If you’re travelling in your fifties and beyond you might have a few other considerations when it comes to where to go, or maybe you don’t! This blog should give you a few nuggets of inspiration, or check out the tips on whatstodo.in. But for now, let’s see what our panel of expert travel bloggers aged 50+ have to say about choosing where your travels will take you and how long to stay for…
Everywhere and for as long as you wish!
Doris Gallan @boomertravelling
“While traveling around the world between 2006 and 2008, we spent 3-4 days in any one location, but would often stay weeks or months in one country depending on its size. We stayed for approximately two months in Australia, Mexico, China and Brazil, but only a few weeks in most other countries. At the end of 26 months, we had visited 42 countries on six continents.
We usually went into a country with an idea of how long we’d stay, but knew that if we liked it we might stay longer, but if we didn’t we could leave earlier—unless, of course, we had flight reservations that weren’t easily changed. For example, we left Uruguay after only three days (it was pouring rain and there wasn’t much to do in Montevideo) and we only stayed in India six rather than eight weeks—we were tired of the constant struggle and the way women are treated.
On our second round-the-world trip, we stayed in Mexico nine months, in Costa Rica six months and China for a year. We’re about to leave for Vietnam to live there indefinitely. So we never know how long we’ll be staying somewhere… it always depends on what kind of trip we’re taking.
Spending two weeks in Antarctica was pretty amazing because the nature is so different than anywhere on Earth and so few people get to travel there. One day, we were surrounded by millions of penguins. On another, we followed a pod of whales in our small inflatable Zodiacs.
Walking around the Mount Everest Base Camp in November when the wind was blowing so hard it was hard to stand up was nuts and fun—again because it’s one of those rare things so few people get to do. And then riding all kinds of animals was pretty funky: camels, donkeys, elephants, yaks, pretty well anything with four legs.”
Take it slow, to start
Donna Hull @myitchytravelfeet
“If you’re a boomer who isn’t confident with traveling the world independently, ease into it by taking a group tour (the smaller the better). Next time, you’ll feel more comfortable going on your own. Most importantly, read our blog. It will inspire you to get up off the couch and go.”
Do your research, and adapt
Wayne Dunlap @wdunlap
“We do a lot of research before we take off so we have been pretty lucky in having most places have something special. With so many wonderful places in the world with such diversity of customs, food, history, beliefs, and architecture, it is difficult to pick just one favorite. So here are some favorites – Italy with its amazing culture, beautiful cities, history, cuisine, and diverse scenery; the Greek Islands for the people, astounding beauty of the ocean and white architecture, winding stone streets of the old towns, trellis-covered tavernas, and food; New Zealand with the amazing beauty and laid-back people; and Thailand for its warm people of Buddhist faith, amazing food, and architecture.
Travel is an adventure and a chance to enjoy yourself and learn more about yourself and other cultures. To get the full enjoyment of your experience you should embrace new ways of doing things, enjoy new foods, and appreciate people and beliefs different from what you already know. Try to understand and not judge the correctness compared to your beliefs. In doing so, you will learn more about yourself and adopt new attitudes that will enrich the rest of your life.
Look forward to changing your plans if something interesting comes along. We have been invited into people’s homes for dinner, teamed up with people we have met taking unexpected excursions, and taken other people’s suggestions – all creating an even better adventure than the one we had planned. Remember, it is a travel adventure.”
Wherever you feel comfortable
Barbara Weibel @holeinthedonut
“To quote Nike, just do it. I also realise that many people, especially single women, have a certain amount of fear about solo travel, so I want people to understand that I’m not suggesting they travel without concrete plans or reservations like I do. Begin with the type and manner of travel that makes you most comfortable. If that is means organized tours, so be it. The more you travel, the easier it gets.”
Know your limits
Evelyn Hannon @journeywoman
“I’ve always had a homebase. The longest stretch I’ve been on the road is four months, the longest I’ve been at sea is three months. And no matter who I meet or what I’ve seen I still believe that there is no place like home. Now, at 72, I accept one assignment every three months and then come back to the Journeywoman office to write about my adventures.”
And book a comfy and luxurious hostel
“Hostels and cheap hotels like Hostal Villa Toscana in Guatemala city have all the comforts you need. You can get private rooms with cable TV, Wi-Fi and en suite bathrooms if you want some privacy. Most of our hostels also have fully equipped kitchens and often chill out rooms too.
If you’re a bit apprehensive about hostels take a look at these 50 Gorgeous Hostels for Design Lovers, and then try and tell me hostels aren’t your thing!”
Thanks to Benoit Mahe, kevgibbo, Liam Q, Bookabee Tours Australia www.bookabee.com.au, jeeheon, eGuide Travel for the excellent images from Flickr. Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.