You've seen lots of changes over the decades, and now you want to see some of the world. Retirement travel can be different from the vacations you took when you were younger. Back then, you were boxed in by work and children's school schedules and making sure the kids had a good time on your trips. These days, your vacations can be on your own terms and completely focused on your interests.
But that doesn't necessarily mean you want to travel alone. Travel clubs for retirees offer the opportunity to share your vacation adventures with similarly aged, like-minded adults. There are some definite benefits -- friendship, safety in numbers and potential discounts for groups. Plus, you can split the planning duties and let someone else do the driving!
There are all kinds of travel clubs, so keep reading for tips on finding one that's right for you.
Tips for Choosing the Right Retiree Travel Club
Your first consideration for choosing a travel club is -- you! Grab a piece of paper and start listing your must-haves and can't-stands. Think about things like:
- Destination and Interests: Do you want to visit a particular place or pursue a hobby, like bird watching?
- Age and Activity Level: Do high-adventure or health and fitness vacations appeal to you, or do you prefer easy-to-access sites like museums and theaters?
- Travel Style: How far and frequently do you want to travel, and how long do you want your vacations to last?
- Mode of Transportation: Do you prefer cruise ships, bus tours, RV camps, trains, motorcycles or cars? Do you want to experience several different modes of transportation?
- Travel Club Type: Do you want a club that provides all-inclusive vacation plans or a looser organization in which the members share responsibilities for planning and have free time for spontaneous activities?
- Language and Translation Services: Do you speak more than one language? If so, do you want a club whose members do, too? Do you want to travel to countries where you can speak all your languages? Do you want a club that will provide translation services if you travel to places where you don't know the language?
Once you identify your travel priorities, click to the next page to see where to look for travel clubs.
Where to Look for Retiree Travel Clubs
Travel clubs for retirees are all around. Nearby churches and your city or county active adult center are great places to start looking for one you'll like. An online search of "retiree travel clubs" will introduce you to some interesting, all-inclusive clubs like Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), Smithsonian Journeys and ElderTreks. If you add the name of your state or city to that search, you'll find local groups that often have regular members and run their own show. You can also look for travel clubs on social networks like Facebook and Meetup.
If you don't find one you like, think about starting your own travel club! With today's technology tools and these tips, it's easy to get started:
- Start small and initially limit the club to friends and relatives.
- Use trip planners available through many cities' and states' convention and visitors bureau Web sites.
- Test your planning skills and group cohesion with some short trips.
- Besser, Kyle. "Are Senior Travel Groups for You?" Senior Citizens Resources. (May 18, 2011)http://seniorcitizensnet.com/travels/permalink.php?article=Are+Senior+Travel+Groups+For+You.txt
- Besser, Kyle. "Benefits of Joining a Senior Travel Club." Senior Citizens Resources. (May 18, 2011)http://seniorcitizensnet.com/travels/senior-travel-clubs.php
- Cirelli, Cheryl. "Senior Travel." Love to Know. (May 18, 2011)http://seniors.lovetoknow.com/Senior_Travel
- Gregory, Jennifer. "The Top 5 Travel Tour Groups for Seniors." Rates to Go. Sept. 12, 2008. (May 18, 2011)http://blog.ratestogo.com/senior-tours/
- Road Scholar. "Who Are Road Scholar Participants?" (May 18, 2011)http://www.roadscholar.org/about/meet_the_participants.asp
- Weisbaum, Herb. "Membership doesn't always have its privileges." MSNBC. May 7, 2008. (May 18, 2011)http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24506778/ns/business-consumer_news/t/membership-doesnt-always-have-its-privileges/