by Shauna Dorko, Sidney SeniorCare –
One lovely aspect of approaching our golden years is the opportunity, and time, we finally have for travelling. Whether your dream is to retire and tour the continent in your new motorhome, or take a luxurious cruise to a distant land, the lure for our travel bucket list is undeniable.
Our hope, of course, is that by the time we enter our senior years we still have our mobility intact. It can be physically challenging for any of us to walk those endless airport corridors, and/or for negotiating those historically memorable, but precarious, cobblestone streets. The joys of travel should be accessible to all, but can be a real struggle if you are wheelchair-bound, walk with a cane or experience mobility pain of any sort.
Fortunately, these days, there are many options and resources available for travellers of all types. There are tour companies that not only specialize in senior travel, but those that also cater to people who have limited mobility. Some examples in both categories are Road Scholar (previously Elderhostel), ElderTreks, Sage Traveling and Accessible Journeys.
The majority of “recognized” international cities have been conscientious about increasing accessibility to tourists that have a harder time getting around, offering wheelchair-friendly public transportation and better access to most attractions. Many cities in Europe are not only historically fascinating and breathtakingly beautiful, but also feature wide sidewalks and large, open squares suitable for mobility equipment.
Cruising is another great travel option, with less ground to cover overall and everything in close proximity onboard. Cruise ships feature notoriously great service 24/7, with loads of entertainment, educational seminars, wine tasting and other fun activities made accessible to all of their voyagers. With a wide variety of fabulous destinations to explore, cruising may very well be the perfect trip for those less inclined to walk their way through their dream vacation.
For those preferring land over sea, train travel might be the most suitable option. Journeying by train covers lots of ground, typically with spectacular scenery and service at your fingertips. Similarly, coach tours allow their passengers to relax and travel in comfort to famed attractions, often with wonderful views along the way.
And for those seniors craving adventure and something a little more exotic? Well, the good news is that even remoter destinations are kicking it up a notch to provide more accessibility than ever before to those with difficulty moving around. Luxury safari tours are one great example where there is little walking involved, and where a senior with limited mobility can indulge their inner David Livingstone; adding yet another amazing experience to their bucket list.
Written in collaboration with Sherrin Griffin. We welcome all comments, suggestions and ideas for future columns. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Seniors” in the subject line.