While many seniors look forward to kicking back and relaxing during retirement, others are choosing to spend their spare time traveling.

Senior travel is growing by leaps and bounds as as the golden years for many mean golden opportunities to travel the U.S. and the world.

Whether you want to learn to shoot a spear with an African tribe or hit the high seas on a yacht, the travel world is welcoming the Over 50 explorer with open arms.

4 things you need to know about senior travel

1. Over 50 Travel Tours

Tours for the specifically Over 50 traveler are picking up in the U.S. and abroad. The nice thing about booking a senior travel tour is that the trip automatically takes into account health and fitness levels. It is also easier to make special accommodations along the way for lodging or transportation that may not be available on regular tours. Senior tours generally offer a more relaxed travel pace and tend to be more educational.

2. Kinds of trips

The sky is the limit for types of adventures and destinations, however, some types of tours are more popular than others. You will find lots of tour options for:

  • European tours – to places like Venice, Paris and London. Specialty tours for excursions like cooking classes in Italy or photography in Paris are easily arranged.
  • Cruises – You will find many cruises and cruise lines that cater to the senior traveler. Some companies even offer specific excursions for grandparents and their families to enjoy travel together. These specific tours, called Grandtravel, are structured to accommodate both the kids and seniors yet provide a great opportunity for several generations to connect with new experiences.
  • Small group adventure tours – visits to exotic locations provide small group experiences for participants like riding camels, yachting and archaeological digs.
  • U.S. road tips – There are some fun cross-country road trips that can be organized for couples or for small groups. It’s a fun and communal way to take in the best that the U.S. has to offer.

3. Benefits

  • Travel with tour guides that are trained to deal with the specific needs of seniors including medical emergencies
  • Travel with others your age
  • Tailor your trip to your fitness level and pace
  • You have more time to devote to travel

4. Things to consider

  • Be realistic about your energy and fitness levels -think about the conditions of the location and consider things like climate, terrain and types of transportation.
  • Discuss all physical requirements with your tour operator and your doctor before committing to the trip.
  • Medication needs- make sure you have enough medication for the length of your trip. Check your refill requirements with your insurance company. Since not all medications are allowed into all countries –or available in all countries–these details are important.
  • What kinds of specific accommodations do you need for lodging and travel? For example, a wheelchair, handicapped rooms, extra leg room on flights, etc.
  • What kinds of vaccinations will you need?
  • Invest in a second pair of glasses in case you lose the first pair.
  • If you have respiratory problems, be advised of destinations in high altitudes or that have high levels of pollution.
  • Dress conservatively. Keep the expensive jewelry and clothing at home to avoid becoming a target for thieves.
  • Carry a letter from your doctor on hand listing any medical conditions and necessary medication to treat them.
  • Keep medications in original containers.
  • Keep contact numbers for all credit cards and banks in your suitcase for quick access in case your purse or wallet is stolen.

If travel is on the horizon for your golden years, you will have no problem finding options that fit your lifestyle. Research companies that specialize in senior travel, get recommendations and get packing!