Adventure Travel For Seniors
Is adventure travel for seniors really feasible?
If we allow ourselves to fantasize and see ourselves as some version of Indiana Jones pere o fils, we may decide that this is all very entertaining in the movies, but not possible in real life.
Adventure travel is not after all the exclusive domain of unshaven twenty-somethings with backpacks and cargo shorts heading off into the rain forest. Not a bad image and there are many adventurers who who match that description..or the female counterpart. But unfortunately, it may also scare some of us older folks off, and that’s sad, because it doesn’t have to be that way. We can be inspired by the example, but find our own way to adventure.
When we stop to think about it, the image of the youthful adventurer may even be a little backward these days. Very often it’s people in their later years who find that for the first time in their lives they actually have the time the explore the world.
The key is knowing where to go, how to stay safe and healthy, and how to adapt our itineraries and ourselves to adventure travel our way.
It’s all in the planning… The best way to ensure that your adventure turns out the way you want or better is to take the time to do a little careful planning.
When to go. The very first consideration is deciding when to go. Take Mexico, for example. With over 19 million US tourists visiting every year, Mexico is still far and away the number one US outbound destination. Travel to southern regions such as the Yucatan during hurricane season (late summer through mid November) is risky: though more to your plans than your person. And it does get hot….very hot! The best time to travel to the Yucatan is from the end of November to early March. By Easter, you’re toast.
Amenities and Services. Mexico is largely accessible for senior travelers. The country as a whole is rapidly adapting itself to tourism and part of this transition is putting in place amenities and services that make travel easier for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Most good hotels, for example, will now offer both local cuisine and an “international” menu, for those whose courage or constitution is flagging. Additionally,Mexico now has laws on the books regarding disability access and these standards are being slowly but steadily enforced. Airports, roads, public transportation improve every year, making it ever easier to get around the country.
Here’s a list of helpful resources. All of it is worth looking over, and a few of these websites could lead you off on the adventure of a lifetime!
(We found these on an excellent travel site called Transitions Abroad (transitionsabroad.com). Be sure to check it out.)
The A.A.R.P website,.of course!
Elder Hostel (an exceptional choice for those interested in traveling with groups and learning along the way): elderhostel.org
About.com senior travel section: seniortravel.about.com
Fifty Plus Expeditions: 50plusexpeditions.com
Wired Seniors (wiredseniors.com) a great resource for seniors who have stepped over the digital divide…which would be you if you’re reading this page!
SeniorJournal.com (an on-line journal with tons of good information on all kinds of subjects)
Adventure travel for seniors is more and more a real possibility, especially for those with a little gumption and imagination. So, whether you’re climbing pyramids in the forests of Central America or rafting down a river in Chiapas, good luck, stay safe and drop us a line!
John is a travel writer who, with his wife, Alma Delia Hernandez Aguilar, run a specialty tour company (http://aguilarandlord.com).
John’s interest in Mexico is practically life-long, dating back to a tour of archaeological sites in Central Mexico when he was thirteen years old. He married Alma in Puebla, Mexico where he worked as an English Professor at the city university. He maintains a passionate interest in the history of ancient and colonial Yucatan, and he and Alma share a love of Mexican history, culture, artesenĂas and cuisine.
Join John and Alma for their Grand Yucatan Tour (senior-friendly): December 1 – 13, 2010. See website for more details.