It’s estimated that by 2030, one in six people in the world will be aged 60 or more and being a member of that “advanced age” doesn’t stop one’s desire to travel. In fact - it has increased. One survey found that 62 percent of people over 50 years old will take at least one leisure trip in a year, with most planning multiple trips.
Bespoke Bookings Co. takes pride in taking the guesswork out of senior traveling planning by sharing the best vacation destinations, activities and accommodations for those over 50 and/or with limited mobility.
Before we begin with the trip tips, we always encourage travelers and clients alike to protect their investments with travel insurance. You can easily get a quote of coverage here.
Notice: Aligned Adventures LLC/ DBA Bespoke Bookings is not a licensed insurance agent. We can however connect you with insurance providers and allow them to produce quotes and information to share with you directly. All questions about coverage, claims, etc., should be directed to the insurance provider.
If you or the senior in your life prefer to travel around the states, know that there are plenty of domestic destinations that offer that “home away from home” feeling - perfect for a relaxing and safe vacation!
Visiting the nation’s capital is sure to be an educational and enlightening trip. The city and its attractions are quite easily accessible so that you can explore almost anywhere. Plus, it's been rated as one of the most accessible cities in the U.S. by Wheelchair Travel.
Skip driving and fighting for traffic spots and instead take the MetroRail, the city’s public transportation system that can get you anywhere you want to go. Stations and trains are accessible for wheelchairs, walkers, and other devices. If you do decide to drive, Washington, D.C. recognizes disability car tags from all states and anyone with a tag can park in designated spaces or in any space for double the amount of time.
You can also find companies that will rent motorized scooters throughout the city, delivering to your location and allowing you to keep them for days at a time. If you find that walking through the museums and grounds is simply too much, consider renting a motorized scooter so that you can see it all without exhausting yourself.
Boston is packed with fun things to do and plenty of historic spots to explore with ease for senior citizens and their family members. The city is considered very accessible, including its public transportation bus system and the “T”, which is the rail system. In addition, museums and other historic buildings include ramps and accessible entrances.
Spend time following the marked Freedom Trail as it takes you to places where our nation began. Not ready to walk the whole way? Use ride share, a taxi, or a tour to still see the spots but without all the walking.
There are many wheelchair accessible restaurants and bakeries throughout the city, most of which are completely accessible. You’ll also find accessible seating and entrances at all the venues, including the historic Fenway Park.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is an amazing destination to consider for senior travel. Whether you love shopping, dining, gazing up at the cypress trees, or watching a beach sunset, you can find it all in Charleston, South Carolina. The city is quite accessible allowing those to easily get around no matter your mobility needs.
Folly Beach, just outside of Charleston, is considered one of the area’s most wheelchair accessible beaches. You’ll find accessible bathrooms and changing rooms, as well as an accessible beach path that can take you safely near the water.
In Charleston proper, you can find ghost tours, harbor tours, dining tours, and church tours. When Bespoke Bookings Co. handles your travel planning we are diligent with the details and will double check with the tour company to ensure it is accessible for your needs or challenges.
For consistently warm weather you can’t beat the state of Florida and while soaking up the sun is always an option, more and more companies and resorts are catering to active retirees and senior citizens with mobility issues.
Whether you're going with grandkids or just young at heart, consider DisneyWorld or Universal Studios. Both have extensive accessibility programs including the option to rent wheelchairs or motorized scooters. DisneyWorld also offers wheelchair accessible buses to transfer from hotels to the park.
More of a beach lover? Florida features wheelchair accessible beaches throughout the state including Clearwater Beach, Pensacola Beach, Hollywood Beach and Miami Beach. Prefer to learn about local history during a tour? Look for guided trolley or bus tours that are accessible, such as the hop-on-hop-off trolly tour in St. Augustine.
Branson has become one of the most popular vacation destinations for senior citizens and a favored location among travel groups for single seniors, especially if you’re active and enjoy outdoor activities. Here you can enjoy golf, museums, shopping, live shows and music. Recently given the title “Live Music Show Capital of the World”, Branson is the best Las Vegas alternative for those with limited mobility. It is also much quieter and more affordable, and easier to get around.
You can find accessible attractions throughout Branson, including the Titanic Museum, the entertainment shows, and even the Top of the Rock trail. For the trail, you’ll just need to be able to transfer to a golf cart. The trail winds through pretty scenery before giving a majestic view of Table Rock Lake.
If you plan to camp while in Branson, you’ll find plenty of accessible campgrounds that are close to all of the action. Make sure you request an accessible campsite when booking so that you can safely move about the site in your wheelchair or with your mobility device.
Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon in central Arizona admits more seniors each year than any other park. One reason being the easy access of the Canyon Rim trail, which allows visitors to see the glories of the canyon while staying on a flat, paved walkway that runs all along the south rim.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Tens of thousands of seniors head into the Rockies to enjoy the lakes and mountains of this striking park every year. In addition to coming for the breathtaking views and scenic landscapes, many choose to visit in fall to find the park filled with elk. Keep in mind that if you or your loved ones have any respiratory ailments, the altitude in the heart of the park is almost 8,000 feet, which means there's far less oxygen available than at sea level.
Who says you can’t go across the ocean after a certain age? If you want your next vacation destination to be international, don’t let any possible mobility issues or setbacks deter you! There are a few international destinations that actually already have their senior visitors in mind, thus taking a lot of the guesswork out of your future trip.
Antigua beaches or Barbados experiences just scratch the surface of what you have to look forward to in The Caribbean. With the right planning, traveling to The Caribbean can be remarkably affordable, and many resorts there are ADA accessible and are geared towards relaxation and ease.
This is a great international destination for you or the seniors in your life if the main purpose of this vacation is rest and rejuvenation. Check out beachside resorts that offer free airport transportation to start!
Gorgeous architectural feats, stunning historical structures, and cozy, charming dining experiences line the Danube and Rhine Rivers in Central Europe. Germany, Austria, and Hungary are fantastic international destinations for seniors because of the vast amount of things to do that aren’t strenuous or taxing.
River cruises are very popular in this part of Europe, too, and allow their passengers to see many parts of these beautiful countries in just a few short days. If you’re looking for an experience that is safe, easy to plan, and won’t take longer than a few days to make some memories, any of these three countries is the way to go.
We know what you’re thinking: “Machu Picchu? Isn’t that a long hike?” Most famous for its strenuous hike, the hidden town of Machu Picchu in Peru’s Andes Mountains actually has multiple modes of transportation. For the seniors in your life who have always wanted to see Machu Picchu, be sure to tell them about the scenic train ride from the town of Cusco, winding through the lush countryside of Peru, and finally ending at this world-famous ancient ruin.
This is a great way to see the unseen parts of Peru, all from a safe and comfortable ADA-compliant passenger train. You won’t want to forget your cameras for this experience.
Lastly, if you or your senior travel buddy want to go full “Eat, Pray, Love” for this trip, Thailand is still an option! This is a great choice if you’re on a budget because the U.S. Dollar goes a long way there. Rick-shaw rides to gondola tours, you’ll have a chance to see floating cities, eat authentic Thai food, and see buildings that have been around for centuries.
To cure your craving for an exotic adventure, spend a few days in Bangkok! You’d be surprised to find how affordable it is to book day tours and even collect memorabilia from their world famous markets.
Top Cruises For Senior Travel
Cruises seem to be tailor-made for seniors who love to travel because they tend to be all-inclusive and super ADA-compliant. From the time you book your cruise to your final dock, everything is taken care of, including on-deck transport.
It’s important to note that some cruises are more geared towards kids, families, and even young adults. If you want to avoid loud party cruises, focus on booking with cruise lines like Regent Cruises, Viking Cruises, and Holland America.
Even consider booking your cruise through AARP’s special cruise deals! You’ll be ensured a quiet, luxurious cruise and may meet other travel-hungry seniors on board.
Of course, nothing beats a sunny cruise to the Bahamas. Most of these cruises leave out of ports like Miami or Tampa, Florida and sometimes Galveston, Texas. Be on the lookout for senior deals and book with any of the companies we mentioned above to ensure you don’t end up on a cruise full of partiers!
An Alaskan cruise will give you a different perspective of what a cruise could be! Trade a hot beach for a cozy, cool-aired expedition to the North, and catch views of endangered wildlife along the way like orca whales, beluga whales, penguins, and seals! You’ll also see landscapes you can’t find anywhere else; acres of the world’s tallest pine trees, snow capped mountains, and icy rivers deliver unforgettable views.
These cruises usually leave from ports in California and Washington, so this is a great cruise option if you live on the west coast and don’t want to trek too far from home.
Tips For Traveling With Disabilities
There are travel sites such as Wheelchair Travel Worldwide Resources that can help you research traveling in different parts of the world with a wheelchair. These are our tried-and-true tips to follow through with when planning a senior travel vacation to avoid stress upon arrival.
- Call the hotel a week before your trip to tell them more about your accessibility needs and to double check that you’re in an accessible room.
- Be sure you’re traveling with your prescription and over-the-counter medications. If possible, pack more than you’ll need in case your trip lasts longer than expected due to travel delays.
- If you’re flying, call your airline prior to booking and before you depart for the airport to ensure that the airline can support any mobility challenges. They may be able to arrange appropriate transportation, like a golf cart, to pick you up from your gate and take you to baggage claim as needed.
- Work with your hotel’s concierge if you want to make sure a concert, restaurant, or other venue is accessible before you go.
- If you’re taking taxis or rideshares while on vacation, make sure you note to your driver of your mobility needs, if any, when you request the service. As long as you can safely transfer into the car, you should be just fine. Your driver will likely be happy to fold up your chair and stow it in the back but they might need some instruction with folding a walker.
Want to have your trip planned by a team of professionals, complete a trip inquiry form and let us handle the rest!