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Travel with a Challenge: Site for Senior Travelers
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The Senior Travel Guide

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Ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey
Deep valley ballooning in Cappadocia. Photo by Kapadokya Balloons Goreme


As retirement becomes a reality for the first decade of baby boomers turning sixty, their signature interests and styles are expanding in directions of which earlier decades of senior travelers only dreamed. Twenty-first century boomers are dedicating more money to travel despite the increasing challenges of doing so, but they still demand measurable value for what they spend. With a mission to be more “in control,” many are turning to customized travel rather than set-scheduled tours, preferring to do a lot of personal research, mainly via the Internet, while still working with experts to plan a basic itinerary. Details that address their particular interests and pace of travel are negotiable in order to deliver quality not quantity around every destination. Boomers are also looking for opportunities to build family and friend connections through travel, and more avenues are opening up to encourage that goal.

Older men and women—most particularly women—continue to pursue active, adventurous vacations with a strong learning and service focus. People over 50 make up the vast majority of travelers worldwide with many measuring their travel satisfaction by newly acquired skills, significant stimulation of the little gray cells, and, yes, even proudly worn calluses, blisters, and bruises.

While recognizing that the following recommendations represent only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, they have been selected, with these alternative travel themes in mind, as examples to stimulate personal research. In no other age group is it more important for individuals to realistically define their travel goals and limitations, then ask lots of questions and carefully review the feedback before making travel decisions.

Each recommendation in the Best Senior-Friendly Resource List above has been carefully considered. A high priority has been given to the needs and interests of older travelers with a global perspective. Feedback about these listings and personal recommendations for additional listings under each heading is always welcome. —Alison Gardner, Senior Travel Editor for Transitions Abroad


 Featured Senior Travel Articles
Alison Gardner, Senior Travel Editor Alison Gardner on Alternative Travel: An Interview
We are proud to announce our Senior Travel editor for Transitions Abroad. She is host of the most thoughtful and inspiring website for the mature traveler currently on the web, www.travelwithachallenge.com, and offers her views on the many exciting alternative travel possibilities abroad for seniors. Alison personally describes the trends and selects her favorite sources for such information—as in this interview by editor-in-chief Dr. Clay Hubbs—while providing many articles touching on all facets of travel. Alison's adventures generally transcend age but still take the unique needs of the mature traveler into account.
Savvy Senior Travelers
Rick Steves describes the skills and tips to help the senior traveler make the most out of their next vacation to Europe, while providing key senior travel resources.
Senior Group Travel in Morocco
Sarah Massey describes her unforgettable small group travel experience in Morocco as a senior where she had a chance to meet the Berbers.
Travel India's Andaman Islands India’s Andaman Islands: Remote, Rare and Rustic by Alison Gardner
Alison and her husband embark on a voyage to India's Andaman islands, a respite from their busy life in Kolkata. The trip is illustrated and reveals very beautiful islands and lands, an extremely rich and ancient cultural history, along with an unexpected adventure.
Volunteer at day-care in Ecuador Volunteering in Ecuador For "Grown Ups" with Lead Adventures and Villa Tica Daycare
From the capital, Quito, to the edge of Ecuador's Amazon region, I shared a 6-hour car trip with Daniel Fludgate, an inspiring British police officer who dedicates a month's holiday each year to volunteering in some part of the world. For his vacation, he had chosen a wild animal rescue center run by an Ecuadorian family. On an entirely different mission, I was roaming the country to research a variety of volunteer opportunities, particularly those suitable for independent adult travelers from about 35 years to senior-hood...
Travel in BC, Canada Intimate Glimpses of Canada's Wild West Coast by Alison Gardner, Senior Travel Editor
...Mothership Adventures caught my attention with a five-day small-ship cruise that combines an abundance of nature and rugged scenery with opportunities to learn about the rich Aboriginal history and present day culture. An Elder from the First Nations (native) community of Alert Bay cruised with our group, most of whom pretty well fit the definition of elder in their own right. All were adventure travelers with cultural and educational curiosity...
Travel in Laos Traveling Through Laos, At Last by Sheila Signer
...There is plenty to learn...about in Laos, but plenty also to enjoy. Now, with a government softening toward the foreign visitors, its people are finally getting their piece of the tourism pie. Go now, while most of the country retains its pastoral pace!
Seeing and Traveling Through Vietnam 30 Years Later
Karen Kaiser, now a more senior traveler, describes her experience returning to Vietnam 33 years later to explore beautiful regions she had not able to travel to previously.
Barging Vacations Offer a Grassroots Taste of Europe
Alison Gardner describes the options for a canal and river barging vacation which allows time for cultural exploration at a slow pace.
Volunteer Vacations: Seniors Have a Different Agenda
Alison Gardner describes the unique characteristics of the volunteer vacations selected by seniors, while discussing the many programs available for this form of immersion travel abroad.
Learning to Love Voluntourists
Alison Gardner offers an optimistic view on the nature and development of voluntourism and voluntourists—a term she coined in the 1990s—and discusses the growing role boomers have played in its development.
International Volunteering Over 50
John Dwyer describes his experience volunteering abroad starting at the age of 50 with the Peace Corps and continuing to this day. He offers advice and resources for more senior volunteers who wish to volunteer overseas, as he has done to this day in 14 countries.
Professional Services Volunteering Over 50
John Dwyer on the many volunteer opportunities and organizations for senior professional services experts who are not specialized in medicine and teaching.
Volunteering at Organic Farms in Italy with WWOOF at 59
Venetia Sherson draws upon her experience WWOOFing in Italy—or peforming volunteer work on organic farms—to describe a unique worlwide organization which accepts the participation of everyone from children to seniors.
Baby Boomers and International Volunteer Service
Ann McLaughlin describes a trend in which idealistic seniors are volunteering abroad by contributing their time and expertise even as there is exponential growth in international citizen organizations.
Volunteering Abroad from A-Z: A Perspective From an Experienced Senior
Dorothy Conlon reflects upon her unique perspective as a senior experienced in many volunteer projects, who has seen trends come and go, and empahasizes the underlying value to the local community and as meaningful experience.
Travel in Swaziland: The Joys of Plans Gone Awry
Dorothy Conlon on her voluntourism and travels within Swaziland, which did not go as planned, but proved more than fulfulling nonetheless.
Adventuring Abroad: An Experienced Senior Sees Travel as a 3-Course Feast
Dorothy Conlon reflects upon her unique perspective as a senior experienced in many types of adventure travels around the globe—from solo to group to cultural to volunteering.
Transylvania Facts, Not Fiction: Cultural Tourism with Deep Roots
Senior travel editor Alison Gardner debunks many of the myths surrounding Transylvania as she travels to the famous region of Romania with other Eldertrekkers.
Warren Rovetch: The Creaky Traveler
Warren Rovetch shares his extensive travel experience with Alison Gardner and offers advice for mobile senior travelers.
Vienna: Ten Tips for Exploring Austria's Capital with a Thin Wallet
Alison Gardner offers budget travel tips and ideas for a visit to Vienna.
Volunteer and Make Retirement Count
Volunteering as a senior with Global Service Corps in Tanzania.
Teaching Jobs at International Schools for Newley Retired Teachers
Kathy Fritts describes everything you need to know to start an adventurous career as a senior or after retirement.
Teach Abroad at Any Age: The Rewards of Working in Shanghai for a 60-Year-Old
Candace Dean describes and recommends her experience teaching schoolchildren as a senior while living in Shanghai, China.
Traveling Abroad with Elderly Parents
Experienced globetrotter Veronica Hackethal provides practical tips and excellent advice on traveling abroad with senior parents.
Hosteling for the Young at Heart
Bill Hrick provides practical accommodation tips for solo senior travel abroad on a budget.
Exploring Slovenia and Croatia
Alison Gardner decided to explore Slovenia and Croatia with a group of 12 American and Canadian friends, aged 55 to 75. She found the formerly war-torn countries suprisingly safe for senior travel, and both the dazzling natural wonders and layered history made for a rich cultural travel experience.
Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey
Alison Gardner describes her exhilarating trip in a hot air balloon over the volcanic landscapes and stone-house communities in Cappadocia, Turkey. She also provides resources for ballooning in beautiful locations around the world.
Tasmania in the Slow Lane: Cycling as Seniors Across One of Australia's Most Beautiful Islands
Cherie Thiessen describes an independent itinerary as a senior traveler cycling with her partner across Tasmania — one of the most beautiful islands in Australia.
Cycling Quebec's Laurentians
A senior tour group cycling through Quebec's beautiful Laurentians proves to be a remarkable experience according to Cherie Thiessen.
A Kiwi Adventure: Independent Senior Travel in New Zealand
Charles P. Carlson, a retired college Professor, describes an adventurous trek with his wife though the mountains of New Zealand.
Senior Budget Travel in Australia and New Zealand
Marilyn C. McDonald offers inside tips and advice for those who plan to travel in the land down under.
My Vancouver Island
Alison Gardner on the natural wonders of one of the most interesting islands in North America - a place of wild beauty which people of all ages, from children to seniors, can enjoy.
Painting in France 
Sarah Massey describes how she arranged her own painting program in France after retirement.
Retire and Learn French on the French Riviera 
Ferriel Brooks discovers as a senior in retirement that learning French when living in France transforms the expatriate experience.
Retirement in Mexico
Habeeb Salloum describes many wonderful options for retirement in Mexico.
Families Together: Seniors Take The Whole Gang Along
Arline K. Wills describes a trend where two to three generations of families are traveling together.
Seniors Travel Solo
Arline K. Wills on considerations when opting to travel alone.
Senior Budget Travel
Arline K. Wills offers advice and resources.
Italy on Your Own: Tips from a Senior
Don Bowling offers tips for staying safe and enjoying Italy based on his experience as a 72-year-old male in Florence.
Cross-Cultural Solutions: Volunteer AbroadTours for Seniors with French Escapade



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