This year, as we plan for summer travel, many of us are thinking big. While a heightened awareness of life’s unpredictability is motivating everyone to seize the day, the impulse may be even stronger for seniors. With reduced family and career responsibilities and a solid long-term care alternative plan in place, now is the perfect time to see the world. Why not make every moment of your trip count—even getting there? No matter which preferred mode of transportation you choose, it’s all about the journey. Here are our six ideas for a travel adventure.
If you love cruises, you may be tempted to raise the stakes after missing out for the past couple of years. The good news is you won’t be short of opportunities. A new fleet of ships includes the ultra-luxurious Celebrity Beyond, boasting a restaurant helmed by top chef Daniel Boulud and menus by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher. Silversea’s Silver Moon, a smaller ship, offers swanky, customizable suites and white-gloved butlers attending to your every need.
River cruises offer the chance to enjoy the scenery en route and immerse yourself in local culture with onboard lectures and performing arts. If you want to take your time easing into relaxation mode or simply cover more ground, you might want to consider a cruise of 30 days or longer. A once-in-a-lifetime voyage like Royal Caribbean’s 274-night Ultimate World Cruise offers the chance to see numerous iconic sights in a single voyage, from Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal to The Pyramids of Giza and stunning Norwegian fjords. World cruises tend to get booked up at least a year in advance, so what are you waiting for?
Pro tip: Crazy about musical theater? Travel from NYC to Southampton in the UK aboard the Queen Mary with entertainment devised by Broadway pianist and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Seth Rudetsky.
Riding the Rails
Can’t decide between a romantic river cruise and a scenic train voyage? Designed for active travelers, Smithsonian Journeys’ Great European Journey delivers the best of both worlds. You’ll snake through the Swiss Alps on lofty railways like the Glacier Express before gliding along the Rhine, visiting centuries-old castles and other historic highlights along the way.
If you missed out on a Eurail adventure during your college days, it’s not too late to experience a European Grand Tour, minus the backpack. Seniors get 10% off flexible rail passes that make it easy to visit multiple destinations and avoid the hassles of flying. Follow the recommended European Highlights Itinerary to visit cultural capitals including Paris, Prague and Rome, or craft your own.
Pro tip: When considering which Eurail pass to buy, think about how many destinations you want to visit in a specific time frame. For example, opt for four days of travel in a month ($325 for over-60s) if you want to visit a handful of destinations and plan to stay about a week in each place. Ready to stay and see more? Choose the unlimited train travel pass ($650) and you can visit 14-16 destinations over a two-month period with 15 days of unlimited train travel.
Take a Walking Tour
Upscale “slow” tour company Butterfield & Robinson offers a range of walking and cycling itineraries in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Imagine pedaling a motor-assisted e-bike through lush Tuscan wine country, stopping for tastings and gourmet meals, on a guided Tuscany tour. In Japan, you can discover rustic villages, hot springs, and ancient temples with a classic guided walking tour.
The “inn-to-inn” vacation concept has become popular in the US, though longer distances can make it more challenging. If you’re fit enough to tackle walks of 7-13 miles per day, the Vermont Inn to Inn Walking Tour has devised a self-guided circular route between four traditional New England lodgings. Amble through forest, farmland, and delightful southern Vermont towns like Weston and Chester. Dinner, and your bags, will be waiting at your inn each evening. Don’t feel like hiking? You can choose to drive to each of the inns and take shorter local strolls near each one.
Pro tip: Be realistic. Choose your itinerary based on your physical fitness and the destination’s terrain. Many walking and cycling tour companies, including Butterfield & Robinson, let you search for trip ideas by activity level.
Hit the Road
If you enjoy the freedom and spontaneity of a road trip, New Jersey’s eight scenic byways are great options for getaways close to home. Have you seen the gorgeous coastal scenery on the Bayshore Heritage Scenic Byway? This byway stretches more than 100 miles along Delaware Bay from Mannington Township to Cape May, passing protected wetlands, picturesque villages, and lighthouses. You can introduce your grandchildren to an ecosystem unique to our state on the 130-mile Pine Barrens Scenic Byway. The Pine Barrens byway runs through Pinelands National Reserve, home to forests, swamps, plains, rivers and savannahs. You and the grands can hike, bike, kayak or camp in this national reserve.
Pro tip: Take one of several “spurs” off the Bayshore Heritage Scenic Byway to visit bird-watching hot spots like Bayside Tract, where you might spot a bald eagle.
While you’re out enjoying New Jersey and our beautiful scenery this month, make plans to join us for lunch in Livingston to learn more about how Fellowship Freedom Plans can provide the support you need to keep living an active and independent life. Want to know more? Call us at 908-580-3850 to reserve your seat. We’d love to meet you and swap travel adventure stories with you.