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How has becoming a senior changed the way you travel?


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We relax more and take things slowly - at home and when we travel.  We do as we choose, savor the things we choose to do, and leave space for last-minute changes in plans if  something unexpected that sounds interesting to us comes up.  We realize the fragility of life and value our friendships and family relationships. When we travel, we care a lot less what strangers and acquaintances think about us (truth be told,  they never thought much about us anyway) and do what feels good and right to us.

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  • 1 month later...

We take longer trips and fly business or first class when possible.

We get a car service to the airport.  Parking at the airport just became too stressful.

We always go one or two days in advance so we are ready to enjoy our trip.

We used to do lots of do it yourself tours but now we book excursions either through the ship or private tours.

We sometimes stay on the ship during one of the port days.

We are trying to alternate cruises and land trips.

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The last cruise we took, a five night (short for us), was more about relaxation. No tours, no shows - just relaxing on the veranda and enjoying the ship. We did get off at the ports and walk around, but that was it.

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Now that we're retired, we no longer fly to cruise ports. We live in the centre of Canada and choose to rent a car and drive to the port we will be sailing from. It's a more enjoyable way to travel. You have the flexibility to make side trips and see the sites. 

We can go where ever the wind blows us. 

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On 4/12/2013 at 10:09 AM, MommaBear55 said:

We travel more often and take more time to see the sights. We entertain ourselves rather than our children (which we did when they were young and life focused on them). We eat when and what we want to eat. We do not complain about the food, nor cut up anyone else's food. We think late night is 10 pm. We know the value of elastic waist pants, especially at the end of the cruise. We are not sure why anyone would listen to rap. We need quieter dining areas because DH cannot hear as well as he used to. We put a night light in the bathroom for those late night trips.

 

We take ourselves less seriously because we have lost loved ones and realize what really is important in life. We have patience for those with limited mobility and envy those with grandchildren. We like seeing others enjoy themselves and move away from people who irritate us so they can enjoy themselves and we don't have to get irritated or complain.

 

We do not travel during spring break time because we don't have to. We can go whenever we want. We drink an occasional drink because drinking to excess was so 40 years ago. We hate the next morning headache and grogginess because getting going in the morning is tough enough without the hangover.

 

I actually love being this age. I hold onto every minute and wish I could slow life down.

I love love love all these reasons... 

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We pack differently- more dual purpose clothes and merino wool next to the skin for Fall and Winter trips. Fewer shoes and handbags than when we really used to dress up for formal night on cruises. Goal is to wear something twice on a 7 day trip, and use spinner suitcases that nest.

The years past have also given us some insight as to what we can do without in terms of excursions...  I am glad we did it, but I would never climb the falls in Jamaica again.  Would never go to Jamaica or Bahamas again, actually.  The islands we have enjoyed have been St. Thomas and the Caymans- Bermuda is quite nice as well, but not beachy.  Drinking at  Margaritaville and Senor Frog has never been our favorite thing to do. Now, if we drink, we bring our own good quality wine along with us in a carrier.  Rather than book a long bus excursion, we are more likely to rent a car locally and explore on our own and find a local eatery or historical attraction.  I will probably never book a 5 to seven hour excursion from a cruise ship ever again.  We read more.  We book better cabins with balconies, so we can have that precious private swish time while watching the waves sparkle.

We use vrbo properties in a much more relaxed way and some of our best stays have been in Bed and Breakfast properties.  We are flying more often in state rather than drive for a long time so we are not exhausted at the end of the trip.  Interesting fact: a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne on land can cost as little as $35.  As an add on for our upcoming cruise, it costs about $100.

Even with the corkage fees, it ends up being 50% less expensive. Nice to have while watching the porpoises:-)

 

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The way i travel remains the same it is where i prefer to travel now. Europe is now our go to destination love the history we took our first cruise 2018 and can't stop thinking about returning 2020, 2021, 2022 plus we do longer cruises so far 30 days.

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We are in our late 60's.  Looked for a cruise but nothing appealed to us.  May pick one up later.  Next week we leave on an independent land 7-9 trip to Mexico.  We have a one way flight booked, and the first four hotel nights.  Not certain after that.  Headed to Merida, then to Hualutco, and up the coast.  We use an ipad and a guidebook.  It has been -28C where we live and we cannot wait for some wamth and some beach time.

 

Retirement allows us to travel without  firm schedule, to stay in some places we like for longer periods or leave those that we do not like.  And we always keep our eyes open for last minute cruises. 

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The one thing we have loved about retirement is the ability to get away for a longer period of time and taking B2B's.   While working we were restricted to 4 months out of the year due to our work schedules and getting away for more than a 15 days cruise was almost impossible.  

 

We are about to take our first B2B2B2B in Nov/December and can't wait.

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Well, I guess we are 'sorta-seniors' as I am 56 in a month and hubby just turned 62.  We are both still working and hubby owns his own business, so you likely know what that means, there is no such thing as 'retirement,' lol.  His business has always been seasonal, and my work has always been extremely flexible so we have always gone places on 3 weeks or less notice.  When we were younger, we used to seriously backpack (70lb pack for me at 140 lb) for 3-8 weeks at a time in places where you could only catch the 'chicken bus' and charades was the language of choice (other than "yes, no, please, sorry, thank you, toilets.")  That's when our health was better.  Now we have some issues - I have an autoimmune disease and Celiac disease that affect what we eat, hubby has ongoing urinary tract issues which require catheterizing 2x/day and that affects where we go and our packing habits.  We find that now unless we are travelling in the larger centers in Mexico, or are travelling in our home country of Canada or in the US he needs to bring enough health supplies including protective underwear to see him through the trip. We also take along a prescription scrip from our doctor in case of antibiotic necessity.

 

We went to our first All Inclusive just a few years ago (it was seriously short notice cheap!) and it was ok, but we prefer more freedom as to where we eat and what we do.  We are generally not 'drinks on the beach' vacationers.  So we aren't likely to do any more of that.

 

We took our first cruise (4 night) to dip our toes just over a year ago - again short notice cheap, and find that we might be doing a bit more of this cruising thing.  We will still be getting off ship in ports and doing our own thing, not going on the ship sponsored tours, as the pre-planning was always my forte and I love finding interesting and different experiences.  We may be using more taxis and drivers than local buses and walking.

 

We just got back from a $499 10 night bus and internal flight tour of eastern China (5 cities) - luckily back on Dec 12 before all the novel coronavirus sh!t hit the fan.  It was our first organized bus tour. He was able to take a large checked bag 60 inch total W+H+D for his supplies and clothing, but he did have his medical alcohol confiscated by the internal flight airport security.  Our tour guide was awesome in running around to quickly find a pharmacy so hubby could resupply.  Not sure what their issue was exactly, as international flights were no problem.  UTO Vacations and obviously they are partially sponsored by the Chinese government since the tour included all flights (non-stop from Vancouver in our case), 4+ star hotels (eg. beautiful hot springs for our first 3 nights), buffet breakfasts with a huge variety of American and real Chinese food, bus travel and internal flight.  

We might consider doing more of those kind of tours like Gate-1 and Exoticca offer.

 

I think we will always take the cheapest flights (red eye economy class) and are happy with oceanview cabins as all we need is to check the weather before we get dressed and come up on deck.  I am in the middle of booking a short-notice on HAL for our anniversary (38 yrs - yes we were young :) .)  We got cheap airmiles flights to San Diego and haven't fully decided what else we are doing while there besides the 1 week cruise.  Maybe whip across the border and rent a car and hit northern Baja.  

 

One thing I will add that does limit our vacations now compared to when we were younger is our parents.... his Mom is 94 and although fairly spry she is in a senior residence with some mild cognitive impairment, my parents are in their early 80's in a senior residence and Mom has Lewy Body Dementia and Dad has some mild cognitive impairment and some heart issues.  So we hesitate to be away from them for very long these days as we are the contact for their doctors and residence managers in case of any problems.

 

Sorry this little story has been so long 😵

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