Whether you want to explore more of your own country or go on an adventure halfway around the world, travel has never been more accessible, safe, and enjoyable for seniors of all abilities. Traveling with other seniors on a group tour is a fantastic way to stay active, forge connections, and share memories with new friends and acquaintances.
Many tour companies catering to seniors now allow you to get out there and explore beautiful places in the world that you might not have thought were possible to visit -- or had thought were too difficult to visit independently.
While booking a tour might seem like a difficult experience, there is a whole industry set up to make going on a seniors tour a simple and affordable experience. From exploring charming old towns in Europe to admiring mountain ranges while aboard a train, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how easy it can be to book and go on tours designed with seniors in mind.
From towering snow-capped mountains to the beautiful green coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean, Western Canada offers tour-goers a diverse display of geography to explore. The Rocky Mountaineer is a fantastic, scenic train ride with numerous routes through the Rocky Mountains. These train tours allow you to experience many sights while not having to be overly active.
Central & Eastern Europe
Following the Elbe, the Danube, and the Vltava Rivers are popular routes that allow seniors interested in exploring old towns and rich history the chance to see many places on one tour. Countries like Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic are all very accessible and have beautiful cities that mix old traditions and culture with modern amenities.
Northeastern United States
The region known as "New England" is a great place to explore on a tour. From discovering cultural centers like Boston to relaxing in seaside towns like Cape Cod, a tour of New England offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for all interests. In the autumn, the colors of the leaves draw in photographers, avid hikers, and nature lovers year after year. One of the best ways to experience the region is on a guided bus tour.
If warmer weather is what you seek, then a tour of the Caribbean might be for you. You'll find crystal blue waters and a tropical climate that is sure to bring out the sunbather in anyone. The most common way to explore the Caribbean is on a cruise to popular islands like Saint Martin, Barbados, and St. Lucia. However, you might also stay at an all-inclusive resort as part of a tour group on islands like the Dominican Republic.
A very popular way to see a region from a different perspective is to hop on a cruise. Whether covering the vast ocean coastline or enjoying the ride on a smaller, flatter, river-style boat, cruises allow you to adventure to faraway places while also providing modern comforts. Aside from taking you to explore new destinations, larger cruise ships themselves have many activities like water aerobics, dance classes, bingo, and casinos.
From bird watching to following migratory animals, there are loads of tours that are dedicated to helping animal enthusiasts observe nature in a respectful and exciting way. Since animals differ greatly by the region they live in, choosing an area to explore on a tour will be dictated by your animal(s) of interest. For example, moose, elk, and whitetail deer might be spotted in Western Canada, while over 100 species of migratory birds from North America head to the Caribbean during the winter months.
Hopping on a train is another great way to see lots of countryside with little effort. Trains allow seniors to ride in comfort and enjoy many popular routes that cross rivers and mountain ranges and snake through small towns and villages. Often, these smaller places would be difficult to explore any other way, allowing you to sample and purchase local goods -- and have a unique travel story to take back with you.
One of the best ways to see a city is to be taken to all the best places and learn about them one by one. Multi-day bus tours are a popular way to experience what a region has to offer. However, there are also many multi-city walking tours available if that is more your style. After learning about all the interesting places, you have the opportunity to go back and visit the attractions that interest you the most!
Planning Your Trip
Tour planning can be an exciting but complicated experience. That’s why tour companies exist to make the booking process as easy as possible. Whatever your travel style and interests, there is a tour for you to join and enjoy.
What to Look for in a Seniors Tour
Be sure to think about the amount of physical activity that is going to be expected. If you have lower mobility or assistive devices, then you can absolutely still be on a tour. Just be mindful of your specific needs and find a tour company that aligns with your required needs for comfort, safety, and enjoyment.
Common Types of Seniors Tours
There are many common types of tours that are specifically designed for seniors. Many train tours are a great way for seniors to experience incredible sights and also serve as a practical way to get from destination to destination.
For those looking for a little more activity, multi-day adventure tours will take you around a region exploring nature and the outdoors through hiking, camping, swimming, and even skiing -- season depending.
Another common type of tour for seniors are boat cruises. Like with train tours, multi-day boating tours make it easy for seniors of all abilities to enjoy scenic waterways and different towns from the comfort of their stateroom. All amenities are usually taken care of as seniors cruises typically cater to a large group.
Typical Tour Cost
The typical cost of a tour for seniors will depend largely on what area of the world you are traveling around, the tour length, and the method of transportation used.
A tour around Canada that lasts 21 days starts at $6,500. This includes a train, cruise, bus, and hotel accommodation while on tour. A shorter 5 day train-only tour around the mountainous parts of Canada can cost around $2,000 and upward based on your seating preference and hotel upgrades while in the stopover cities.
A typical two week river cruise around Central Europe starts at $4,000 for a basic stateroom and goes upwards depending on the room size and whether you prefer a balcony or not.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
Since many tours occur from the spring to fall seasons, it is wise to pack with the intention of layering your clothing. Cooler mornings can give way to hotter afternoons and being prepared for this will allow you be most comfortable while on tour. Since there is likely to be an element of walking on any tour you go on, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.
If you think you'll need any special considerations for packing or bringing along any assistive devices while on tour, do not hesitate to contact your tour provider and let them know.
Other Tips for Seniors Tours
Many aspects of a tour are pre-planned and taken care of by tour guides and other support staff. That said, tipping is usually a common practice for anyone that provides a valuable service to you while on tour.