Senior Travel Abroad
The Guide for Mature Travelers
Explore Senior Travel Abroad Options
With retirement becoming a reality for more and more people worldwide turning 60, their unique interests, styles, and directions are expanding compared to senior travelers from earlier decades. On average, 21st-century seniors, having more disposable income, are dedicating more time and money to travel, demanding measurable value for what they spend. Seniors dream up ever more adventurous and meaningful journeys, and there are more independent travel options, tours, and volunteer programs to satisfy their wanderlust.
With a mission to be more "in control," many seniors are turning to customized travel, often in small groups or even as individuals, rather than more extensive scheduled tours, preferring to do much personal research through the web while still constantly working with experts to plan a basic itinerary. Seniors also seek opportunities to build new friendships and revisit family connections through travel. More paths are opening up daily to encourage such unique desires and goals.
Mature men and women—particularly women—are more than ever pursuing cultural and adventure vacations with a strong learning and volunteer service focus. Such a trend is ideally in line with Transition Abroad's idea based upon our experience that the desire to learn and to travel in purposeful and pleasurable ways is a lifelong pursuit.
"About four in ten travelers 50-plus expressed an intent to travel internationally," according to AARP. "Travel remains the top priority for discretionary income among travelers 50-plus," ranking first by far. Worldwide, senior travelers are becoming the "new backpackers" in travel in terms of numbers and often have far more disposable income to enable them to do so. For many, travel opens up new perspectives never ends, and living abroad for millions is rapidly becoming the ultimate goal.
Senior Travel Articles
Gardner on Alternative Senior Travel
We are proud to to have Alison Gardner as
the Senior Travel editor for Transitions
Abroad. She is host of the most thoughtful
and inspiring website for the mature traveler
currently on the web,
where she offers her views on the many exciting
alternative travel possibilities abroad for
seniors. Alison personally describes trends
and selects her favorite sources for such
information, while providing many adventurous, inspiring, and informative articles.
50 and Volunteering Overseas by
Well over 50 and still volunteering overseas,
John describes his vast and unusual experience.
He offers seniors and volunteers of all ages
advice and accumulated resources John joined
the Peace Corps in 1991 at age 56 to make
Senior Travelers by Rick
Key tips and skills to help mature travelers make the
most in every way out of their next vacation
Vacations: Seniors Have a Different Agenda by Alison Gardner
The unique characteristics
of the volunteer vacations selected by seniors, including a
discussion the many programs available for this form
of immersion travel abroad.
Travel as a Senior by Dorothy
A senior describes
her many adventurous travels around the globe,
sharing some of her many memories and offering key observations and tips from her trips.
Air Ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey by
trip of her hot air balloon over the volcanic landscapes
and stone-house communities in Cappadocia, Turkey.
Alison also provides resources for ballooning in beautiful
locations around the world.
Small Group Tour Visiting the Berbers
of Morocco by Sarah Massey
An unforgettable senior group adventure
tour in Morocco where the author had a
chance to meet and interact with the Berbers
in villages and in their more remote communities.
Volunteering in Cuba: Forming Friendships, Building Bridges, and Helping Our Neighbors by Lynn Lotkowictz
A participant in a group volunteer program in Cuba via Global Volunteers, an organization that includes many seniors in its groups, describes her experience, which was so powerful and positive she concludes that she must return.
Vacations Offer a Grassroots Taste of Europe by
Some of the best options for a canal and
river barging vacation that allows time for cultural
exploration at a slow pace.
to Love (Senior) Voluntourists by Alison Gardner
Alison elaborates on her 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.
Adventures to Remember in Costa Rica by Lies Ouwerkerk
An illustrated series of adventures on small group tours with a teen during a visit to Costa Rica, where wildlife and natural beauty are abundant and the people hospitable and kind.
to a Jungle Lodge in Costa Rica: Indulge
in a Sustainable Adventure by
An adventure tour by a senior woman
on a great rafting river in Costa Rica where
the destination is a sustainable lodge down
Andaman Islands: Remote, Rare and Rustic by
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.
Traveling with Your College-Aged Granddaughter: A Successful and Memorable Trip to Europe Together by John Dwyer
Our Senior Volunteering editor strongly recommends traveling with your college-aged grandchildren. A trip with his granddaughter throughout Europe was a success and he provides tips based upon his experience.
Through Laos, At Last by
...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!
in the Slow Lane: Cycling as Seniors
Across One of Australia's Most Beautiful
Islands by Cherie Thiessen
An independent itinerary
senior travel vacation cycling with her partner across Tasmania
—one of the most beautiful islands in Australia.
Facts, Not Fiction: Cultural Tourism with Deep
Roots by Alison Gardner
the myths surrounding Transylvania are debunked as she takes a senior tour to the famous region of Romania with other Eldertrekkers.
Glimpses of Canada's Wild West Coast by
...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...
in Ecuador For "Grown Ups" with
Lead Adventures and Villa Tica Daycare by
From the capital, Quito, to the edge of Ecuador's
Amazon region, I shared a 6-hour car trip
with Daniel Fludgate, 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...
at Organic Farms in Italy with WWOOF at 59 by Venetia Sherson
Venetia draws upon her experience WWOOFing
in Italy—or performing volunteer work on organic
farms—to describe a unique worldwide organization
that accepts the participation of everyone from children
Senior Adventure Travel in
New Zealand by Charles P. Carlson
A retired college Professor describes
an adventurous trek with his wife though some of the most beautiful mountains
and landscapes of New Zealand.
Cycling in Puglia: Slow Travel
in an Unspoiled Region of Italy by
...the best way to see a place is to go slow
and to put yourself in the middle of it...
What better way to do it than by bike?
Homing in Europe
Tips, resources and links for
motor homing in Europe — a flexible travel mode
ideal for seniors and families that often results in meeting Europeans.
Vancouver Island by Alison Gardner
Exploring 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.
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.
Abroad from A-Z: A Perspective From an Experienced
Dorothy Conlon reflects upon her unique perspective
as a senior experienced in many volunteer projects,
who has seen trends come and go, and emphasizes the
underlying value to the local community and as meaningful
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 tours to cultural to volunteering.
Slovenia and Croatia by Alison Gardner
and Croatia with a group tour composed of 12 American and Canadian
friends, aged 55 to 75. She found lands of dazzling natural wonders and layered history
making for a rich cultural travel experience.
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
A senior tour group cycling through Quebec's beautiful
Laurentians proves to be a remarkable experience according
to Cherie Thiessen.
10 Tips to Explore Vienna on a Budget
Alison Gardner offers budget travel tips
and ideas for a visit to Vienna.
and Make Retirement Count
Volunteering as a senior with Global Service Corps
Jobs at International Schools for Newly Retired
Kathy Fritts describes everything you need to know
to start an adventurous career as a senior or after
Abroad with Elderly Parents
Experienced globetrotter Veronica Hackethal provides
practical tips and excellent advice on traveling abroad
with senior parents.
for the Young at Heart
Bill Hrick provides practical accommodation
tips for solo senior travel abroad on a 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
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.
Habeeb Salloum describes many wonderful
options for retirement in Mexico.
Arline K. Wills on considerations when opting
to travel alone.
Arline K. Wills offers advice and resources.
Seniors Traveling Abroad with the Extended Family
Arline K. Wills describes a trend where
two to three generations of families travel
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