Ask any recently retired senior what they plan to do with all of their newfound free time, and travel is almost sure to come up.
One popular way to fully enjoy the adventure is senior travel groups. These groups come in all shapes and sizes and offer the opportunity to travel with others of similar age and interests.
What is a Senior Travel Group?
Some are formal companies that charge a fee but do all the work, and some are informal groups that form locally or on social media. Groups are often organized by something people in the group have in common.
Colleges, religious institutions, local governments, non-profit organizations, or for-profit corporations. A quick Internet search will produce a list of groups for virtually any interest or objective.
What Are the Benefits of a Senior Travel Group?
Why join a travel group? It’s really good for your health! The thought of organizing a trip can be overwhelming for seniors, but travel has many benefits for this age group.
Travel keeps the body moving and the mind active. It also helps encourage open-minded thinking and emotional stability.
Whether it’s a day trip locally or a month-long trip around the world, there are some definite advantages that will cause even the most solitary person to consider group travel.
Whether alone or with a partner, travel groups are an excellent way for seniors to meet new people.
The level of togetherness while traveling can vary significantly from group to group, so look for a group that offers plenty of opportunities for free time if being constantly social doesn’t fit your personality.
For those not living in a senior-focused community, group trips often provide the chance to remain social without the commitment.
Group discounts aren’t unique to seniors, but they’re one of the biggest reasons many seniors join a travel group.
There are groups and trips for every budget, so don’t assume that every group plans expensive, elaborate vacations.
Even if pricey trips to a foreign county fit your budget and desire, group discounts allow you to do more with your money.
Travel groups offer seniors safety in numbers. Depending on the type of group, tour guides, trip insurance, and medical help may all be readily available, which can ease anxiety about potential problems.
Single seniors will especially benefit from the increased opportunity to participate in more adventurous trips than they would usually feel comfortable doing alone.
Travel planning can very quickly become so overwhelming to many seniors that they never do it, even if it has always been their dream. Some, while capable, don’t desire the research and work required to plan even the simplest day trip.
Travel groups eliminate the work and help seniors remain independent longer. In less formally run groups, the opportunity to help with the planning may be available if that is appealing.
If planning is your specialty, start your own group and still receive all of the other benefits of group travel.
How to Find a Senior Travel Group
For some seniors, travel group opportunities will naturally make themselves available at their retirement community or any of their regular social or volunteer activities.
For a broader approach, try contacting local government services or doing an internet search. Here are some things to consider when looking for a group:
Age Restrictions: Most senior groups, are limited to age 55 and older.
Health Limitations: Any special medical needs should be made in advance and may prohibit joining certain types of groups.
Budget Concerns: Some groups charge annual membership fees, and some are more conscious of budget restrictions than others. Consider your financial comfort level before joining.
Common Interests: There is a group for every interest and activity level. Don’t be afraid to join several groups with different activities and goals to try them out.
How to Prepare for Group Travel
There’s always a risk associated with travel and its important for seniors to be cautious. Check in with a doctor before traveling, especially if your group is traveling to another country. Make sure the documents required for treatment and a plan should medical care be necessary is developed.
It’s wise to beware of financial scams, as well. If joining a more casual, unregulated group, be cautious providing money to group leaders rather than the company whose services you’ll be using.
For licensed travel companies always check with the Better Business Bureau and local organizations that rate services for legitimate reviews of each company.
Even a quick Internet search for the name of the group can provide valuable information if there have been complaints. Ask friends and family for recommendations whenever possible.