One of the benefits of getting older is having more time to travel. While your younger decades may have been consumed by a career and children, your later years are a time to explore the world with a new sense of wonder. However, this is also a time when you may need to be more fiscally conservative than ever, so choosing low-cost destinations is crucial. If you don’t know where to go next, fear not. Read on to find out the top five budget travel destinations for the over 65s, according to industry experts.
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What better way to spend your golden years than under a golden sunset? “The fantastic, crystal-clear waters of the Bahamas beach are reason enough to never miss a trip there,” says Anton Radchenko, founder of AirAdvisor. The chain of islands off Florida is home to more than 2,000 beaches, with the capital Nassau offering a handful of free and public beaches.
The Bahamas is relatively safe,” says Radchenko. “But if a senior is traveling, we recommend joining a group tour where they can also suggest the best tour routes based on your preferences.” If not not your style, we recommend stretching out on the white sands of Cable Beach (free) or visiting the Pirate Museum of Nassau ($13.50). An all-inclusive resort will help keep the extra costs to a minimum.
Known for its waffles, fries, beers and chocolate, Belgium is a fabulous destination for the over 65s. “The town is relatively small and walkable,” says Radchenko. And because it’s less popular than its European neighbors like France and Germany, it’s also a bit more affordable.
Bruges is identified by its medieval architecture, canals and picturesque cobbled streets. Here you will find one of the best and most affordable pastimes, simply taking a walk. Once you’re done, you can visit a range of cultural centers, such as the Gruuthusemuseum and the Bruges Beer Experience Museum for an educational afternoon.
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If you’ve never been to Scotland, now might be the time to cross the pond. US News & World Report notes that Glasgow is one of the most affordable cities overseas, with four- and five-star hotels available for less than $150 a night. Additionally, many attractions in this city are free or affordable.
On day one, take a stroll through the University of Glasgow Gardens and Necropolis Cemetery. Then, take time to visit cultural institutions such as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (free) and Glasgow Cathedral (free). You can take the slightly more expensive train to Edinburgh for just $7 if you decide to change your pace.
US News & World Report ranks Hungary’s capital among the most affordable European vacations. Budapest is divided by the Danube and much of the city has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Once there, visit the impressive neo-Gothic Parliament Building (free), tour the Great Market (price depends on how hungry you are), and stroll through the Jewish Quarter (free). For something you won’t find anywhere else, visit a ruin bar. These drinking establishments are mainly installed in dilapidated warehouses and pre-war buildings. You’ll feel like one of the kids again as soon as you step inside.
It is possible to find flights to Ireland from the United States for less than $400, which is why this destination is one of our favorites for seniors on a budget. To get to Galway, one of the busiest and most walkable places in the country, fly into Shannon Airport and take a rental car or a tourist bus north. There, you’ll be charmed by the Irish step dancers in the town square and the dozens of pubs playing traditional Irish music (live, of course).
From Galway, you can easily travel to Connemara National Park (free) to enjoy the hiking trails and stunning scenery. You can also take a bus for less than 20 euros to the haunting Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine nunnery with acres of beautifully manicured gardens. After a long day of exploring, relax with a pint at your hotel – many can be booked for less than 100 euros a night.
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