Many museums have elevators, and even if these are freight elevators not open to the public, the staff might bend the rules for older travelers. Take advantage of the benches in museums; sit down frequently to enjoy the art and rest your feet. Go late in the day for fewer crowds and cooler temperatures. Many museums offer loaner wheelchairs. Take bus tours (usually two hours long) for a painless overview of the highlights. Boat tours — of the harbor, river, lake, or fjord — are a pleasure. Hire an English-speaking cabbie to take you on a tour of a city or region (if it’s hot, spring for an air-conditioned taxi). Or participate in the life of local seniors, such as joining a tea dance at a senior center. If you’re traveling with others but need a rest break, set up a rendezvous point. Some find that one day of active sightseeing needs to be followed by a quiet day to recharge the batteries. For easy sightseeing, grab a table at a sidewalk café for a drink and people-watching.
Educational and Volunteer Opportunities
For a more meaningful cross-cultural experience, consider going on an educational tour such as those run by Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), which offers study programs around the world designed for those over 55.
Becoming a temporary part of the community can be particularly rewarding. Settle down and stay a while, doing side-trips if you choose. You can rent a house or apartment, or go a more affordable route and swap houses for a few weeks with someone in an area you’re interested in. If you’re considering retiring abroad, two good resources are the Living Abroad series (Moon Books), which offers a country-by-country look at the challenges and rewards of life overseas, and Expat This blog is part of my goal to inform travelers by those that are pros in the business. If you, or know of others, that have good thoughts about Senior Travel, or Cruise Ship traveling, or International travel in general…please let me know and I will get it out. And, for the events that can make your trip a “trip of a lifetime”…go to www.ronlargenttravel.com where you’ll find tips and resources for expatriates.