For many people, retirement opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The kids are grown and on their own, and you are no longer tied to your job. This is your chance to get away, see the world, and enjoy life with family and friends. The world is your oyster, so why not spend your days out exploring! Start your mind wandering with these relaxing vacations.

Explore a World Class City

  • Trip/destination: London
  • Best for: Groups of seniors and tour groups
  • Must See: The view from the London Eye

London is one of the greatest cities in the world, and there are so many exciting day trips and places to explore. Tour companies such as ViaTour and Evans Evans Tours offer informative guided bus trips to all the major sites in London, as well as to world-famous sights nearby such as Bath, Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. Tours can be the perfect choice for seniors who are able to get around well enough, but who don’t want to do a whole lot of walking or driving on their own.

For those that want to chart their own itinerary, London’s public transportation system is one of the world's best. You can easily make your way around the city by bus, the Tube (as London's subway system is called), or even the Thames Clipper commuter boats. There are many excellent vacation apartments for rent all over London (Sloane Square is a chic neighborhood, and it's affordable if you negotiate a bit). Be sure to set aside an evening of theater in London’s star-studded West End.

Go Cruising

  • Trip/Destination: A European river cruise
  • Best for: A romantic second honeymoon for couples
  • Must See: The Castle District in ancient Budapest

There are many companies now offering delightfully lazy cruises down some of Europe’s most famous rivers, including Viking River Cruises and UniWorld Cruises. The best option for a river cruise is traveling up or down the beautiful Danube, the most important waterway in Europe.

A river cruise is perfect for active seniors who will enjoy exploring charming little towns that dot the river’s banks, and historic cities like Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. River cruises are also great for people who are less mobile, as they can enjoy the view from the deck as they drift down river. Pick a cruise that lasts a few days or a week, and then consider adding on a few days in a comfortable vacation condo in Vienna or Budapest, where there is so much more to explore.

It’s a Small World After All

  • Trip/Destination: Walt Disney World
  • Best for: Getting the whole family together
  • Must See: "It's a Small World" is a classic for children of every age

Sometimes the best vacations for retirees are holidays that involve the entire family, and for memorable family trips, few places are better than Orlando's Walt Disney Resort. The world’s premier theme park resort will keep everyone entertained, from babies to centenarians. Disney also takes care of all the little details that make your vacation as smooth and carefree as possible, such as locker, stroller and wheelchair rentals; meal plans; first aid stations for any emergencies; and a FASTPASS Service to save you from waiting in long lines.

Transportation inside and between Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, and the Disney Water Parks is a breeze. You can take air-conditioned buses, relaxing boat rides, or the famous Disney Monorail, and there are plenty of scooters available for anyone that doesn’t feel up to walking. With golf courses, spas, world class dining, shopping, and, of course, the theme parks, you’ll enjoy your visit here just as much as the grand kids will.

Rest and Relax

  • Trip/Destination: Hawaii
  • Best for: Seniors who want to kick back and relax
  • Must See: The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

For those wanting to get away from it all, the best vacations for retirees involve spending a day on the golf course, on the beach or just sitting on the deck with a great book. For the ultimate getaway, head to Hawaii.

All the islands are tropical wonderlands, but for the absolute best in no-muss, no-fuss vacations, stick to Oahu. There are plenty of spacious and accessible vacation condos right at Waikiki Beach, where you won’t have to walk far to get your toes sandy and wet.

Get Away and Give Back

  • Trip/Destination: A volunteer vacation
  • Best for: Seniors who want to see the world, and give back at the same time
  • Must See: The Terracotta Army in Xi’an, China

For many, the practice of pitching in to improve the community doesn’t end after they stop working. A “volunteer vacation” can be just the thing for retirees who want to combine a love of travel with a desire to make the world a better place. There are many organizations that offer volunteer vacations around the world, such as Cross-Cultural Solutions, and Global Volunteers, or you can match yourself with companies that have been vetted to ensure they follow U.S. charity and tax laws at

Why not consider spending a few weeks teaching English to schoolchildren in China? While you’re there, your volunteer vacation company will offer tours to some of the incredible sights, such as the Forbidden City in Beijing or the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Terracotta Army in Xi’an. Since it's a long (but worth it!) trip to the Far East, rent a beachside vacation cottage in Hawaii for a few days of relaxation on your way home.

Take in a Show

  • Trip/Destination: Branson, MO
  • Best for: Seniors who love theater
  • Must See: A country-western show

Branson has more than 50 theaters, all featuring live shows with some of the biggest names in entertainment. Whether you’re longing to see the Gatlin Brothers, the Oak Ridge Boys, or a tribute show to Dolly Parton, Branson is the place to be.

There are also a dozen world-class golf courses around the area, including the Branson Creek Course at the Branson Creek Golf Club, named Missouri's best public golf course by Golfweek Magazine. Branson's downtown area is beautiful, with lots of shopping and restaurants everywhere. Spend an afternoon shopping in Branson Landing for some Ozark specialties such as woodcrafts and homemade candles.

Soak in Southern Charm

  • Trip/Destination: Charleston, SC
  • Best for: Senior tour groups
  • Must See: Charleston’s beautiful house museums

Charleston is often called the Holy City because it has so many beautiful churches. It’s one of the most historic, and polite, cities in the United States, and is easily toured by bus. Visit the Aiken-Rhett House, built back in 1818, or Drayton House, just outside the city, which survived both the American Revolution and the Civil War.

Take a carriage ride around the Historic District or enjoy a boat tour out to Fort Sumter where the Civil War began. Active seniors who enjoy a round of two of golf should consider a charming beachfront vacation cottage at Kiawah Island to hit the links at the famous Kiawah Island Resort.

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