Penguins to Palm Trees: Travel Tips and Destinations for Retirees


What are the people, places, and things you want to encounter during your lifetime? Everyone’s “Bucket List” for life is different, but for most people, travel is included. As life goes on, it may be time to take action and start crossing items off of your own personal list. Experiencing other locations can give us deep insight into both the larger world and our own smaller lives.

Where to Go – Cosmopolitan Culture

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? Not all travel has to be roughing it – there are plenty of exotic destinations to experience, even if fine dining, great art, and a comfortable bed are on your list of must-haves.

Headshot of Andy NewmanAndy Newman is the senior vice president of NewmanPR, an agency based in Miami that specializes in travel communication. Newman knows the charms of Florida well, and offers his advice for sunshine state trip that is free of mice.

Visit The Florida Keys. The Keys are unique and a completely different Florida destination. The drive across the Florida Keys Overseas Highway is spectacular and it’s akin to cruising on a ship, but you do it in your car. Even though Key West is reachable by airline, I always recommend first-time visitors to the Keys to make the drive from the South Florida mainland and sample the experiences that Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon and Big Pine Key as well as Key West offer. Each region has its particular appeal. The Keys tourism council’s website has plenty of information.

Headshot of InkaBorn in Germany, Inka Piegsa-Quischotte worked as an attorney all over Europe, the USA, and South Africa before changing careers to become a travel writer and photographer. If Key West is still a little rustic for you, Inka has another destination idea for you.

New York City. I can’t think of a more cosmopolitan place on earth and a location which is not only beautiful but also a paradise for anybody interested in the arts, fashion, opera, theatre, you name it, it’s there and all within easy reach. My best travel advice is that whatever your age, don’t be afraid to go it alone.

Headshot of Becky LukovicAmateur gourmet chef and wine fanatic Becky Lukovic plans cuisine-centered trips to Europe for her clients. She knows that there is one place that comes to mind above nearly all other when you mention Europe, food, and wine.

I think Italy should be the number one place everyone should visit at least once. The Italian perspective on food, wine, art, love, and living is highly experiential and if someone can tap into this for just a moment, it becomes a feeling one seeks to replicate elsewhere. Italy is not just about the artistic masters and architectural wonders, but about food and wine and connecting with those around you – perhaps over a three hour lunch.

In Italy, wine and food are art. I think this is important to experience as Americans because we live in a fast-pace, fast food, fast response, bullet pointed culture. A truly experiential trip to Italy is life changing. I know this from experience, and I hear it all the time from my clients.

Where to Go – Living a Wild Life

Not everyone can find happiness in a busy city. If you are looking for less creature comforts and more actual creatures, consider more remote destinations with more chances to experience nature.

Headshot of Lynn FarrellLynn Farrell has worked in the travel industry for over 30 years, and helps her customers find the best solutions for their needs within the huge amount of travel options and information available. For a truly wild trip, skip the zoo in the city.

I recommend a safari. It is a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should do! It is the most incredible experience I have ever had, being five feet from lions, leopards and elephants in the wild is so cool.

Headshot of Jerry BridgeJerry Bridge is a second-generation travel professional with over 30 years of industry experience. With all that he has seen in his lifetime of work, South America holds a special place in his heart. He advises travelers to consider a trip to this historic country to see sites like Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu [in Peru], definitely. Home of the Incas, conquered by the Spaniards and home to some serious ancient ruins you might only imagine existed in Harrison Ford films! One of the New Seven Wonders of the world, this place is an absolute must for those with a quest for adventure and thirst for knowledge.

headshot of Donna HullBaby boomer travel writer Donna Hull documents her many adventures, accompanied by her photographer husband. She advises travelers to do the tougher stuff while you’re still up for it. Her ideal destination is about as far as you can get from sipping a drink in the sun at a full-service resort.

My number one destination will be different from another person’s ideal destination because travel goals are unique to each person For me, that place would be Antarctica. I want to see the frozen continent while it’s still pristine and while I can easily get in and out of a zodiac [inflatable boat]. Don’t put off travel. Go while you can, however you can. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

Trip-Saving Tips From the Experts

Whether you are dealing with llamas in Peru or the Naked Cowboy in Times Square, travel can bring the unexpected into your life. Encountering this lack of control is one of the greatest learning experiences offered by travel, but you also want to do your best to avoid any major problems. For smooth sailing (and a smooth customs experience), remember these words of wisdom.

  • Lynn Farrell: Always take a photocopy of your passport and keep the copy with you. If you lose your passport, you will be able to go to the nearest government office and get a temporary passport to return home!
  • Andy Newman: I think taking a cruise is a great way to experience different destinations without having to pack and unpack. And the cruise industry these days offers a varied product with both very large “megaships” and smaller, more intimate vessels. So there’s something out there for almost everyone.
  • Jerry Bridge: Travel with an open mind – overcome what you might consider ordinary or normal at home and accept that when you are in a foreign country different rules and expectations are most likely going to apply.

Passport_travelLions and Tigers and Passports, Oh My!

Whether you already have your bucket list made, or are just starting the search for travel ideas, get planning today! Retirement can be a great opportunity to make all of your wild (or milder!) adventure dreams come true.


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