Many of us see ourselves travelling the world when we retire. Without the usual time constraints of work and school terms many are taking advantage of those off-peak deals and travelling both longer and farther, and doing it their own way. There are many perks of traveling, especially when you are older.
Travel is great for energizing the senses, and bringing in a new sense of excitement. Travel is also great for deepening your knowledge, awareness and acceptance of other cultures which is important in the increasingly diverse societies we live in. Travel keeps you active. Whether you are wandering around cities or strolling along beaches, travel keeps you on the move. A review of the longitudinal Framingham Heart Study found that women who vacationed every six years or less had a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death compared to women who vacationed at least twice a year. Further, research around the promotion of brain health has found that regular participation in social or leisure activities, including travel, is associated with a lower risk of subsequent dementia. Who would have thought that we could get such positive and lasting results from something so enjoyable as a travelling?
There are many ways people travel, individually, in pairs, in groups, guided tours, ‘diy’ tours, sea cruises, river cruises etc. One industry that may surprise you has been booming as a result of this increase in retirement travel – adventure travel. In America more than 40% of adventure travellers are over 50, according to the Adventure Travel Trade Association. In Britain older travellers are the largest spenders in the industry, with the fastest growth in the 65-74 age group.
Adventure vacations are not all about bungee jumping or sky diving, though such activities are quite popular even among age groups above 40. There are lots of other types of adventure travel you can do. If you consider luxurious amenities on your vacation to be of least priority, are content with staying in tents or lodging, are thrilled at the prospect of exploring unknown territories and cultures, and want to be involved in activities – adventure travel is for you!
Joining a group of other travellers, with a guide to ensure safety and smooth logistics, is far easier than planning an independent trip, which in turn emboldens travellers to try ever more exotic destinations.
Things to think about when travelling
Researching the country and cities/towns you are going to visit is important. Different cultures and countries will have different recommendations for tourists, whether it be to do with customs, dress, transport, food etc.
When planning your trip, check for travel advisory warnings and register your travel plans with New Zealand’s embassy, making it easier to contact you in an emergency.
- For Kiwis, visit: https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
Your embassy is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide you with support when you are in a foreign country. You can contact your local embassy from anywhere in the world using this consular emergency numbers:
- For Kiwis, call +64 4 439 8000
It is also a good idea to leave a copy of your itinerary with loved ones.
If this has inspired you, have a look on Eldernet for local tour providers here.