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Time to travel now that kids are back in school

By Patte Smith

Many baby boomers and older adults wait for school kids to get back in their classrooms or return to college before taking a trip. The crowds have thinned out, and late summer and fall can be a peaceful time of year to travel. I started researching tours for adults over 50 and found several that include tours of the U.S. and the world. There are also sightseeing, cultural and sport vacation tours designed for single older adults. If traveling solo, you are more likely to meet someone who shares your interests on single tours.

Escorted motor coach tours offer scenic stops and comfortable itineraries designed with a leisurely pace in mind. You can journey to San Francisco, Yellowstone or New Orleans, or pick a “mystery” destination –there are numerous choices. Senior Tours ( is one of the many motor coach companies that offer excursions. I am not promoting this company, but on their website you can get an overall idea of what kind of trips are available.

Another comfortable way to travel is escorted rail tours in the U.S. for adults. Even though trains may be considered by some a thing of the past, traveling from the Atlantic to the Pacific and north to south is a journey of our nation’s history chock-full of beautiful landscapes. For adults with mobility difficulties and those who just want to sit back, relax and admire the passing scenery, this is a good way to travel. There are several escorted rail tour companies. I am listing two, but you can search for others online. Visit and

Road Scholar, founded as Elderhostel in 1975, currently offers programs combined with travel and education that feature learning adventures for older adults in every state in the United States and 150 countries. Their goal is to foster a sense of community and camaraderie when traveling. Originally the learning program combined not-for-credit classes with inexpensive “hostel” lodging for older adults. More comfortable accommodations are now provided. Visit

ElderTreks offers small group adventures for travelers 50 plus. From archaeology tours to cycling, festival tours and history tours, there are numerous adventures from which to choose Visit to learn more. Another plus is on the side menu bar you can choose the region you want to visit, the type of adventure you are interested in and your activity level.

Some excursions can be pricey, so if you need to budget, do your homework by comparing costs. Most tour companies coordinate your travel itineraries and explain the detailed fees. Traveling in the U.S. is obviously more affordable. There are countless websites that offer travel tips for seniors, travel forums and blogs and information on tour groups. So if you have a travel bug check them out – and happy trails.

Share your stories:

If you have taken a day trip in Colorado, or have traveled on an escorted tour, I would like to hear about your adventure. Sharing information and personal stories help encourage other older adults who would like to travel but are uncertain about opportunities, especially if they have a disability or physical limitation. Send comments, ideas and topics you would like to see covered in The Next Chapter to



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