Travel never gets boring. In fact, it seems to get better the longer your live! Once you hit your fifties, you arrive at a whole new milestone when it comes to travel. For many fifty-plus travelers, the kids have left home, expenses have decreased, and the schedule has finally let up a bit. There’s no better time to add new adventures to your itinerary! New travel opportunities you never expected begin to open up, so get out and enjoy them! All you have to do is know where to find them and how to take advantage of them! Here is some travel advice for travelers over 50.
1 Use your AARP card for discounts
This is my number one travel tip for travelers over the age of fifty. Use your AARP card to save money on your trips! That AARP card is your “I Earned It” badge! Use it proudly – you deserve the benefits that come with it. If you wield your AARP card when you travel, you can get great deals, like a $30 discount off a hotel. Many hotels also offer perks like free late check out with your AARP membership. You can use it pretty much everywhere: hotels, rental car agencies, and even grocery stores for food.
2 Find places to enjoy being active
The best way to stay energized and feeling good during a vacation is to get out and get active. So go get your blood pumping! Do you enjoy exercising at the gym? What about walking on nature trails? Whatever makes you smile, find a way to do it on vacation. Staying active will make your trip that much more enjoyable.
3 YELP everything
Are you on YELP? This review site can be accessed online or from a smartphone app. It is the best way to get a good idea about where to eat, play, and stay. You can see YELP reviews without an account, but you need an account in order to leave reviews. Once you’ve taken the advice of other travelers, contribute your own wisdom to the YELP community by reviewing every place you go! TripAdvisor is another great website that you can use to find the best places as ranked by real travelers.
4 Find adult-only activities
Screaming, throwing sand, temper tantrums. Wow, isn’t that fun to be around? Yeah, I don’t think so, either. You and I don’t have anything against kids, but why live in the chaos when you’re on vacation to relax? Those of you with adult children have put those days far behind you, so why go listen to other people’s kids make noise and relive your least enjoyable travel memories? If you need a break from all the kids, you can often find adult-only pools, resorts, and more.
5 Travel during off-peak times
Empty nesters, do you still travel on school breaks out of habit? You don’t need to do that anymore! Save 25% or more by traveling in the middle of the week and during off-season. If you’re retired, you’ll have even more freedom to vacation on the least expensive schedule possible. Take advantage of this and avoid the crowds. You’ll get fewer lines, cheaper prices, and more tranquility. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Stock up on audio books for the trip! If you enjoy reading, you’ll love listening to audio books. This is a great alternative to TV, and you can also enjoy a good audiobook while on the go. If you have a long list of books you’ve been wanting to read, this is a great way to make a dent in it. And you can do it with your eyes shut, if you like – literally!
7 Crossword puzzles and more
What sort of brain game is your favorite? If you have a long drive or flight, while away the time with crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and more. Be sure to pack print books so you can unplug from your electronics and take a break from straining your eyes! If you’re traveling with a spouse of friend, try packing along Scrabble, cards, or any of your other favorite games. Build some memories and take a break from the TV while you’re out of town.
8 Find out what kind of pillows are at your hotel
Don’t let a sore back ruin your trip! Check to see what kind of pillows your hotel offers. Many hotels have multiple options. If you’re staying at a high-end resort, you may even get treated to a pillow menu with over a dozen options! If you can’t find a pillow you like at your hotel, pack your own or purchase one at a nearby home store.
9 Design your own breakfasts
Why spend $15 on breakfast when you can go to Whole Foods and get your favorite meals? Pack your habitual coffee or tea ensemble for your early morning mug, just in case you can’t find a coffee shop that measures up to your own personally-crafted latte. For breakfast, go grocery shopping instead of getting a pricey meal. You can shave a pretty penny off your expenses if you skip eating breakfast out. Maybe you’d like to spend that extra money on a nice dinner later!
10 White Noise
Do you trouble sleeping with all the hotel noise? It can be hard to get a good night of rest with all those banging doors, shuffling feet, and murmuring voices. The good news is that it is not too hard to block all that noise pollution out. Pack along a little fan, or install an ambiance app on your smartphone. Relax Melodies is a great free app with plenty of options.
I hope you got a few good ideas from this list! Did I miss any great travel tips for travelers over fifty? I’d love to hear your ideas! Share your wisdom in the comments below. Happy travels!