Here’s a collection of sources that cater specifically to mature travellers, offer discounts to seniors, or provide services custom-made for travelling boomers. As well, I’ve gathered some sites devoted to those thinking of retiring abroad, or already out there enjoying it.
AARP AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, is a great resource for North American boomers, and offers discounts of 10 to 20 percent on a variety of services and attractions, including many involving travel.
AARP Travel AARP’s new travel resource offers travel tips, information on an impressive list of destinations, links to travel discounts and a trip finder engine that suggests locales after you enter your interests.
CARP Formerly the Canadian Association for Retired Persons, CARP is organization that advocates for Canadians in the boomer generation. Members get discounts of 10 to 20 percent off things including hotels, car rentals, roadside assistance and VIA Rail.
Seniordiscounts This site provides a comprehensive list of travel providers and other retailers who offer discounts to Baby Boomers. Each listing describes the discount and the age to qualify.
Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) This organization offers 5,500 educational tours aimed at older travellers. It says its tours cover all 50 U.S. states and 150 countries, including places like Cambodia and Uzbekistan. Tours are pricey but include most costs, and solo travellers are welcomed.
AMTRAK Taking the train is the way to go, especially if you’re a boomer with a flexible schedule. The big U.S. rail company covers the country, and its website has information on routes, seats and berths (did you know it has four-person suites?) as well as routes and schedules. AMTRAK offers a 15-percent discount on economy fares to those over age 62.
Via Rail Canada’s national passenger railway covers the country from coast to coast. Its website offers information on the country’s regions as well as things like advice for foreign passengers, and train-hotel packages. Via offers a 10-percent discount for those over 60.
Home Exchange 50 Plus This unique British-based site specializes in home exchanges between baby boomers. As it says, boomers tend to be more flexible on dates, have more free time and are often empty nesters. There are a good number of listings in Europe, North America, Asia, and even Africa, plus a few in Mexico and the Caribbean. There’s even a golf exchange section. A one-year membership costs 49 pounds.
Compare Travel Insurance This useful Australian-based page explains some of the major questions about health insurance, including the reasons it’s important, the different types of coverage and the different factors that influence your policy and its cost. There’s a handy coverage map, and a tool that lets you compare quotes.
Booming Encore This Canadian site offers resources for boomers on subjects ranging from health and careers to volunteering and travel (supplied by the Travelling Boomer). Whatever your need, there’s sure to be something of interest.
Alte Cocker Travels If you need some inspiration, the Alte Cocker (Yiddish for “old fart”, or something similar) has it in spades. She’s spending her senior years travelling to diverse destinations, mostly on home exchanges. She details her adventures in amusing style, and offers advice on home exchanges too.
International Living This magazine and website is devoted to those looking to move or retire abroad. It offers a wealth of advice and information on the best retirement destinations and the ins and outs of becoming an expat. It has a strong real estate focus, and will fill your inbox with offers, but it’s worth it for the information offered. There’s a substantial subscription fee.
Numbeo This site charts the cost of living in cities and countries all over the world, broken into multiple categories. You can compare cities or countries head to head — great for those considering moving or retiring abroad.
Expatistan Like Numbeo, lets you compare the cost of living between two cities, with lots of real-life examples. The site conveniently lets you convert costs into your own currency. Claims to have prices for more than 1,800 cities worldwide.
Radio Free Daglan This blog, by my colleague Loren Chudy, is a well-written account of a Canadian couple’s life in a small French town in the Dordogne region. It focuses on food, but provides a great insight into what life’s really like for an expat in Europe.
InterNations This professional-looking site runs a community of expats. It claims to connect a million people around the world. It lets members trade tips, help each other with orientation and business ventures. Also offers helpful articles and a magazine. Membership is by invitation only.
Expat Focus There’s a wealth of information here, ranging from moving abroad to insurance, financial affairs, jobs and real estate — there are property listings, if you’re in the market. The site also has user forums and articles by expats on their experiences in a long list of countries.