Solo travel for seniors is age-defying. In the eyes of others, solo travelers are strong, capable, confident, and, yes, even a little exotic. Travel solo over 60 and the number becomes insignificant.
Be just a little intrepid and your world will tilt on its axis. You'll enjoy experiences you would never have traveling with someone else. Experiences you would definitely not have staying at home.
Solo travel should be Plan A, at least some of the time. It's too good to be simply a fallback position should there be no one with the same interests, time, and money to travel with you.
Solo travel offers the amazing opportunity to pursue your own interests at your own pace without compromise and, at the same time, to access aspects of yourself and the world that are otherwise inaccessible.
It is an experience everyone needs. Click here for our primary post for seniors traveling solo.
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Travel Solo Over 60: Gain Confidence and More
Solo travel builds confidence for everyone. You're negotiating and navigating everything yourself. How could it not?
However, confidence, for those over 60, feeling strong and capable also comes from the things you do, the people you meet, the conversations you have and, in some cultures, the respect you receive for being older.
Four Ways that Solo Travel Over 60 Builds Confidence for Seniors
- You explore new interests. Solo travel can be a gateway to new interests. Whether it's music or hiking or discovering (like I did last month) that you like champagne, try something new. Maybe you wouldn't go to a bar by yourself at home, but on the road in a town like Nashville, how could you possibly stay in with all that music around you? Perhaps hiking is not part of your lifestyle, but if you find yourself in the Lake District of England you may just find a new love. From pottery making to yoga, if something has struck you as enticing but unlikely to fit into your lifestyle at home, try it while traveling solo.
- You are interesting to people of all ages. I find that many people in their twenties and thirties are really curious about me. They seem to look at me as the kind of person they want to be when they get to my age–which, in their minds is very, very old. They see me as bold and welcome me into their conversations. And they often tell me that I am not like their parents at all. It seems I'm an alternative model to them for solo travel as a senior.
- Your world expands with cross-generational conversations. Talking with people younger and older than I am breaks me out of my limited world and gives me a better understanding of the issues faced by others. They can also amuse me. I remember walking down a street in Italy with an American man in his twenties. He turned to look back at a beautiful young woman who had passed us and said to me, “I love Italian women. They have great junk in the trunk.” Really! To have such access to young attitudes is a wonderful if not a curious and sometimes disturbing thing.
- Other cultures respect age in ways that North America doesn't. My hair is grey. Given the courtesy I receive in some countries, I have thought that I present as older than I am. Then I realize that it's actually about age being respected more in other cultures. Traveling on a train in India a young man wouldn't dream of moving me from my seat even though I was willing (insisting) and had, by means of a seat shift, taken his. His response was, “but you are our guest.” I suspect someone younger may not have been treated quite so well.
Tips for Seniors Traveling Solo
Traveling solo over 60 is not that different than traveling solo at any age. This means that most of the posts on this site apply to you as well. However, you might want to begin with the posts that are specifically for seniors.
- Our main post for senior solo travel with trips and advice on safety. Read Solo Travel Over 50: Reasons, Benefits, Destinations & Safety
- Travel insurance is very important for senior solo travelers. Read Best Travel Insurance for Seniors: How to Find What’s Right for You
- On living your third act to the fullest. Read Solo Travel in Retirement: Relaunch Life with Surprising Tips
- Advice from other senior solo travelers. Read Senior Solo Travel: Age Is a Number and No More
- For advice around medication as you travel. Read How to Manage Medications While Traveling
Great Destinations for Seniors Traveling Alone
As a senior solo traveler, it's time for a little freedom. If you have spent most of your life surrounded by and responsible to others, this is your chance to be responsible to no one but yourself. Go to bed when you like. Get up when you like. Eat, drink, wander, explore what you like. Most importantly, go where you want. Here are some ideas.
- Spectacular Western Canada. I've traveled Western Canada multiple times. The grandeur of the mountains and the friendliness of the people, great hikes, and small towns, made it a great destination. Simple to plan and affordable. You can read about it here Western Canada Itinerary: Top Things to See and Do.
- The United Kingdom. The UK has so much to offer. The culture is different but the language is the same, making it interesting and easy. London is a top destination for most of us. I find the center of the city to be very safe. I've walked at night and had no problem. As London typically is a start or end point, check out Best Places to Stay in London: Accommodation for Solo Travelers.
- Road trip! I love a road trip. I especially love a road trip along the coast and through a rugged landscape and one that drops me into small towns and villages to meet locals. This past summer I took two road trips. One through parts of Canada and the United States and the other in Nova Scotia. To get started, read A Road Trip Alone: Top 10 Tips to Prepare.
- An educational holiday. One of my goals is to become fluent in French. I have improved greatly by using holiday time for French immersion classes in Quebec City and Lyon, France.
- A river cruise. A river cruise covers many destinations in one trip with only one unpacking and repacking involved. That makes it easy. But I suggest that you select your river cruise carefully according to your own tastes and interests. Tracey and I have been on a few. Here is some reading for you. River Cruises for Solo Travelers: A Great Option to Consider.
- Walking trips. My last walking trip was the Isle of Skye in September. On the path, I would stop, take in the view, and find a huge smile stretching across my face. I smile a lot but smiling just because the air and view and exertion are so wonderful is not part of my regular day. I really suggest walking trips. You can be as adventurous as you like.
- Creative travel. Creative travel is travel for the express purpose of learning something new. It may be cooking or a language, dance or painting. Creative travel helps you enter your destination through the local culture and by meeting locals and learning from them. Read Solo Travel to Creative Destinations: 10 Tips to Go Creative!
And one final comment: don't hesitate to return to places you visited when you were younger. Knowledge gained and life lived over the years will take you to a deeper understanding than you could have possibly had before.