Is it the time of your life for some adventurous travel? You’ve worked hard for years, supporting a family, being a loyal employee and setting aside money to enjoy your freedom.
Now that time is here and you’re ready to start planning some adventurous travel. Before you break out the guidebooks, read on for three particularly retiree-friendly countries that are great for relocation or just a few weeks of adventure and R&R.
Consider a trip south of the border for your first foray into retirement travel. AARP has called it the “undisputed number one destination” for retirees who choose to move abroad, and the country’s many charms hold true for travelers as well.
Puerto Vallarta draws large numbers of ex-pats, and travelers can take advantage of the diverse international community in this tourist hub. In addition to a range of community events you may want to take part in, depending how long you’re in town, you’ll have access to well-established luxury accommodations and tourist infrastructure, for a balance between adventurous travel and comfort.
If you’d rather steer clear of major tourism ports, consider Mazatlan, where you’ll find fewer crowds and plenty in the way of fishing and great seafood dining. It’s also quite close to the United States, so if you have children who are worrying about you going abroad as you begin embracing the freedom of retirement, this could be a good introductory spot for the whole family.
History buffs will appreciate Las Labradas, the 1,500-year-old rocks that comprise an ancient indigenous ceremonial center. Seen at a seaside open air museum, this is a neat look at relics from the country’s past. You can also take a walking tour of the historic downtown area.
Those seeking a more cosmopolitan stay might enjoy the Yucatan city of Merida. Also among the Mexican hot spots favored by foreigners, Merida offers much in the way of cultural attractions in the city, as well as outdoor activities such as swimming, caving, and exploring underground rivers. Of course, if you’re in this part of the country, you’ll want to tour the nearby historic cities and the incredible Mayan ruins found on the Yucatan peninsula.
A handy travel item that will serve you well on your jaunt through Mexico – and anywhere in the world – is an undercover money belt, like this one sold through Eagle Creek. It’s a convenient way of carrying your money and credit cards, and keeping them out of sight and safe from would-be pick-pocketers. Even in the friendliest of areas, there are thieves who will take advantage of unsuspecting tourists, so keep your money close and hidden.
Thrill-seeking retirees headed to Europe should set their sites on Croatia, an increasingly popular travel destination, thanks to its beaches, history and opportunities for relaxed, indulgent travel. Here you can go sailing, hire a yacht to take you on a week-long tour of Croatia’s islands, wander through Roman ruins and sample wines from a 2,000-year-old winery.
Dubrovnik is the cultural star of Croatia, and is the place to go for everything art related. You can take a tour of this elegant city, which bears the marks of both the country’s far distant and contemporary history. What would a trip to Europe be without a visit to a castle? While in Dubrovnik, you can visit the Sponza Palace, which dates from the 1500’s. The palace has great historical significance as an economic, political and literary center.
Croatia offers adventurous travel for retirees and many of the comforts and intrigue of a European getaway. However, Croatia has a novelty no longer found in major tourist countries, such as France, Italy or the UK.
The Land of Smiles is a veritable paradise, with special perks for retirees. Thailand presents a wide range of adventurous travel and experiences and a trip here can be tailored to any tastes.
Looking to celebrate your retirement by lounging on a beach and doing little more than reading, sunbathing and sipping on a few well-earned cocktails? The Thai islands have got you covered. Same goes if you’re ready to fulfill a lifelong dream of learning to dive. Koh Tao is renowned for its numerous diving instruction courses and ideal location for undersea tourism. It’s also a nice alternative to better-known but overdeveloped Koh Samui.
Chiang Mai, Thailand’s most popular northern city, serves as a gateway for travel in the beautiful northern region of the country. You can still enjoy quality accommodations and dining (though you won’t want to miss out on the succulent street food either), and hire a guide to explore mountain villages, volunteer at an elephant sanctuary and trek through the jungle.
Thailand is a popular destination for retirees to relocate and some of the perks that draw them here apply to travelers passing through, as well. Costs for food, travel and accommodations are quite low compared with Western countries, which is appealing if you’re on a fixed income or trying to make a nest egg last. You can also find quality and low-cost healthcare in the private hospitals in Thailand, an important consideration to make when you’ll be traveling far from home.
Looking for adventurous travel? What are your dream destinations for travel during retirement?