Many of us come home from work, kick our shoes off, and drop on the couch in front of the television. We dream about the day we retire and can spend more time doing what we want rather than what we are told. We dream about traveling, seeing the world. Unfortunately, by the time we get to retire, many of us have so many aches and pains that about all we feel like doing is sitting on the couch watching television.
Group travel can be the answer. With many companies specializing in tours for seniors, such concerns as health, special diets, and accessibility are addressed as part of the package.
Group travel for senior citizens (in most cases defined as those 55 years of age and older) has become one of the largest segments of the group tourism industry. It is easy to understand why. Seniors have the time to travel and, in the case of those who have planned well for retirement, more disposable income.
Seniors also do not have to look far to find group travel offers. A good source, as with anything dealing with those age 50 and older, is the AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons. The organization not only offers packages of its own, it also works with a number of other tour companies that offer AARP discounts.
Special features of senior tours can include health insurance, transportation with wheelchair access, and tour leaders trained in caring for older persons. These tours also are scheduled at a slower pace, what one company calls “for mature travelers, slow walkers, wheelchair travelers, their families, and their friends.” These tours might not get to as many attractions, but travelers can be assured that the ones they get to will be accessible for those in wheelchairs or who need assistance getting up and down stairs.
Diet and exercise are less obvious needs of seniors that are taken into consideration by companies specializing in senior travel. These packages provide accommodations where seniors can prepare their own meals or do their own laundry, the idea being to make travel as much like home as possible. Other considerations include making sure accommodations are convenient to public transportation and provide elevator service for those who might have trouble walking or climbing stairs.
Still more specialized tour packages might include nurses in the traveling group or at least make provisions at the travel destination for travelers to have access to medical care if needed. The goal for senior travel is to allow seniors to see the world safely and with as little stress as possible.