If you're over 55 and you've got the travel bug, you should check out these top 10 destinations for your next getaway!
Everyone has a bucket list: in the back of your mind, scribbled down in a journal or noted on your phone! Whether you're seven years old dreaming of Disney, or 67 and you dream of seeing the Northern Lights, you have a list of destinations that you would love to see and experience with your own eyes.
It's often taken as a given that it's the youth of the world who are the travellers; but studies actually show that the number of young people taking gap years is declining. The older you get, the more time and money you have to travel, and research shows that over 55s don't lose their sense of adventure, in fact it grows! So why not tick off those dream destinations and go see the world? These 10 destinations are a must-visit for over 55s!
See the Northern Lights
Seeing the Northern Lights came out on top of the Riviera survey, and it's no surprise! Who wouldn't want to see this colourful display of dancing lights? You can see the Northern Lights from Alaska, Greenland, Iceland and many parts of Scandinavia, so why not visit each in turn? Whether you take a Northern Lights flight or go on a wilderness safari, there are many exciting ways to experience the Aurora. Although there are no guarantees as to whether or not you will see the Northern Lights, there are certain times of the year that should increase your chances. Any time from September to March is a great time to catch the Aurora, and January to March are probably the three most popular of these months; the long dark nights really increase your chances of seeing this natural phenomenon.
Ride the Glacier Express
A ride on the Glacier Express is second on the list. Who wouldn't want to take a relaxing ride through one of the world's most beautiful mountain ranges? This 8 hour express train is the gift that keeps on giving; after leaving the stunning St. Moritz, you'll soon pass through the UNESCO World Heritage site of Abula as well as the famous Landwasser Viaduct and the spiral tunnel between Preda and BergŁn. What's more, the train's panoramic windows means you won't miss a moment of the breathtaking scenery. Make sure your camera battery is fully charged!
Go Wine Tasting
Life's too short to drink bad wine and anyway, it's long past time to start enjoying the finer things in life! Why not get better acquainted with the drink that has been in our culture and diet for thousands of years? If you want to try your hand at wine tasting you're more than spoilt for choice as 61 countries around the world produce wine. Beyond going purley for the love of wine, a wine tasting experience is a great opportunity to travel somewhere new, meet new people, or learn how to impress your friends at your next dinner party when you perfectly pair your steak with a Cabernet Sauvignon. If you love red wine, head to Bordeaux in France where over 85% of the wine produced is red or head to the beautiful Tuscan countryside to explore one of the most famous wine producing regions in the world.
Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian railway will take you on a journey like no other as you see sights across Europe, China, Japan, Korea, even Vietnam and Southeast Asia. The possibilities are endless as you travel 5,752 miles across two continents on the world's longest railway line! Do you want to see the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg or Lake Baikal (the biggest and deepest lake on earth), Moscow's Kremlin and Red Square or the Great Wall of China? You can see it all on your trip on the Trans-Siberian Railway!
Go on Safari
Do you want to reconnect with your wild side? Why don't you go on a safari? The demand for senior safaris is on the rise and increasing numbers of over 55s are boarding planes to South Africa to fulfil their travel destination dreams. Being retired (or semi-retired) means you have the time to fully explore all that South Africa has to offer. You have the luxury of being able to travel for two, three (or even more!) weeks at a time. Marvel at Victoria Falls, head to the top of the Table Mountain and stare in awe at lions, elephants, buffalo and more.
Drive Route 66
Route 66 is one of the most famous roads in the world! If you take on this route you'll pass through eight states and three time zones; you'll start in Chicago in Illinois before heading through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona before finishing your journey in Santa Monica, California. If you dream of open roads with the wind flowing through your hair, you should definitely take on this trip of over 2,400 miles. This adventure will transport you back in time to the era of old-school diners which are dotted along your journey; you'll feel like you're in a movie set in the fifties!
Go to the Opera
Next on the list is a trip to the opera! There are many stunning opera houses around the world; from La Scala in Milan, to the Royal Opera House in London, Sydney Opera House and the Paris Opera. Whether it's the ornamental architecture of the Paris Opera or the imposing Sydney Opera House which resembles shells and sails, many of these buildings magnificent and worth a visit themselves. However, the operas that they showcase are spectacular! From 'Carmen,' to 'The Marriage of Figaro' and 'Madame Butterfly,' you're guaranteed a performance from masters of their craft.
Ride a Hot Air Balloon
Fly away with me! The over 55s mustn't have a fear of heights because within the top 10 on the 'must-visits' list is a hot air balloon ride. Why don't you head to Paris to take your next trip to new heights? After all, it's where the first hot air balloon took off into the sky from Versailles in 1783. The first balloon was sent to the sky with various animals onboard as Louis XVI and his entourage looked on; the second took to the sky year later from Bois de Boulogne, only this time with a human passenger! This is a great way to enjoy a panoramic view of your surroundings, whether you're looking at Paris' beautiful cityscape, Cappadocia's iconic fairy chimneys or the luscious green mountains of New Zealand.
Ride a Gondola
If you're feeling the love, head to Venice and take a ride on a gondola. Gondolas are synonymous with this romantic city. Sail under the Rialto Bridge and through the quaint and quirky streets of the floating city. You really will feel transported into another time and place as you glide along the water and experience the bustling city from a unique perspective. For a really romantic experience, take a gondola ride at dusk.
Visit the Yuletide festival
Last on the list, but by no means least, is a trip to the Yuletide Festival. Yule has been celebrated throughoutGermany and Scandinavia for thousands of years. It is a celebration of the Winter Solstice and traditionally an entire tree would be brought in and placed onto the fire which it would feed for the coming months. Yuletide is celebrated throughout Europe, but for a particularly magical experience head to Germany where you'll find many quaint Christmas markets too.