Mount Bromo, Indonesia Boomer international bucket list travel

Boomer international bucket list travel

Boomers have always been active travelers and account for an enviable travel audience, in fact a recent AARP survey shows that over 99% will be traveling this year alone! A big travel focus this year for Boomer travelers will be once-in-a-lifetime trips with over 32 percent of Boomers who will be planning on taking a trip from their international bucket list. Just to get you inspired with your travel plans, I invited the most popular Boomer travel writers to share a favorite destination or experience that you should consider on your bucket list and what an inspiring list of wonderful places. Check out these amazing list of countries or spectacular locations below that you should put on your Boomer bucket list or travel agenda in 2016 and beyond.




Chateau de Chenonceau Boomer international bucket list travel

Chateau de Chenonceau photo credit Janice Chung

Chateaux In The Loire Valley, France

You will likely never see such a high concentration of stunning castles (châteaux) than in the Loire Valley, in south-western France. These are the original homes of nobility dating back to the 1500s and the government has restored many of them so that the châteaux and magnificent gardens can be enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.
The Loire Valley is easy to get to by train (1-2 hours) or car (2-3 hours) from Paris. In a few days you can visit a number of châteaux by car or even by bicycle as the area is particularly flat and has many bicycle paths.  Another way to see the area is to take a hot air balloon ride and get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful landscape.
The area is renowned for its wonderful pairing of freshwater fish dishes and light bodied white wines (Sancerre, Vouvray, and Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine).
Chateau d'Usse Boomer international bucket list travel

Chateau d’Usse photo credit Janice Chung

Some chateaux to consider:
Most popular chateau (after Versailles): Chenonceau
Largest chateau: Chambord
Inspiration for the story “Sleeping Beauty”: Usse
Lovely gardens: Villandry
The Loire Valley is perfect to see a bit of history, indulge in delicious French cuisine, or take part in more active pursuits.
Janice Chung at France Travel Tips
Myanmar temples Boomer international bucket list travel

Myanmar photo credit Jane Canapini

Undiscovered Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) hasn’t made it onto many bucket lists because the country – and its treasures – were pretty much off limits to visitors until 2010, thanks to the military government’s restrictions. But all that is changing. My advice is to get there now and here are 4 reasons why:

  • Archaeological Wonders

Bagan and Inn Dein are just two of Myanmar’s archaeological sites that will allow you to indulge your inner Indiana Jones.

  • Glittering Religious Gems

Myanmar has no shortage of gilded religious shrines that will take your breath away, regardless of your faith.

  • Priceless People

Myanmar’s warm and welcoming people give you an authentic glimpse into what life in this southeast Asian country is really like.

  • Myanmar Is Changing


With the influx of tourism, the people of Myanmar and their culture will be inevitably changed by the foreigners who visit.

Which may be the most important reason why you should put Myanmar on your Bucket List now.

Jane Canapini at Grown up Travels

Check out her Myanmar post at





Sea of Cortes Boomer International Bucket list travels

Exploring the Sea of Cortes. Photo by

Exploring the Sea of Cortes

When Jacques Cousteau declares a place worthy of exploring, and actually describes it as both the “Galapagos of North America” and “a living aquarium”, we think that’s a destination worth adding to our bucket list. So, recently we spent 7 nights kayaking, snorkeling and exploring in the Sea of Cortes (also known as the Gulf of California and the Vermillion Sea) with Un-Cruise Adventures on their Baja’s Bounty small-ship cruise that visited remote and uninhabited islands. This UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve comprised of 244 islands, islets and coastal areas, spans 700-miles-long and approximately 80+ miles across (lying between the Baja Peninsula and mainland Mexico), and has an abundance of marine life, plants and animals that can not be found anywhere else on the planet (it is one of the best places to view dolphins and whales). This region, with its contrast of rugged red rock cliffs, arid desert, white sand beaches, and sea that ranges in color from bright turquoise to deep cobalt blue, is one of the last best-kept-secret destinations to explore. Do it soon while it is still largely unknown!
Viv Chapleo & Jill Hoelting – Editors/Co-Founders
Salumeria in the old market section of Bologna

Salumeria in the old market section of Bologna photo by Irene S. Levine

Bologna, Italy

If you love food, history and culture, don’t miss visiting Bologna in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. Home to the oldest university in Europe, it’s a lively city with more than 85K students. It boasts striking architecture with two towers; more than 25 miles of covered arcades; and a picturesque pedestrian square, Piazza Maggiore, at its historical center. Ask any Italian and they’ll agree that you’ll find the best cuisine in all of Italy here. One more thing: You’re less likely to run into the hordes of tourists you might find in larger cities like Florence, Rome or Milan.

 Irene S. Levine,

Cairns - Gold Coast Boomer international bucket list travel

Cairns – Gold Coast photo credit Gordon McInerney

Visit Tropical North Queensland

Australia is known as the land down under, and has always been a popular destination for travellers. It is very attractive with the fit, free and financial Baby Boomers wanting to have experiences and visit unique locations. The most popular places that people visit in Australia are Sydney, Melbourne, Uluru in the Red Centre and Tropical North Queensland. All are superb choices, yet all are vast distances from one another, requiring either a lengthy stay or internal flights. I recommend that everyone visit Tropical North Queensland, which is easily reached as Cairns, the major city of this region, has an international and domestic airport.

Tropical North Queensland has to be experienced because it is home to the Great Barrier Reef. It is home to crocodiles and other uniquely Australian wildlife in the Daintree Rainforest, as well as the beautiful little village in the Rainforest, Kuranda.

Kuranda Boomer international bucket list travel

Kuranda photo credit Gordon McInerney

We recently completed a 10-Day Road Trip of Tropical North Queensland and were able to see all the major highlights. It is an easy road trip, and the distances are not huge between each place. Our recommendations are to go out to the Great Barrier Reef and explore this World Heritage-listed site. Take an organized tour to the Daintree Rainforest and go on a crocodile tour; you don’t want to do this one on your own. The Kuranda Scenic Railway will take you to the beautiful little rainforest village of Kuranda, where you can see koalas, kangaroos and the elusive cassowary. It is a very good idea to catch Skyrail Rainforest Cableway back down through the rainforest canopy and visit the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Cairns.

To understand more about Australia’s pioneering history, drive down the Cassowary Coast past the sugar cane plantations. If you go up and through Atherton Tablelands, you will see some unique sites like a tea plantation, the Mila waterfalls, as well as unusual Mt Hypipamee Crater in the middle of a rainforest. There are many towns like Herberton and Yungaburra, which will give you a sense of Australia’s identity.

You will find that Tropical North Queensland is as diverse, and as captivating as Australia is.

Paula and Gordon McInerney at Contented Traveller

Camino de Santiago Boomer international bucket list travel

Camino de Santiago photo credit Tom Bartel

Camino de Santiago

We encourage anyone who’s willing and able to walk the Camino de Santiago. The best part about it? The Camino can be approached a number of ways and enjoyed on any number of levels. Fundamentally, it’s a long walk–800 kilometers (500 miles) if covering the traditional “French Route” from St. Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain.

But the Camino can be walked in bits and pieces, by solo travelers, by old and young. The walk isn’t technically difficult, and the often placed albergues (shelters) allow pilgrims to go at their own pace. The Way follows the Middle Ages route to the shrine of the apostle St. James, the same journey Chaucer’s wacky characters from The Canterbury Tales followed. Today the Camino is frequented mostly by people who want the exercise, the time alone, the personal challenge, or the social interaction.

Camino de Santiago Boomer international bucket list travel

Camino de Santiago photo credit Tom Bartel

When we recall our Camino adventure of 2011 (we took a leisurely 40 days including rest days), we think not of the logistics or blisters, but of the international lifelong friends we made, and of the meditative repetition of footsteps. We recall the beautiful Spanish countryside, the beer and olives, and the sense of accomplishment finishing in Santiago. 

Tom and Kris publish their travel stories and photography on their blog, Travel Past 50. You can read their Camino de Santiago tips here:

Neumayer-channel Boomer international bucket list travel

Neumayer-channel photo credit Donna Hull

Cruising to Antartica

Adventure cruising is one of the hottest trends in baby boomer travel. And there’s no better place to get your adventure on than in Antarctica. Although getting there isn’t cheap, boomers will find choices ranging from ultra-luxury to more budget-friendly options. And you don’t have to be a die-hard adventurer to explore icebergs via zodiac rides or stand next to penguin highways photographing the tuxedo-clad birds waddling toward the frigid ocean.

Antarctica and penguins Boomer international bucket list travel

Antarctica and penguins photo credit Donna Hull

The journey across the Drake Passage can be stormy or calm. But no mater how you arrive, experiencing Antarctica’s harsh yet beautiful landscape, abundant bird and sea life or witnessing her dramatic sunsets is well worth it. And although the Great White continent is worthy of any bucket list, the appreciation and awe for nature’s powerful influence is the real takeaway.

Donna Hull at My Itchy Travel Feet

Six Questions About Cruising to Antarctica

Petra Boomer international bucket list travel

Petra image photo credit Jenny Friedman

Unesco site at Petra, Jordan

A schoolgirls ancient history lesson started a long held fascination with Petra. Learning about the ancient Nabataean Empire whose magnificent capital was carved into the rose coloured stone walls over 2000 yrs ago intrigued me. A city that was lost to the world for hundreds of years, only to be rediscovered in the 1800s and, after being declared a Unesco site in 1985, was named as one of the wonders of the new world in 2007 was not to be missed. The kilometre long walk down the Siq only heightened my expectations and I was not disappointed as I caught that first glimpse of the Treasury through the rock walls. It’s worth spending a few days to explore and climb the steps to the Monastery and the High Place of Sacrifice. Not to be missed is Petra by Candlelight that takes place on a Monday, Wednesday & Thursday night. Definitely one for the bucket list!
Jenny Friedman with A Taste of Travel blog
The Grand Canyon Boomer international bucket list travel

The Grand Canyon photo credit Billie Frank

Exploring the Grand Canyon

It’s probably already on your list, but if not, add Grand Canyon. Although I’d seen tons of photos, not even the best ones captured the magnificence of this natural wonder. Standing at the edge of the huge abyss looking at the colorful layers of rock that descend 6,000 feet filled me with awe. Most people go to the South Rim; it’s easier to get to and open all year. My best advice: go off season. While it’s busy year ‘round, in summer the crowds swell. Hike, take photos or just take in the magnificent, ever-changing views. They change constantly, depending on time of day or where you’re standing. Want to descend the canyon? Book a mule ride or, if you’re really adventurous and in good shape, hike to the bottom. Camp or spend the night at historic Phantom Ranch. But plan in advance. The ranch fills up about a year in advance as does the upscale, historic El Tovar, a former Harvey House hotel, located steps from the South Rim’s edge. Walk the Historic District and take a ride to the Desert View Watch Tower or better yet, park and take the free, efficient shuttle system

Grand-Canyon-landscape Boomer international bucket list travel

Grand-Canyon-landscape photo credit Billie Frank

Billie Frank and Steve Collins at Santa Fe Travellers

Check out their post on the Grand Canyon at







Halong Bay, Vietnam Boomer international bucket list travel

Halong Bay photo credit Betsy Weubker

A visit to exotic Vietnam

Vietnam has some of the most beautiful scenery and the most welcoming people in all of Southeast Asia. Travel to Vietnam is easily accomplished on your own, or, if you prefer, there are any number of organized excursions which will see to the details. Some boomers prefer to see Vietnam as part of a cruise; others, like us, have traveled the country by train. From Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south, there are myriad experiences to be had: beach, mountains and highlands, cosmopolitan and vintage cities, fascinating history dating back thousands of years, architectural styles ranging from ancient Chinese to 19th century French to 20th century modern, delicious cuisine and all manner of accommodations ranging from budget to all-out luxury. Your dollar goes far in Southeast Asia to begin with, and Vietnam is known to be a bargain for the region. The Vietnamese people are warm, generous, and eager to show off their beautiful country to visitors from abroad.

Halong Bay (in the photo), a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994, has close to 2000 limestone islands and smaller islet karsts, many covered by thick evergreen rainforests. Their other-worldly appearance amidst the emerald waters is an atmosphere made for junk boat touring, kayaking, diving, climbing, and hiking. Sights include floating fishing villages, a variety of wildlife including antelopes and monkeys, interior lakes, and three different kinds of caves.

Betsy and Pete Wuebker at PassingThru





Cycling Tuscany in Italy

Cycling Tuscany photo credit Dave Slaght

Cycling in Tuscany, Italy

Endless rolling hills of vineyards hanging heavy with grapes set the backdrop for a cycling trip that will leave your senses full. When asked for recommendations for a special trip, a bucket list adventure, Tuscany on two wheels often leads our suggestion list. Cycling through ancient towns dotting the hillsides like beacons of Italian beauty, the days are filled with friendly waves and drivers who are comfortable and respectful of cyclists. Taking the slower mode of transport affords the opportunity for gazing at fields of red poppies while breathing in the aroma of tall Cypress trees as you ride by. Guided trips provide a no worry experience with a support vehicle available for those who want to take a break. For the more adventurous self-guided cycle tours in Italy are plentiful. Either way as the Tuscan sun sets you can relax at a small Italian pensione with delicious food and wine. Does life get better than this?

Sue and Dave Slaght at Travel Tales of Life





Plitvice National Park Boomer international bucket list travel

Plitvice National Park photo by Ron Legge

Scenic beauty in Croatia

With it’s stunning coastlines, easily accessible islands, azure blue water and cobblestoned villages Croatia is the perfect addition to any Boomer’s Bucket List.

However, for us, the highlight has to be the National Parks of Krka and Plitvice Lakes.

Krka has  spectacular waterfalls, all connected with fast running waterways. The Park is easily accessible as it had a network of wooden pathways and  bridges that zigzag their way over and above  the area  so you can enjoy it from many perspectives.

Plitvice National Park Boomer international bucket list travel

Plitvice National Park photo by Ron Legge

Plitvice National Park is famous for it’s many  emerald lakes and waterfalls. Plitvice is  spread over a large area but  is made  easily accessible by a network of paths and bridges. This is complimented by a boat to transport you over one of  the larger lakes  and a shuttle bus to return you to the car park. This makes it perfect for a day communing  with nature especially in t he off season when there are less visitors.

Croatia is not only a stunning destination with plenty to visit but also a good value one where your dollar will stretch further than most Western European destinations,

 Ron and Michele Legge at




Galapagos Boomer international bucket list travel

Galapagos photo credit Cheryl MacDonald

Discovering the Galapagos Islands

For the active boomer traveler the Galapagos Islands offers great land and water activities. From snorkeling with sea lions to capturing the perfect shot of the Blue-Footed Booby, your experience will provide the opportunity to get up close and personal with wildlife not found anywhere else in the world.  There are several options for your trip to the Galapagos including land based tours, island hopping tours, and luxury boat trips with a group like Ecoventura.

Galapagos Boomer international bucket list travel

Galapagos photo credit Cheryl MacDonald

Because the Galapagos Islands are protected, they limit the number of people visiting each island daily and a naturalist is required to accompany you when exploring the park.  Touring with a naturalist, you get the extra benefit of learning about the unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos, the history of the islands, and how conservation controls have made the islands what they are today.

The Galapagos Islands – a perfect destination to add to your your bucket list!

Cheryl MacDonald at What Boundaries Travel





Havana Cuba Boomer international bucket list travel

Havana Cuba photo credit Alison Abbot


Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba’s capital,is one of the world’s most sought after time capsules. Every boomer should try to add the country to their bucket list and travel there as quickly as possible. With two American hotel companies recently being awarded contracts and individual visas more readily available, the time warp Cuba has been living in is about to witness a slow moving tsunami.  The people are warm and inviting, the food, if you know where to look, delicious and the rum is flowing.  The arts are a section of Cuban culture that is bursting at the seams. Dance and fine arts combined with Colonial architecture and faded colors covered with a fine layer of history are the wonderful sensory overload that is today’s Cuba.

Alison Abbot at Green with Renvy




Isla Mujeres, Mexico Boomer international bucket list travel

Isla Mujeres, Mexico photo credit Vicki Winters

 Swimming with whale sharks in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Life can be too short. You never know what’s going to happen which is why I want to see and do as much as possible before my knees get bad, my back starts hurting or something worse….

To that end, when my husband came home from seeing “Racing Extinction the documentary about all the endangered species on the planet and said, “I want to go Swimming with Whale Sharks next week’, I didn’t ask any questions. I just said, “Ok” and booked the trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. It was one of those Bucket List Adventures that people only dream about. The good news is: Whale Sharks do not eat people. They only eat plankton. The bad news (which isn’t really bad) is that these GIGANTIC endangered creatures of the sea ONLY nest in certain areas of the ocean during short windows of time.

In Mexico, you can swim with Whale Sharks from Mid-May to Mid September and in Western Australia from mid-March until the end of July

Vicki Winters at The Vicki Winters Show

Our adventure went SWIMMINGLY well. Tune in to the video here:





New York City Boomer international bucket list travel

New York City photo credit Carole Terwilliger


Visiting New York City

I definitely “heart” NYC.  I’ve visited this vibrant city so many times that I’ve lost count, and I am always surprised when I run into a seasoned adult who has never been there.  There is so much to do in NYC that it would probably take a lifetime to get around to everything, and just when you finished a new restaurant or museum would probably open.  NYC belongs on every bucket list.  Based on my most recent visits, do plan to visit the new Whitney museum for some culture and then head to Bouchon Bakery for what might be the world’s best almond croissant and, of course, Magnolia Bakery for what surely must be the world’s best cupcake.   Bottom line, NYC is a walk in the park, whether to enjoy some mellow jazz or to watch a chess game or even both on a really nice day. 

 Carole Terwilliger Meyers at BERKELEY AND BEYOND



Tuscany villa stay Boomer international bucket list travel

Tuscany villa stay photo credit Shelley McKeating


A villa in Tuscany

Who hasn’t dreamed about a summer stay in a Tuscan villa? Imagine cooling off in the villa’s pool, with views of olive groves, sunflowers nodding in the breeze, and cypress trees lining country roads. My best experiences in Tuscany were during our stay in a small villa in Monterchi, a hilltop village near the Umbrian border. It’s a place I’ve selfishly been reluctant to share, because I want it to be the same when we return. This small villa at the top of the hill was built out of the ruins of a medieval castle, and has views like a wine label out every window. Here you can drink the best espresso you’ve ever tasted at a village cafe, or sip a glass of brunello with your steak Fiorentina from a family-owned restaurant, where everything is fresh and local. After your meal enjoy their homemade limoncello in a frosty glass while watching the sunset.
Shelley McKeating at Tourist Site
Diamond Head view Boomer international bucket list travel

Diamond Head view to Honolulu photo credit Suzanne Fluhr

Climbing Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii

It took until our fifth visit to Honoululu, Hawaii before my husband and I finally got our baby boomer bones up to the summit of Diamond Head, the extinct volcano that is probably the most recognizable landmark on the island of Oahu. The Diamond Head trail starts within the volcanic crater and is only a short taxi ride from popular Waikiki Beach. The hike covers only 1.6 miles, but it requires at least moderate physical fitness because of uneven surfaces on the trail and 4 staircases, totaling some 270 steps. We heeded the recommendations for an early start with sunblock, a hat and water. At the top, we caught our breath and were rewarded by panoramic views of the azure ocean and Honolulu.
Suzanne Fluhr at Boomeresque

Mount Bromo, central Java Boomer bucket list travels

Islands of Indonesia

With over 15,000 islands to choose from in Indonesia, you can create your own exclusive destination far away from the congested tourist destinations and create a custom itinerary based on your interests. That can include a luxury vacation stay in Bali or visiting some of the more remote locations around Bali including a trek to the hill areas and rice terraces of Bali. If you are looking for more culture and historic Unesco sites, head out to Central Java with the magnificent Buddhist temple of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world and incredibly well preserved with gorgeous details and architecture. The temples of Prambanan on Java island is also a must with these stunning Hindu temples with over 240 temples in this beautiful complex and Unesco World Heritage site dedicated to the three dieties (Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma).


Komodo National Park bucket list travels


For something even more remote and exotic, you can hire a two-masted traditional Indonesian sailing ship called a Phinisi and sail to the National Park at Komodo island, a series of islands in the national park that are stark and stunning with huge Komodo dragons that are at the top of the wildlife chain on the islands

Noel Morata at Travel Photo Discovery


Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Boomer international bucket list travel, hopefully some of these places will inspire you to visit when you come to visit these amazing destinations. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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