Once we say farewell to working for a living, we welcome the chance to take advantage of a life full of free time and flexibility. Having such an abundance downtime is refreshing… at first! Eventually, we realize too much downtime leaves us feeling restless or craving adventure.
If the world outside your door is calling your name, we’ve assembled a list of excursions with you in mind. From trips around town to long weekends with a group, here’s some inspiration to help you make the most of your hard-earned freedom.
Connect with art or nature
Whether you stay local or travel away from home, expand your horizons by checking out nearby museums. From culture and history to science and art, museums can become your classroom as you learn new things and experience new perspectives by participating in all they have to offer. If the outdoors is more your vibe, maximize your adventure by taking a scenic bus trip to one of the country’s 58 national parks.
Sail off on a cruise
It’s anchors aweigh for you -- and maybe a few friends. Discount websites like Groupon make it easier than ever to find affordable daytime or evening cruises within driving distance. If the open seas are calling your name, treat yourself to a multi-day cruise with activities and amenities chosen specifically for retirees.
Hit the road
Still have yet to get your kicks on Route 66? Is there a scenic drive you’ve always wanted to take? Or maybe there’s one you have yet to discover. Check out this list of scenic drives in all 50 states. Grab a map - or your smartphone - and plan an epic road trip to hit the spots on your retirement bucket list.
Pro Tip: Want to enjoy the ride there and then rush the trip back? Rent a car for the first leg of your trip and buy a one-way flight back home.
Stay Safe with These 5 Travel Tips
Whichever adventure you choose, follow these tips for smooth planning:
1. Do your research ahead of time
2. Hack your travel budget
Gift yourself a bargain getaway by watching low-fare calendars, searching for Groupon deals, comparing rewards programs and/or taking advantage of midweek/off-season rates. You’ll be jet-setting in no time! And once you’ve made your plans, don’t forget to ask about discounts that might apply – AAA, AARP, military… or even basic senior discounts! Be sure to take advantage of it all!
3. Reach out to a travel agent
In a world where many of us use online search tools for the best (and cheapest) travel options, sometimes it’s best to work with a pro! Travel agents provide you with the experience you desire at the budget you need.
4. Go with a travel group
It may be daunting to venture out to a national park or new city on your own. Recruit some old friends or join a travel group and go along for the ride with new friends.
5. Ask about accommodations
Having mobility or health challenges doesn’t preclude you from enjoying new experiences. Make sure to plan ahead to receive the assistance you’ll need. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about your concerns, and be sure to know who will be there to help you along your way.
There are many ways to explore the world, both near and far. And there are many creative ways to ensure your adventures are budget-friendly, mobility-friendly and senior-friendly. So, build yourself a first-rate bucket list and enjoying the best part: crossing each item off, one by one!