Top vacation spots for retirees
Looking to take a vacation within the U.S. but still experience something new? Try Alaska.
“Demand has gone through the roof this year for Alaska,” said Jaxson Maurer, owner and operator of Expedia CruiseShipCenters in the Seattle area.
Described as “a magical wonder” by Maurer, Alaska can be a relaxing vacation destination for retirees — especially those who opt for an Alaskan cruise. “Guests can enjoy dinner while watching cascading waterfalls sail by, see massive glaciers come up around the corner, eagles soaring above head and whales popping up to say hello,” he said.
If you’re worried about cost, remember this tip from Maurer: “Look at value instead of cost. There is always something cheaper out there, but what will your experience be like?”
2. River cruises
If a voyage on the open sea sounds unappealing, consider a river cruise instead. River cruises are rising in popularity among retirees, said Maurer.
“The two most popular destinations are the Danube and the Rhine rivers in central Europe,” he said. And the best part about these types of cruises: You can view multiple destinations at once, just like with traditional sea cruises.
“Passengers can enjoy local wine and beer on board as they meander through the countryside of Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Hungary with castles, villages and vineyards passing by,” said Maurer.
3. The Caribbean
Whether you opt for a Southern Caribbean cruise or plan a trip to Cuba, “the Caribbean is always a hit for those interested in relaxing,” said Maurer. But, beware that Caribbean vacations are popular choices for everyone.
“The powder soft white sand and turquoise-blue water attracts people of all ages,” said Maurer. “So for retirees looking for a more peaceful experience, they should consider traveling to the Caribbean in May or September/October to avoid the crowds.”
Also, don’t wait until the last minute — book your Caribbean vacation early. “With the economy stronger now than it was a few years ago, the ‘last-minute deal’ is more and more becoming a thing of the past — especially in the cruise industry,” said Maurer. “Cruise lines are investing billions in new ships to keep up with demand, and they are looking to fill their ships fast and early.”
If the Caribbean is not high on your list, there’s always Hawaii.
“Hawaii (and the Caribbean) are easily accessible for North Americans, making it the ideal getaway for those who do not want to spend a full day in an airplane going half-way around the world to get to their destination,” said Maurer.
There are even Hawaiian cruise deals you can take advantage of. For example, the Expedia CruiseShipCenter is currently offering a six-night cruise starting as low as $599 this fall.
5. Williamsburg, Virginia
Whether you enjoy playing golf, going to museums or shopping, you can find a variety of fun things to do in Williamsburg. “Williamsburg and nearby Jamestown provide a wide range of price and activity levels for virtually every interest,” said Elizabeth Avery, founder of SoloTrekker4U, a travel deals site that caters to solo travelers.
From classic architecture to reenactments at Colonial Williamsburg, a vacation in this Virginia town could be an affordable option for you. “The price range for lodging is better than large urban areas, although tickets for events do add to costs,” said Avery.
To balance those costs, Avery recommended using transportation options that offer senior discounts — like trains — booking a room that comes with a kitchenette or fridge to save on food expenses and traveling “during the off-season or shoulder season when reduced tourist demands soften prices.”