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Senior Holidays-#SoloTravelTips: As the holidays approach, it can be hard to find the right place to celebrate as a senior. Solo travel can be a good choice. However, travel for one can be “one for the price of two”. I have taken a wide variety of solo trips for the holidays. I have gone to the remote Amazon in Brazil. I started the day swimming in the Amazon River hoping to avoid any piranhas celebrating with a well- placed snack on fellow tourists. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I had a high end visit in the Old City of Quebec. My stay at the luxury Fairmont Chateau Fontainebleau featured Christmas choristers, top meals and a very snowy White Christmas. Here are our 5 tips on how to plan a real alternative to being “Home Alone for the Holidays”.
Senior Holidays-#SoloTravelTips: Our Tips:
Tip One: What will you miss?
As you start to plan where to go, think about how you think about the holidays. Are you looking for a traditional spot? Will you miss having home town parties and visits with friends and family? Although I had a great trip to the Amazon for a past Christmas, I had a sense that I missed the whole holiday. The next year I first celebrated on Christmas Eve with traditional carols and services. On Christmas Day, I headed to the airport to join a Mekong Delta Cruise. By dividing the festivities between a traditional approach and a new solo travel plan, I had the best of both worlds.
Tip Two: Try out an adventure!
For a solo traveler, the best way to celebrate is to have an adventure trip of a lifetime. There are many ways to do this. If you are an active sports fan, check out ski packages offered by hotels or local ski clubs. See for example xxxx. If you would rather sight see than set new sports records, museums abroad will be less crowded than summer time and a way to dodge the winter’s chill. Dying to see remote regions but not really comfortable doing it alone? Take a river cruise on Burma/Myanmar’s Irawaddy River. River cruises provide better security than going it alone in a large city after dark. You will find a ready-made group for meals and sightseeing but time alone if you like. One of my top New Year memories is heralding the New Year in the sunshine in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
Tip Three: Relax, and Greet the New Year Solo!
Looking for a real break? Consider a spa where you have no set schedule and no constantly ringing cell phone. I found Santa Fe for Christmas was ideal. Everything was walking distance from multiple cafes and shops. I added day trips to national parks and exploring local Native American sites. For a longer trip, Eastern European spas are less costly than most of the US and Western Europe. (See our packages for xxx.)
Senior Holidays-#SoloTravelTips: Connecting:
Tip Four: Social media is for everyone
If you are new to solo travel, be sure to find ways to connect while you are abroad.
- Find volunteer groups online that have the need for holiday workers. Be sure to first checkout their reputations and how secure the destination.
- Sign up for a short term cooking. Language or art history class.
- Join a Christmas Markets or New Year’s river cruise.
Tip Five: Saving money
One issue for all travelers is that holiday rates tend to soar.
- One way to avoid higher costs is to go the way less traveled by. For example, if the tourist demand is for sunny beaches, check out the deep chill of northern Europe and Canada.
- Find a suburban boutique hotel or B&B. If you are on a major transportation line, you can save but still have access to all the city can offer.
- Price airport motels. What these typical high rises may not have the Old World charm of historic in-town landmark hotels, the prices and deals can help keep your budget in line. I tried this once in Paris and had a great deal and full days in the City of Lights.
- Go online and look for house swaps and services for lodging. (If you are an animal lover, try to be a dog sitter at a top locale.)
- Offer to lead a school or community group on a holiday trip.
- Make Thanksgiving your holiday rather than higher priced Christmas and New Year’s.
- Check out hotels that offer seniors discounts.
- Beyond lodging, airlines, trains, museums and theaters often also have seniors discounts. Be sure to ask since select countries’ qualifying age may be lower than expected!)
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