Tours For Seniors Tours For Seniors

These days people live much longer than they did. It is not uncommon to see seniors in their 80s and 90s still active and enjoying life to the fullest. Seniors who have worked all their lives retire and often want to travel. Many destinations are available, and tours designed around the senior are common. This article discusses tours for seniors, some companies that offer senior-oriented tours, and destination ideas.

The Escorted Tour

The largest group of travelers these days is seniors. People over 55 make the highest amount of travel expenditures. Companies are offering escorted tours to destinations that seniors prefer. Surprisingly, there are only four major companies in the senior travel industry -- 3 in Boston and 1 in California. These companies are Saga Holidays, Grand Circle Travel, Inc., Elderhostel, and Your Man Tours ("YMT Vacations"). These companies do not advertise with regular travel agencies. For the senior looking for an escorted tour, it is necessary to sign up for the company's mailing list to receive pamphlets and brochures.

Some Surprising Facts

Seniors today are particular about whom they travel with on an escorted tour. This generation has been subjected to hard times, military service, and hard work. They are not inclined to travel with the younger generation, who they consider out of touch and party conscious. They prefer to travel with their own age group, and visit sites that they did not have a chance to see during their working life. They have a sense of history which the younger set does not share. Exposed to world events, they often wish to travel to places that hold no interest for younger people.

The Smart Companies

Some companies cater to the older set, making arrangements that meet the needs of this generation. These companies avoid the major hotels and all the hustle and bustle that may offend seniors who want peace and quiet. They look for hotels with large lobbies where visitors may congregate and enjoy conversation and a relaxed mood. These companies only use hotels that are within walking distance of local attractions and popular eateries.

Companies in the know pace their tours so that seniors are not spending long hours on a bus. They keep travelers active and moving as much as possible. Generally, seniors who travel will take two or three trips per year.

The Companies

Each one is a bit different. Listed here are the companies, the contact information, and a bit of what they do.

Saga Holidays
Department W Saga International Holidays,
1161 Boylston St,
Boston, MA 02215
Phone 617/262-2262 or toll free 800/343-0273 outside Massachusetts

Saga Holidays is the largest of the four. The company sends over 250,000 senior citizens each year on vacation. British owned, it sends its trans-Atlantic tours through London. People from Australia and Great Britain are thrown into the mix to offer counter culture exchanges, making for a lively group. It tours heavily by motor coach in the US, Mexico, South America and the Far East.

Grand Circle Travel, Inc.,
347 Congress St,
Boston, MA 02210
Phone 800-959-0405

Grand Circle Travel is the oldest company in the US catering to seniors. It specializes in extended-stay vacations during off-season months at a very reasonable price. Destinations include Portugal and Madeira, Malta, and the Amalfi coast.

11 Avenue de Lafayette,
Boston, MA 02111
Phone 877-426-8056

Elder Hostel is very popular with seniors. A not-for-profit organization, it allows seniors the opportunity to visit nearly 2,000 U.S. and foreign educational institutions. They are able to take a variety of courses at very reasonable prices.

YMT Vacations, Inc.
8831 Aviation Boulevard,
Inglewood, CA 90301,
Phone 800-922-9000

"Your Man Tours" offers a mixed bag of travel and land tours. Trips to Alaska and Hawaii are most popular. Stay a week on land, then take a one-week cruise or tour by air. YMT is considered the most reasonable agency. It has been in business nearly 40 years.

Escorted tours for seniors are well worth looking into for retired folks wishing to travel. Check them out today. The companies can be viewed on the Internet for more information.

Visit our Senior Travel section for more vacation ideas!

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.

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