Adventure Knows No Age
There are a variety of tour companies and resorts that cater to senior adventure travel, and if you need somewhere to stay, Extended Stay America can provide exceptional hospitality. Now let's dive in.
1. Wildlife Safaris
Multi-generational family safaris have become a big business for travel companies over the past few years. Since many are camp-based, there’s still an opportunity to combine adventure with comfort while tracking wildlife
While not as popular as in Kenya and Botswana, African safaris in Zambia are less regulated, giving them a much more intimate feeling. Trips will take families of all sizes on private boating safaris, walking safaris, night or day game drives and fishing excursions. Tour agents vary in price and accommodation, but Africa Odyssey’s Chiawa Camp package has one of the best deals at $1,180 per person.
A National Geographic Costa Rica Family Expedition is a fun-filled way for kids and grandparents to experience travel together. On this adventure, you’ll venture through one of the best points of interest in Costa Rica, the Monteverde Cloud Forest — full of monkeys, tapirs, sloths, frogs and birds — and see some of the island’s big cats at the Las Pumas Rescue Center.
Plus, so many activities are available for the kids, and you’ll also find time for some adult-only family bonding.
2. Hiking Tours
For seniors who already enjoy hiking and the outdoors, a hiking adventure tour provides a unique opportunity to visit areas around the world that are only accessible by foot. Since hikes are done at different paces, depending on fitness level, they’re best for seniors who wish to travel solo or as a couple.
Alpinehikers’ Self-Guided Tour du Mont Blanc Express will take seniors to the French Alps as they hike through France, Italy and Switzerland in just seven days. Daily hikes are eight to 12 miles, with nightly stops at local inns and hotels along the way. The Tour du Mont Blanc trail is considered one of the best hikes in Europe, so they'll be sure to enjoy the experience.
Back in North America, ElderTreks offers heli-hiking tours in the Canadian Rockies. Helicopters will pick up and drop off seniors between their comfortable lodges and remote hiking areas in the mountains.
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3. Ski Trips
While some seniors may have reservations about continuing their skiing hobby well past 50, maturity has its benefits. Many resorts now offer senior rates or even free skiing for those 65 or over. More and more married couples choose skiing adventure travel alone or in an organized senior travel group.
Family trips are even an option provided the resort caters to seniors in addition to their kids and grandkids.
Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah has a Senior Ski Group that meets on select dates and provides a special senior annual pass for $150. Seniors can access ski facilities all day and even bring a guest on certain days for free. The rest of the family can also take advantage of the Family Night Skiing Rental Package, which is $135 for up to four people.
On the east side of the United States in Vermont, Sugarbush Resort has a “Boomer Pass,” for those aged 65 to 89. You can also get one free youth ticket for every adult ticket purchase, which makes a multi-generational family vacation much more affordable. If you have teens, you can even take group lessons or private ski-and-ride lessons together as a family.
4. Whitewater Rafting
Believe it or not, whitewater rafting makes for great adventure travel for older adults. It’s such a popular choice for solo seniors, couples and families, there’s often a senior discount. Packages usually include mild, Class I-III rapids, which are doable for all ages and skill levels.
Holiday River Expeditions has a five-day trip on the San Juan River in Utah that features river riding, swimming, hiking and camping. Meals are included, but you do have to bring your own camping equipment.
Wildwater Rafting in Tennessee also crafts custom packages for multi-generational families and groups. You can ride the rapids down the Chattooga River, enjoy a steak dinner under the stars, and wake up the next day and do it all over again. If traveling with kids, you can add on zip-lining at the Chattooga Ridge Canopy Tour or even stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking tours.
5. Multi-Sport Adventures
For the most active, physically fit seniors, a multi-sport adventure provides more of a challenge for body and mind. Tours may include activities like snorkeling, kayaking, biking, and horseback riding, all within a day or spread across a week.
While it would certainly work as a family vacation, your parents might enjoy a Belize & Guatemala Eco-Adventure to themselves. They’ll enjoy a romantic week of outdoor exploration from climbing ancient pyramids to snorkeling among sea turtles. This is the kind of senior adventure travel for those who love taking advantage of all life has to offer.
Some companies, like Road Scholar, have even prepared multi-sport packages specifically for seniors who want to bond with their grandchildren for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Their Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Badlands tour in South Dakota combines hiking, horseback riding, swimming, panning for gold and cultural activities that are suitable for young and old travelers.
If you want a place to stay, consider Extended Stay America. Each of their spacious suites feature fully-equipped kitchens with added amenities, such as bedding, breakfast, televisions and significant storage space.
As you can see, there’s no reason why elderly adults in the family can’t come along for an adventure travel experience. These are exactly the types of trips that create lifelong memories for multi-generational families, due to the shared experience of discovery, physical challenge and cooperation.
It's of course important to consider tips for senior travel to ensure health and safety, but there are so many benefits to outdoor travel it's worthwhile trying to find a way to make it work for everyone!
So whether your parents are looking to travel solo, together or with your family (grandchildren included), there are various exciting vacation options suitable for their age and endurance.