One of the top things people say they want to do when they retire is travel. Once the responsibilities of family and a rigid working schedule are gone, there is freedom to pursue adventures near and far. It is exciting to see new places and experience new people and foods. Living in a retirement community makes this even easier because you don’t have to worry about home when you’re gone.
Travel has so many options nowadays. If you are not an experienced traveler, you may not know what type of trip you would enjoy. Are you fearful to go out on your own or does that excite you? Do you like things all planned out or do you like to “go with the flow?” Are you uncomfortable standing out in a crowd or do you like being different? All these personality traits will be amplified when you travel so what kind of trip you choose will matter.
One of the easiest ways to start traveling is by booking a cruise. Many people enjoy cruises because it is like a moving resort. You get to see different places, but don’t have to pack up your suitcase to continually move on. It is mostly inclusive in cost, so you know ahead of time the cost of your trip. Cruise prices include airfare (depending on the cruise line), transfers (to get you from the airport to the ship), accommodations, food (food, food, and more food), and entertainment. Not included are shore excursions (special trips at each port), soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and gratuities.
Cruises are found all over the world and vary greatly in length of time and cost. Just like hotels, there are economy cruise lines and luxury cruise lines. Something to fit everyone’s budget. There are themed cruises which may be of interest to seniors from cooking to photography to country music. On these theme cruises, there are experts on that particular subject that will hold classes, lectures or concerts during the cruise. There are even singles cruises or 55+ cruises.
Many organizations offer cruises at discount prices – AARP and College Alumni Groups are a good place to start.
Things to consider before booking a cruise or any travel.
- Your mobility. Cruise ships are pretty stable, but they do rock and if you hit bad weather they can list so moving around can become challenging even for those without issues. There is walking up and down gangways and possibly getting on and off buses, but this is minimal compared to other types of tours.
- Travel/Medical Insurance – Medicare does not cover your medical needs outside the USA. You’ll need to look into travel insurance that includes medical care. Travel insurance is a good idea anyway especially if you are booking your trip far in advance – life has a way of interfering at times. Be sure to read your travel insurance coverage carefully, so you know what is covered.
A good source for information on all things cruising is CruiseCritic.com. For some great tips on what this website offers, listen to Kathe Kline’s podcast “Rock Your Retirement” where she interviews, Donna Clark, an enthusiastic user of the site to plan her cruise vacations.
For an active adult community check out The Tapestry in Garner, NC. Call 954-815-2530.