So you’ve finally retired. Congratulations! You put in the work, saved up your money, and the day has finally come when you don’t have to put those work slacks on ever again. Ah, freedom.
But… what now?
With all that free time, you’re probably itching for an adventure or two. And you definitely deserve it. Take advantage of your new-found liberation and start planning your next life-changing vacation to somewhere exotic or just a place you’ve always wanted to go. We’ve made it easy for you: just check out these five best retirement trips, put together with you in mind.
1. The classic: A cruise
If you’ve got a hefty chunk of savings and want a luxury, first-rate experience, you should pack your bags and board a cruise ship. Check out Holland America Cruises if you want to watch top-notch, live music performances nightly, eat some of best cuisine prepared onboard, and relax in a therapeutic spa room complete with a heated ceramic lounge.
Holland America is also concerned with its accessibility, offering wheelchair-friendly rooms and resources for the hearing or sight-impaired. You’ll have staff who are in tune with your needs, and a calendar of activities to keep you occupied all day long.
Always wanted to take a cooking course and never got around to it? They’ve got one. Or perhaps you’re interested in learning how to edit all those travel photos on your computer. Yep, they’ve got a class for that, too!
Taking a cruise means you’ll experience all of these unique, indulgent activities, while also getting to visit a new country or city along the way.
2. All-American road trip
This one is for those of you who enjoy a wide-open road, good music on the radio, and no schedule of activities to adhere to. Since you’re the one in the driver’s seat, you get to choose where you want to go and how long it takes you to get there. That’s the beauty of road trips; there is all the room in the world for spontaneity.
If you’re struggling to get started, however, the Travel Channel has got you covered with a list of some of the most popular road trip routes through the U.S. Find the scenery that calls to you most— desert plains? Forest mountains? Salty coastlines?— and hit the road!
You’ll get to see those famous landmarks you always wanted to see, and enjoy some long-awaited time to yourself (or with your loved one).
3. Travel via train
If you want to see what the United States has to offer, but don’t like the idea of driving yourself, don’t underestimate the potential of a road trip via train.
Vacations by Rail offers a variety of vacations including 13-day trips through national parks, a two-week getaway into the West, sightseeing in New England’s fall season, and more. You don’t have to worry about filling the gas tank or staying awake at the wheel, and the tracks will take you through parts of the U.S. that aren’t often traversed by humans.
If seeing the U.S. isn’t exciting you, they’ve also got trips through Europe, Canada, Asia, Australia, and more!
4. The African safari
Retirement is no a small matter; it’s the beginning of a new era in your life and should be adequately marked as such. What better way to do that than travel to one of the wildest, vibrant places on Earth? Think big, and think African Safari tours.
The wonder of the Safari is in its incredible wildlife, and you will find tours to see gorillas, elephants, giraffes, lions, tigers and every animal you can think of, all in their natural habitat. Unlike at a zoo, these animals are free and as wild as they were meant to be, and witnessing them in this setting is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
So check out National Geographic’s top Safari tours here, and make unforgettable memories.
5. Long-Term Vacationing
For some retirees, it’s not so easy to travel and get around. Perhaps you have health concerns that limit you, or you really just don’t want to hop from place to place, overloading your senses and exhausting your brain.
If this is you, consider a different approach to travel. You don’t have to fly to Africa or board a ship to see new places.
Instead, consider booking a long-term vacation at a city or destination you’ve always wanted to see. The keyword here is long-term. Give yourself enough time that you won’t feel pressured to get out and about each day. Let yourself explore slowly, get yourself set up where you’re staying, and get to know the way of life there.
Don’t want to shell out for 40 nights at a hotel? Try Workaway. Here you can find businesses and families all over the world that are searching for volunteers in exchange for a free room to sleep in. This could mean doing some receptionist work at a hotel, teaching English to a family’s kids, or helping a small business with their marketing strategy. Usually, they want people who can stay for a minimum of one week, and a maximum of multiple months!
As a retiree, you’ve definitely got some knowledge that could be useful to other people. So why not use it? You’ll save on rooming costs and get to know real, local people in the city of your choice.
These are our 5 best retirement trips, so pick your favorite and get to planning!