourself, take a budget-friendly adventure with a group of new friends!
One of the most significant barriers to travel for all age groups is the planning required. You must select a destination, activities, and lodging, and everything in the world is an option.
The number of choices can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, senior travel groups help eliminate this stage completely! When you opt for a trip, the group organizer takes care of the rest.
As said by the program manager for Lee College’s Senior Adult & Travel Program, “Group touring is a way for senior adults to experience with enthusiasm the wonders of the world. We do the planning and execution of details, and you can comfortably and safely be escorted with new and old friends to destinations of interest and adventure.”
TYPES OF GROUPS
- Learning tours, such as visiting museums or cultural landmarks
- Outdoor adventures, such as kayaking or hiking
- Volunteer vacations, also known as “voluntourism”
- International travel, featuring any of the above
Most senior travel groups plan various trips throughout the year. You can take a cruise to Alaska one month, and the next, you can enjoy a day-long bus trip to a historic landmark or take in a summer matinee.
Even so, you should research the different groups in your area and decide which one best matches your needs. For instance, if you’re unable to participate in highly physical activities, don’t join an adventure group.
Most groups only permit participants aged 50 or 55 and up, but requirements do vary. One group might only allow women, while another might only invite RV owners.
Some charge annual membership fees and others let you register for individual trips. If you have the time, you might even test trips with several clubs to get a feel for which ones you most enjoy.
You can learn more about senior travel groups here:
BENEFITS OF TOURS AND TRAVEL
Studies have shown that continued education and active learning improve mental health over time. General adult education even helps combat depression.
But too many people reach retirement and stop learning.
By joining any of these senior travel clubs, you increase your exposure to learning opportunities.
Some senior travel groups pre-package all-inclusive trips to the most beautiful and historical cities in the country. By participating in these structured trips, you afford yourself a change of scenery and encounter new information.
And remember, these groups are social in nature. Regular meetings will improve your emotional health and help you build relationships with new friends.
RISKS OF TOURS AND TRAVEL
Traveling abroad can stress your immune system, and seniors are at higher risk for illness than other groups.
Before embarking on your adventure, talk with your doctor and research the health risks associated with your destination. Most travel groups pre-determine which destinations will pose the least threat.
Tourists in any area are also more susceptible to robbery—fortunately, you’ll be traveling in numbers! Remaining with your group is the best way to keep yourself safe. Be alert, and carry photocopies of your identification.
Reach out to other members of your community, and if possible, ask to speak with current members of the travel group. Other seniors will be your best resource for finding a fun, safe club that will take care of you as you go on your adventures.
Whether in a group or on your own, seeing new sights helps keep your mind and body active.
And by joining a senior travel group, you’ll find a new set of friends. They’ll keep you company and help you save money on the trip!
Are you ready to take that vacation? Connect with a travel club today!
The world is waiting for you.