New experiences are out there for retirees

Maybe you’re one of those people who worked hard all your life, and didn’t take – or have– the time to travel and see this wonderful world of ours. And now in retirement, you find yourself with lots of time and itching to travel, but don’t know where to get started.

The good news is, travel is so easy today. There are many, many options available now to suit whatever you envision for your next travel experience. Whether you enjoy wine tasting or want to try bungee jumping, those options are available. You can choose anything from local events to around-the-world cruises. You might want to experience white water rafting, hiking, or spelunking—if you like exploring underground. There is a world of adventure just waiting for you.

My early interest in travel and languages led me to take an opportunity to live and study in Europe for a year—best year ever. I loved meeting people in other countries and learning at least a few words of their languages. I’m older now, and the love of traveling around our own United States and revisiting locations, friends and acquaintances still hold its charm for me.

Here are five easy tips to keep in mind if you are a new traveler:

  1. Take advantage of your flexibility, and travel during non-peak periods. Costs are usually less for everything from flights and accommodations, to entrance fees and attractions. And, there are fewer crowds.
  • Use any discounts you qualify for. One of the perks of being a senior citizen is the wide range of travel discounts that are now available to you.
  • Go for longer visits. Spend more time at your destination. Plan to see just one city, or one country, and experience it thoroughly. That’s the best way to soak in the local flavor.
  • Let someone else do the booking. Many travelers appreciate someone else making the arrangements, and group travel provides security for solo travelers or if you aren’t confident about planning all the details on your own. It eliminates worries about finding transportation, missing an important site, or not speaking the language.
  • Day tours are your friend. If you prefer to go it alone and have any concerns about getting around or being able to visit popular sites, look for day tours with reliable companies, especially those offering front-of-the-line access or other methods for avoiding the crowds.

Seek out new experiences. Wherever you go, you will make new friends and create a storehouse of happy memories.

Joan Lacy is the author of “A Shadow Away” (, the first novel in the Alex Cort Adventures series.