Solo travel is often seen as an adventure only meant for younger travelers. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Solo travel for over 60s is still a viable option, and can sometimes be more rewarding than traveling in your younger years. If you travel according to your own interests and strengths, then you are sure to have just as much fun as the young guns. So, don’t let your age hold you back. If you are considering traveling alone as a senior, then take a look at these tips below.
Should I Travel Alone as a Senior?
If you are healthy and independent, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t travel alone as a senior. Solo travel can be very rewarding, even for someone over the age of 60. There are plenty of tour groups, resorts, and travel agencies that make traveling as a senior as easy as ever.
The seven tips below will provide insight into how you can have a successful solo trip, even when you’re over 60 years old.
1. Join a Travel Group
Joining a travel group is one of the best ways for over 60s to experience a new culture. You won’t have to deal with the headache of creating an itinerary, budgeting, and planning transportation. There are plenty of travel groups that are curated directly for seniors, so you will be surrounded by people in your age group. This is a great way to meet new friends and remove some of the headaches that usually come with solo travel. Read this article to take a look at some of the best Senior friendly travel groups.
The only downside of tour groups is that you don’t have much of a say over what activities you are doing each day, or even what meals you are eating. Some tour groups do allow for free time to roam on your own, but even then there isn’t much time to be alone, and you won’t really feel in control of your trip. But for some people, surrendering the burden of planning and budgeting is a worthy trade off.
2. Choose a Relaxing Destination
If you decide that a tour group isn’t for you, then it will be your responsibility to pick a destination that suits your travel style. Rather than visiting a crowded city, consider visiting a small coastal town or a mountain village. Places like these will give you a taste of the country’s culture without the stressful buzz of a big city. They are also easier to navigate due to their small size. While you may still want to experience some of the world’s more renowned locations, it’s still smart to work some smaller towns into your itinerary.
3. Take it Slow
The best thing about traveling on your own is that you can travel at whatever speed you like. You won’t have to curate your itinerary towards anyone else, so you can do whatever and see whatever you want. With this in mind, I definitely recommend you take your time when traveling. Moving around a lot will allow you to see more, but it will tire you out tremendously fast. If you are embarking on a longer trip, then your battery will surely be drained by the end of it. Spend more time at each destination, and don’t plan to see more than a couple attractions per day. I’m not saying to move at a snail’s pace, just don’t over do it.
When I went on my first solo trip, I tried to pack in as many destinations as possible. I went to 6 countries and 8 cities, and was completely worn out by the end. While I enjoyed my time traveling, I would definitely have taken my time if I could go back and do it again. The thing about over packing your schedule is, you actually end up seeing less. You spend more time on planes, trains, and buses then actually enjoying your destination. So take it from me, it’s much better to take your time.
4. Get a Discount
Many airlines, hotels, and attractions offer discounts for seniors. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines all offer various discounts for travelers who are 65 and older. If you have an AARP membership, you could save up to 200 dollars through British Airlines, and receive countless benefits from participating resorts and hotels. To find some of the best deals for senior travelers, take a look at this article.
When I was traveling in college, I took advantage of every student discount I could get my hands on, and it really helped drive down the price of my trip. While I’m not yet old enough to utilize senior discounts, it’s clear to see how much they can help you budget your trip.
5. Keep Your Itinerary Simple
If you want to visit more than one destination during your trip, it’s important not do over do it. Rather than planning a convoluted itinerary that spans several countries and cities, consider toning down your travel plans. If you’re traveling to Europe, stick to one region of the country. London, Paris and Amsterdam are cultural hubs that are located within a shouting distance of each other, which makes this a perfect itinerary for a short trip to Europe. If you’re traveling in the United States, stick to one region of the country, like New England, the Golden Coast, or the Rocky Mountains. If you’re traveling somewhere else in the world, take a similar approach.
The moment things get over complicated is typically the moment we start to feel overwhelmed. The good news is: you’re traveling alone. If you think your itinerary is too complex then it’s never too late to tone it down. Nobody can tell you otherwise.
6. Keep In Touch With Loved Ones While You’re Away
It’s always a good idea to keep in touch while you’re traveling. It will help eliminate loneliness, since you are making the effort to share your experience with others. More importantly, informing friends and family of your travel plans will help keep you safe. Traveling alone is a serious endeavor, so make sure people understand where you are going and how long you will be there for. And don’t forget to send them regular updates so they can know if anything about your trip changes. If something unfortunate were to happen, it’s always best for people to know of your whereabouts.
7. Stay Positive
When you’re traveling alone in a new place, it’s easy for things to go wrong. No matter what happens, make sure you keep a positive attitude for the duration of your trip. Solo travel is an event that some people never experience. It can be highly rewarding, but only if you maintain a positive attitude and remain calm when things go wrong. Minor hiccups are bound to happen, but are just part of the experience. Keep yourself busy, and enjoy every minute of your trip. It’s much easier to think negatively when you’re trapped in your hotel room, so make sure you get out and explore. Don’t let minor issues ruin your trip, stay positive!