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.
Chateaux In The Loire Valley, France
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 https://www.grownuptravels.com/myanmar
Exploring the Sea of Cortes
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, www.MoreTimeToTravel.com
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.
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
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.
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: https://travelpast50.com/camino-de-santiago-backpack/
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.
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 http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2016/01/22/cruising-to-antarctica/
Unesco site at Petra, Jordan
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
Billie Frank and Steve Collins at Santa Fe Travellers
Check out their post on the Grand Canyon at http://santafetravelers.com/our-travels/grand-canyon-historic-district
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.
Betsy and Pete Wuebker at PassingThru
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
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 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 Leggingit.com
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.
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 http://whatboundariestravel.com/
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
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:
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 http://www.berkeleyandbeyond.com
A villa in Tuscany
Climbing Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii
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).
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.