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8 reasons to embrace retirement travel on a guided solo trip

Jul 06, 2023 by Jamie Gallerani

Have you checked “retire” off your bucket list? Now’s your moment to check “retirement travel” off, too! There’s no better way to round out your years in the workforce than by doing something that’s all about you. This stage of your life is the prime time to tackle your travel dreams, and our tip is to go solo on a guided tour so that you can really embrace the experience. If you’re looking for tours for seniors traveling alone, read on to see why you’ll love guided solo travel after retirement.

Why you’ll love guided solo travel after retirement

1. There’s a lot to be said for relaxing while someone else does the work

After however many years in the workforce, you’ve more than earned the chance to kick back. And, while seeing the world is always a heart-expanding, mind-opening, refreshing experience, it takes a lot of legwork to pull off the perfect itinerary. Let our experts handle the details while you discover just why travel for retirees is so worthwhile.

“Travel for the same reasons you wanted to before retirement, but now with more flexibility,” said solo traveler Charlie. “You’re retired. Let someone else do the scheduling, make hotel reservations, arrange the tours, find the local guides, and so on. I’ve traveled on my own and didn’t mind doing all that for myself. But why not enjoy retirement and let someone else do the work?”

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2. You can travel any time of year, for any length of time, to any place you want

Working at a job you love is fulfilling, but there’s certainly something to be said for having all your days to yourself once you retire—and that’s where senior solo travel comes in. The best part about travel for retirees is all the freedom. If you’re newly retired and wondering how to use your spare time now that you’re not on the clock, retirement travel is just the ticket.

“Before I retired, I scheduled travel around my work schedule,” said solo traveler Charlie. “As an educator who taught most summers, I had to plan travel around spring break and the two or three weeks between the summer and fall sessions. Even though Go Ahead usually had tours that fit my schedule, it’s much easier to plan now that I can more or less go anywhere at any time.”

3. It feels good to take a leap into something new and be a beginner again

Just because your professional adventure is over, that doesn’t mean that all the other adventures you can have are, too. Even after spending years mastering your craft in the workplace, there are still new horizons to seek—and new moments that will challenge you in the best ways. Taking a chance on guided solo travel is your opportunity to lean into your curiosity. When you go guided with us, you’ll travel solo, but not alone. That means you’ll have the camaraderie of a group as you see the world, but will still get to take on new experiences (and overcome any solo-travel jitters as you experience life-changing travel moments!).

“I retired from teaching after 25 years and my husband passed away several years ago, and I knew once I retired I’d want to travel more,” said traveler Cheryl as she shared some of the many lessons you can learn as a solo traveler. “The only way I could do that was to step out of my comfort zone and travel solo. It’s a great experience. Sure, I was nervous at first, but it all just works out so well. I knew Go Ahead would be the group I would travel with because they’re the best. I knew that when I took my luggage off that turnstile and walked into the foyer of the airport, my fabulous Tour Director would be standing there smiling, waiting to whisk me and the other excited travelers off on a new adventure.”

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4. You can focus on your own interests (and discover new ones!)

As a retiree, you may think you know all there is to know about the things you’re passionate about. But, whether you’re 27 years old or 67, travel has a way of opening your eyes to parts of your personality you never even knew about. It’s amazing what you can uncover when you’re out of your routine and on the road on a Solo Tour, with fellow solo travelers and expert guides at your side. “The flexibility to go anywhere at any time means I can look for trips that fit my interests, like history, archaeology, art, museums, landscapes, and food and wine,” said solo traveler Charlie.

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5. You can see well-loved destinations with new eyes

Have you ever traveled somewhere that stayed with you long after you left? If you’re still replaying scenes from a spectacular past trip and have a fresh opportunity to travel after retirement, take it from us: Revisit the place that amazed you in the past on a guided solo trip. You’ll remember just why you fell in love with that destination in the first place, and will see even more from a whole new perspective.

“This was my first trip to Greece since I hitchhiked there as a teenager more than fifty years ago,” said traveler Peter after our Athens & Ancient Greece tour. “I would strongly recommend this tour to anyone young or old who wants to see some of the most important sights that Greece has to offer, with great accommodations.”

6. You’ll make meaningful connections with new people

Some of our closest friends end up being the people who sit next to us at work every day. But, new friendships can also be forged on tours for seniors traveling alone after retirement. There’s something so bonding about being in a dream destination alongside people who have always dreamed of being there, too. You’ll arrive on tour a solo traveler, and will return home with new friends to share your travel memories with.

“My EF trip to Portugal was my highlight of 2022!” said solo traveler Susan after returning from our Portugal for Solo Travelers tour. “I’ve traveled quite a bit in the states and a little in Europe, but not by myself. After retiring, I wanted to go but didn’t have many travel partners who could join me. This was the best! … I met lovely people with whom I stay in touch. I am ready for my next solo trip to another destination ASAP!”

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7. You’ll discover even more about yourself

There are so many “I’ve earned this” moments to experience on tours for seniors traveling alone. Think: finding your favorite gelato flavor in Florence or seeing the ancient pyramids in Egypt. But, we’d say the most inspiring thing you’ll discover about yourself as you take on retirement travel on a guided Solo Tour is that you’re far more capable than you think.

“I suppose the central thing I’ve learned during the solo travel I’ve done since losing my wife is that I can do it,” said traveler Charlie. “It’s not the same, of course, but I’ve really enjoyed the travel. The rest of the group ‘adopts’ me. If I wanted to go off on my own, I could. If I wanted company, my fellow travelers welcomed me to join them.”

8. There’s no time like the present

Have you always wanted to see the world, but put it off because you didn’t have anyone to go with? Or you had work commitments? Or you never felt ready to take the leap? Once you’re retired, it’s your chance to seize the moment and embrace the best of senior solo travel—our experts have your back every step of the way.

“This was my first ever international solo trip and it exceeded my expectations!” said solo traveler Lois after her time on our Thailand for Solo Travelers: Bangkok, Phuket & the Islands tour. “I was a bit apprehensive at first, but the EF staff quickly made me feel comfortable booking the trip. Once my trip started, it was remarkable. Our tour guide was exceptional!”

Solo travel for seniors never gets old. Interested in travel for retirees? Check out our guided Solo Tours

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About the author | Jamie Gallerani
It was Jamie’s homestay in Germany that made her fall in love with travel (and her studies in Florence that really sealed the deal). When she’s not writing and sharing the magic of seeing the world with others, she’s usually on the lookout for her new favorite memoir, testing out recipes at home, or visiting her family on Cape Cod.

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