Think adventure travel is just for the young? Think again. In fact, adventure travel is now more popular than ever for those aged 50-plus. What exactly is adventure travel, you may ask? The phrase covers a wide array things, most of which involve staying active and exploring a destination off-the-beaten path from major tourism landmarks and big resorts.
An adventure-oriented vacation can be great for couples, multi-generational families or even singles signing up for group or solo travel. If you enjoy being active on your vacation and getting out in nature, adventure travel may be for you. Here are a few categories of adventure travel to get your imagination – and your planning – started. Click on the links throughout to learn more.
Ideas for Adventure
- Wild west: If you’ve ever dreamed of riding horses across the open fields or moving cattle to better grazing, a trip to a working cattle ranch or dude ranch may be for you. Working cattle ranches allow you to participate in real ranch work, and both working cattle ranches and dude ranches provide opportunities to ride and improve your horsemanship skills.
- Winter wonderland: For those who enjoy winter sports, a vacation in snow country can include skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and sleigh rides. Advanced skiers can go off the beaten path and try heli-skiing, where a helicopter takes you to more adventurous terrain for a downhill thrill. Not a daredevil? You can still opt for something different like dog sledding!
- Sky’s the limit: True thrill seekers often take to the skies. Brave souls may long to try bungee jumping, paragliding or parachuting at least once in their lifetime. Those who want the views without the danger can opt for a smooth hot air balloon ride or a helicopter tour.
- Motorsport madness: Whether it’s a dune buggy, motorcycle, ATV or jeep, many destinations offer travelers the chance to explore and satisfy their need for speed at the same time.
- Mountain adventure: Views, nature, waterfalls – mountains have them all. Adventurers can go rock climbing or mountain biking, while great hiking and walking trails can be found for various skill levels.
- Waves and water: From wake boarding and water skiing to skimboarding, surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling to white water rafting and kayaking: Oceans, lakes and rivers provide endless opportunity for adventure.
If you’re considering planning an adventure-oriented trip, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Consider your fitness level, and clear any planned activity with your doctor first.
- Take advantage of AARP’s Travel Center and member discounts.
- Read reviews, ratings and the fine print before booking with hotels and tour operators.
With a bit of research and planning, you can find a trip that will make your dreams for adventure come true. Happy trails!