Travel for seniors was never easier—with groups such as Elderhostel, Eldertreks, Menopausal Tours, Over the Hill Gang International, and Walking the World.
Remember when getting older meant slowing down? How times have changed. Talk to people today in their 50s, 60s, and beyond, and they'll tell you that they're just ramping up. With kids out of the house and time to spare, they're hitting the highways and skyways in search of adventure. If you're 50-plus, the following companies can help you plan a group travel vacation that's anything but old-fashioned. Because you're not getting up there—you're getting out there.
Elderhostel (877) 426-8056, www.elderhostel.org. What you're in for—an "expedition of the mind". Age range—55 and up. Sample adventures—Sharpen your knowledge of wine in the Napa Valley or Russian art in Moscow. Special Bonus—Elderhostel tries to accommodate people who have disabilities.
Eldertreks (800) 741-7956, www.eldertreks.com. What you're in for—Travel with an adventurous edge. Age range—50 and up. Sample adventures—Visit ancient monuments and bazaars in Turkey, or try a Central American ecosafari. Special Bonus—Choose the “adventure option” and you’ll ride camels or camp in a Berber tent.
Menopausal Tours (866) 468-8646, www.menopausaltours.com. What you're in for—Travel with other fun, feisty women who are "over their ova". Age range—40 and up. Sample adventures—Pay homage to the King in Memphis or get your culture fix at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Special Bonus—Earn Diva Dollars for future travel with the group by referring a friend who books a trip.
Over the Hill Gang International (719) 389-0022, www.skiersover50.com. What you're in for—A workout. Choose from activities like skiing, biking, golfing, or hiking. Age range—50 and up. Sample adventures—Hit the slopes at top resorts in the United States and Europe, bike through the French countryside, golf in Ireland. Special Bonus—Get discounts at domestic and Canadian ski destinations.
Walking the World (800) 340-9255, www.walkingtheworld.com. What you're in for—Off-the-beaten-path walking tours. Age range—50 and up. Sample adventures—Trek to villages in the Alps, explore Portugal’s Madeira Island, or enjoy the fall colors as you hike the coast of Maine. Special Bonus—There are trips designed for various levels of fitness. A roommate-matching program is available for single travelers.
Photography courtesy of Eldertreks 2002
This article was first published in May 2002. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.