Travel Opportunities for Older Adults
There are many ways to travel around the USA and the world for people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. Whether you are retired or not, the lure of travel beckons people of all ages to shake off their daily routine – to venture out and explore!
Even in this age of instant communication and the deceptive appearance of global cultural homogenization, the world, needless to say, is still a big place. There are countless peoples and cultures to discover, many even within the borders of the U.S.
Informational travel resources are almost staggering in their abundance. We created this brief introduction to resources for those over 50 to help you avoid being overwhelmed. For those who thought they couldn’t travel to places that they’d had their hearts set on, either because of budgetary or health restrictions, we’ve presented some top web resources to help you imagine and plan your next dream trip. For everyone else, these are also excellent general travel resources.
If you find that you’d like to travel somewhere in particular but don’t have friends who share your interests, you can find a traveling companion to accompany you. If this isn’t your style, you might meet new friends by traveling with a group especially designed for mature adults.
For people with disabilities whether under or over 50, travel is facilitated by air and train carriers. For example, Amtrak is able to accommodate individuals with disabilities by helping them get from the street to the train more easily as pre-boarding passengers. Wheelchair users can bring their chairs onto the train and may choose a seat or remain in the chair. It’s a good idea to let your carrier know in advance if you require assistance, and to find out what assistance is offered.
The websites below are listed as starting places for pursuing your travel dreams. Use their links, contact the group travel organizations, and check with other websites. It will take you less time than you think, and your effort will help you discover travel opportunities you may not have thought existed – plus, you’ll get a wonderful sense of anticipation while planning your trip. No matter what your age or situation, the world is your oyster!
Elderhostel.org (www.elderhostel.org): Elderhostel, the world’s largest educational travel organization for adults 55 and over, offers such opportunities as creative workshops, action adventures (e.g., bicycling), national park visits, city stays, and intergenerational trips. Elderhostel provides the older traveler with fun, companionship, learning opportunities, and value.
Eldertreks.com (www.eldertreks.com) Eldertreks is an adventure travel company designed exclusively for people age 50 and over. They offer active, unusual trips for small groups in over 50 countries. Their “treks” focus on adventure, culture, and nature, and include expeditions such a wildlife safari in Kenya, exploration of Mongolia by camel, hiking to Patagonia’s Torres del Paine, or navigating the ruins of Angkor Wat.
50plusexpeditions.com (www.50plusexpeditions.com): This group offers “active, off-the-beaten path, small group tours around the globe” for people over 50. Trips include those for small groups (limited to 16 people), expedition and adventure cruises, and independent travel.
Travelchums.com(www.travelchums.com): This is a companion-matching site for people of all ages who want to travel and don’t want to go it alone.
Disabled Travel Network (www.globalaccessnews.com): This is a very helpful site for people with disabilities. It fills an important information gap by providing an opportunity for disabled travelers to share their experiences online.
Access-Able Travel Source (www.access-able.com): This site provides information about travel with disabilities, travel for older adults, disability magazines, access guides, wheelchair travel, scooter rental, accessible transportation and more!
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