If you have your heart set on a tropical break abroad — think white sand, clear azure waters, and balmy climates — you’re probably wondering how the world’s most sought-after destinations fare when assessed against the needs of an older person.
Here, we’ve compiled the perfect list of amazing, beautiful tropical destinations for your vacation, keeping in mind accessibility, exciting attractions, great places to relax, and of course, stunning warm weather. Inspired by these ideas, you’ll be jetting your way to the sea and sun in no time!
Discover exquisite luxury hotels with tropical views, outstanding eco-friendly tourism practices and gorgeous national parks teeming with colourful animals in Costa Rica. If you prefer not to walk up stairs or for long distances, you will appreciate the multitudes of accommodation options available along the beaches — mere steps away from the golden sand and within close range of hundreds of shops, restaurants, golf resorts, and jungle grounds for you to explore.
Although slightly more expensive than other countries in Central America, Costa Rica offers matchless warm weather, stunning beaches, and flavoursome food that will make your journey well worth the spend. To experience the best of Costa Rican culture, eat at local ‘sodas’ for scrumptious, authentic, affordable Costa Rican cuisine and stay in environmentally-friendly hotels to help Costa Rica remain as pristine and full of life for many years to come.
This compact Mediterranean country has all you could want in a holiday spot: an exquisite coastline, beautiful scenery, great cuisine, fascinating history, and over a thousand islands to explore. What’s even better is that you can book cruises that sail from Split, catering especially for people over 60 years of age.
Slicing through the waves on a boat provides gorgeous sea views, excellent cabin service, and fresh air — so many older people find sailing an attractive option for travelling. If you wish, you can certainly traverse Croatia by foot — but bear in mind that many of its famed national parks and tourist islands are quite hilly, so make sure you are prepared to walk for long distances and uphill if you decide to travel via land.
Thailand is often considered the ideal destination for student party-goers, but this Southeast Asian country is also a fantastic destination for older people seeking a thrilling, colourful vacation. Compared to many countries in Europe, for example, Thailand is much cheaper for visitors to eat and travel and offers incomparable sights and experiences that will thrill even people with decades of life experience under their belts.
While travelling as a retiree, you will also find that in Thailand and in other Asian countries, age is revered and respected: meaning that you’ll receive the best service you’ve probably ever experienced in your life. Just be aware of pickpockets and scam-artists who will attempt to trick you out of money while you’re on the streets, and be vigilant about your food and water consumption — make sure your seafood and chicken is well cooked, and try to avoid consuming drinks with ice.
Very few senior travellers come back from Mexico with anything less than rave reviews. We recommend Tulum, in particular, for a truly tropical, palm-tree-lined vacation. Tulum is quiet enough to be relaxing for those who like to take life a little more slowly, but it also boasts a variety of activities for people who love walking, cycling, or yoga.
Like Thailand, travelling in Mexico does have a level of risk regarding natural disasters and petty crime on the streets that you must keep in mind when planning which cities to visit. Always check your government travel advice before deciding on your destinations and consider traveling in a group or with a tour guide company.
For seniors who love to stepping out and experiencing a country’s culture, Samoa can’t be beaten. Samoa is a dream tropical destination, featuring myriad accommodation options, hot sun, and gorgeous spas — but the best part about this island nation is its people.
If you love song and dance, make sure you go along to a Fiafia Night, a traditional fete of Samoan culture where you’ll get to see the famous fire knife dance up close. If you’re stirred to get up and moving, you’ll even be able to join in with the Taualuga — the final dance!
The American state of Hawaii is a great choice for a vacation for English-speaking seniors who might otherwise struggle with a language barrier. Hawaii offers scenic drives (which you can book tour providers), beautiful sunny beaches, and fascinating cultural and historical sites as the Iolani Palace, Pearl Harbour, and the Byodo-In Temple. Keep in mind that Hawaii can be more expensive than some of the other destinations on this list, so be sure to budget your accommodation, food, and treats money to make the most of this gorgeous country. Have an awesome vacation!
Allison Hail is a beach-loving freelance writer from Wellington, NZ who adores sunny days on the sand with a double-scoop strawberry ice cream cone and gorgeous ocean views. She has visited several tropical countries and written for sites such as Tanoa Tusitala. Discover more of Allison’s work here.