As we enter our sixth decade and beyond, the urge to explore new destinations and create lasting memories remains strong. With more time and often more disposable income, travellers over 60 have a wealth of options available to them for an unforgettable holiday. Cheap holidays for over 60s don’t mean sacrificing quality or adventure – there are plenty of incredible and accessible experiences out there that won’t break the bank.
For those yearning to see the world on a budget, a range of holiday options can cater to various interests and energy levels. From relaxing European city breaks to invigorating cruises through the Caribbean, the possibilities are endless. Popular destinations such as Italy, Portugal and Spain offer both affordability and a rich cultural experience for the discerning traveller, with a variety of guided tours and accommodation choices to suit every preference.
No matter your travel style, whether you prefer solo adventures or joining a group of like-minded individuals, a plethora of affordable holiday options for over 60s awaits you. So pack your bags and let your wanderlust take the lead, as an unforgettable and affordable journey lies just around the corner.
Understanding the Needs of Over 60s Travellers
The over 60s demographic has unique requirements and interests when it comes to holiday options. In this section, we will discuss the various factors that impact the holiday choices of this age group, including mobility issues, solo travellers, and holidaying with couples and friends.
As people get older, they may experience mobility issues that make travelling more challenging. For this demographic, it’s essential to consider accommodations and activities that cater to their specific needs. For example, opt for hotels that provide ramps, lifts, and wheelchair-friendly rooms. In addition, select destinations with smooth, flat terrain and well-maintained walking paths, avoiding cobblestone streets or hills that may prove difficult. Public transport accessibility is another crucial factor, so choose locations with reliable and easily accessible transportation options.
Solo travel can be particularly appealing to over 60s who have more time and flexibility in their schedule, as well as single or widowed individuals. When arranging a solo holiday, it’s important to provide options for travellers to connect with like-minded people. Many specialised tour operators focus on group holidays for older travellers, allowing them to make new friends while exploring new destinations. Additionally, for solo travellers, especially women over 60, safety is a key consideration. Therefore, selecting safe and welcoming locations, as well as recommending resources for local tour guides, is essential.
Holidaying as a couple can be a wonderful opportunity for over 60s to share new experiences, strengthen their bond, and make lasting memories. Couples may be interested in more romantic or peaceful escapes, so it’s important to cater to these preferences by offering getaway options in scenic locations, with cozy accommodations and relaxing activities. Also, consider suggesting adult-only resorts or establishments that offer couples-specific activities, such as couples’ spa treatments or evening entertainment.
Travelling with friends can provide over 60s with companionship, support, and the opportunity to forge strong connections. To cater to groups of friends, offer accommodations and activity options that cater to diverse interests and enable them to spend quality time together. For instance, consider suggesting self-contained accommodation, such as apartments or cottages, which allow more flexibility and space compared to hotel rooms. Organise group activities, such as cooking classes, guided tours, or wine tasting events, that facilitate socialisation and shared experiences. Finally, keep in mind that some older travellers might face mobility issues or have varying levels of fitness, so ensure that activity options can accommodate these differences.
For over 60s seeking history and cultural experiences on a budget, Europe has several affordable destinations worth exploring. Italy offers art, history, and picturesque landscapes, with options like Lake Garda, Venice, and Verona, where package holidays are available from €899 per person. Travel further north and discover the natural beauty of Iceland or venture to the UK, where you can find a variety of free activities in London.
Additionally, consider more affordable hidden gems in Eastern Europe, such as:
- Poland: Explore Krakow’s rich history and stunning architecture
- Hungary: Discover the thermal baths and historic castle district in Budapest
- Romania: Visit the medieval towns and Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania
Asia is another exciting option for budget-conscious travellers over 60. India is a land of diverse cultures, colourful markets, and incredible history, perfect for a unique adventure at an affordable price. Popular yet budget-friendly destinations in India include:
- Rajasthan: Home to numerous historical forts, palaces and stunning architecture
- Kerala: Explore serene backwaters and beach destinations
In Southeast Asia, Thailand is another fantastic spot for those seeking a mix of relaxation, culture, and nature. Affordable trips to this paradise can include exploring ancient ruins, trekking through jungles, and sampling vibrant street food.
Crossing the Atlantic, over 60s can find affordable holiday options in Canada. Nature lovers can consider a road trip to New Brunswick, where they can enjoy whale watching, picturesque coastal communities, and hiking in national parks. For those near the border, a short ferry ride from Bar Harbor, Maine, can take you to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, with senior fares as low as $31 during the off-season.
From Europe to Asia and North America, budget-friendly destinations for over 60s abound, offering incredible opportunities to explore history, indulge in new experiences and create lifelong memories.
Travel Options and Experiences
Travelling by rail offers a comfortable and scenic way for over 60s to explore various destinations. Many railways provide attractive discounts for seniors, making it an affordable option. Rail journeys allow travellers to admire picturesque landscapes while enjoying onboard services. Some popular train adventures include the Canadian Rockies, the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the British Orient Express.
Cruise holidays are popular among the over 60s, as they offer a relaxing and enjoyable way to visit multiple destinations without constant packing and unpacking. Many cruise lines cater specifically to senior travellers, providing tailored activities, entertainment, and dining options. Seniors can take advantage of special offers and discounted rates during off-peak seasons. Examples of popular cruising destinations for over 60s include Alaska, the Mediterranean, and the Norwegian fjords.
For active and adventurous seniors, guided group tours are an excellent option to explore local culture, history, and scenery while partaking in activities such as hiking and biking. Many tour companies cater to mature travellers with custom offerings designed to suit their interests and abilities. Some popular adventure tours for over 60s include:
- Hiking: Explore nature trails with experienced guides, allowing for plenty of breaks and sightseeing opportunities. Popular destinations include the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Inca Trail in Peru, and national parks in North America.
- Biking: Enjoy leisurely cycling tours through picturesque landscapes, visiting cultural and historical landmarks. Popular options include cycling in Tuscany, the Loire Valley in France, and around the scenic lakes of Central Europe.
- Group Tours: Join like-minded travellers on specialised group tours, offering a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and relaxation. Examples of tour providers catering to senior travellers include Trafalgar and Road Scholar.
Discounts and Deals for Over 60s Travellers
As an over 60 traveller, there are numerous discounts and deals available to help you plan an unforgettable and budget-friendly holiday. In this section, we will cover some of the most accessible savings opportunities in airfare, tour discounts, and solo traveller deals.
Many airlines offer senior discounts, some of which are exclusive to AARP members. To take advantage of these savings, it is worth becoming a member, as the annual fee is typically around £12. When booking flights, make sure to ask about available airfare discounts for seniors or check the appropriate box for senior discounts on booking websites. Additionally, some travel websites, such as Expedia and Kayak, may offer special deals and discounts for those aged 60 and above.
Many tour operators provide discounts and special offers for over 60 travellers. For example, Choice Hotels offers a “Senior Rate” that reduces costs by up to 10% for those aged 60 and above with advance reservations. Likewise, seniors can take advantage of specific deals at hotels, including Cambria Suites and Candlewood Suites, by requesting the senior rate when booking.
For those interested in exploring Europe, the Senior Train Discount can save you 10% on all Senior Passes if you are 60 or over on the date you begin your trip. This discount applies to both 1st and 2nd class travel.
Solo Traveller Deals
Solo vacations and singles holidays are becoming increasingly popular among over 60 travellers, and many travel companies cater to this demographic with special discounts and deals. For example, Solo Holidays and Just You offer a range of travel packages specifically designed for solo travellers. These packages often include discounted accommodations, group activities, and services dedicated to those travelling alone.
Washington D.C. is a particularly appealing destination for solo travellers. It has plenty of landmarks and museums to explore that are senior-friendly. Remember to bring your AARP card, as it unlocks exclusive deals and discounts within the city.
When searching for budget-friendly holidays for over 60s, be sure to look out for specific discounts and offers tailored to your demographic. With a bit of research and planning, you can save significantly on your next solo vacation, group tour, or adventure abroad.
Extraordinary Attractions and Activities
Historical Sites and Castles
There are many historical sites and castles around the globe perfect for seniors to explore. The UK is home to numerous castles such as Edinburgh Castle and Warwick Castle, offering a glimpse into the country’s rich history. For those interested in ancient history, a trip to Greece could include visits to the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Delphi archaeological site. Additionally, Italy offers remarkable sites like the Colosseum in Rome and the Pompeii and Herculaneum archaeological sites.
Breathtaking Natural Wonders
Visiting breathtaking natural wonders should be on every over 60’s travel bucket list. A trip to the Canadian Rockies is an excellent opportunity to see jaw-dropping mountains, glaciers, and lakes. For those looking for something unique, Iceland’s colourful landscapes, geysers, and waterfalls are truly spectacular. The Grand Canyon, located in Arizona, USA, is also a must-see sight, showcasing the sheer power of nature with its vast depth and striking rock formations. Moreover, a river cruise is an ideal way to experience the stunning scenery of Europe’s major rivers, such as the Danube or Rhine, which showcase dramatic landscapes and charming villages.
Cultural Events and Concerts
Embracing local culture and attending concerts are excellent activities for finding cheap and enriching experiences during travels. Europe is renowned for its opera and classical music scene, with performances held in historic venues like La Scala in Milan, Italy, or the Royal Opera House in London. Festivals, such as the Spoleto Festival in the USA, a performing arts event, offer discounted senior tickets for select performances (10% off in 2023). Exploring local markets, galleries, and museums are also great ways to immerse oneself in the local culture while keeping costs low. Many institutions offer senior discounts, making these attractions budget-friendly choices for over 60s travellers.