14 Bucket List Destinations to Help You Make the Most of Your Retirement

Want to get away? If you’re settling into retirement, there’s no time like the present to take your dream vacation!

If going on a whirlwind adventure or kicking back with a relaxing cocktail on the beach is on your mind now that you’re retired, you’re definitely not alone.

According to U.S. News & World Report, 38 percent of Baby Boomers have a “travel bucket list” they hope to accomplish within a few years; most Boomers have an average of eight places that they’d like to visit.

In practice, most Boomers expect to take about four to five leisure trips in a year, spending about $6,300 on travel, according to a study from AARP. Older adults are pretty evenly split about where they want to vacation, with half favoring domestic travel, and half planning on visiting international destinations.

So, what’s on your must-see list? What’s the dream vacation spot that’s been on your mind for years? If you need some inspiration (or if you’re just looking for an excuse to start booking your next trip), here are 14 travel destinations we’ve found that retirees love!

1.) Hawaii

The gorgeous beaches and lush landscapes of Hawaii are a huge draw to retirees seeking fun in the sun. According to U.S. News, “a trip to Hawaii is a more popular travel goal than [to] any other state,” and 18 percent of Boomers planning domestic trips have the Hawaiian Islands on their list.

2.) Italy

Unbelievable architecture. Great food. Charming locals. Incredible history. Scrumptious food. Delicious wine. And the food . . . Have we mentioned the food? For these reasons and more, an Italian getaway is a major dream for plenty of Boomers. According to CNBC, it’s the number one international destination for retirees—and with travel packages and airfare options, it’s more attainable than you might think!

3.) Alaska

About 12 percent of Boomers, U.S. News reports, have Alaska on their must-see list, and it’s a destination that’s only growing in popularity. As CBS News points out, demand keeps going “through the roof” for Alaskan trips, including cruises. Why the rush to head north? As Trips To Discover puts it, Alaska offers “a totally unique experience” that can be “as relaxing, or as active, as you’d like.”

4.) Australia

A survey from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch found that Australia was retirees’ second favorite international destination. Featuring eclectic cities and wildlife you won’t find anywhere else, Australia is a sure bet for adventurers. Plus, English is the most spoken language there, making it, for many, an easy transition compared to many other international destinations.

5.) California

The sights and sounds of the California coast make for “one of the most spectacular drives in the world.” Even better, California offers something for everyone, from the stunning views in San Francisco to the world-class beaches that surround Los Angeles.

6.) The UK and Ireland

More than 10 percent of Boomers have a trip to England, Scotland, or Ireland on their bucket list—and it’s not hard to see why! Whether your goal is to soak in breathtaking sights like the Cliffs of Moher, get a history lesson in London or Dublin, or try to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster, the UK and Ireland have a lot to offer.

7.) New York

For many retirees, a little bit of hustle and bustle can sound like a good thing. That may be why New York was ranked as one of the top vacation destinations for retirees by a Bank of America survey. The Big Apple offers limitless things to see and do, like world-class theater and some of the best restaurants on Earth. With multiple airports and railway options, it’s also easy to reach New York by plane, train, or automobile.

8.) The Caribbean

The AARP says that Boomers tend to be on the lookout for “laid-back and relaxing” trips, so it’s no wonder that the Caribbean is almost always named as a dream destination. As Trips to Discover points out, the island nations that make up the Caribbean are “easily accessible,” and offer “the ultimate tropical getaway.” Whether your idea of a perfect trip is lounging by the pool, hitting the casino, or exploring a vibrant nature trail, you’ll be able to find a Caribbean trip that’s up your alley.

9.) Florida

From the busy streets of Miami to the world-class accommodations available at many beachside resorts, Florida has it all. Whether you’re visiting the Gulf, the Keys, or anywhere in between, Florida is a perennial favorite for retirees—and, as CNBC notes, there are lots of good deals available, which can help you get there without breaking the bank.

10.) France

Often considered the jewel of central Europe, France is a wonderful country to visit, and about 10 percent of Boomers say it’s at the top of their travel bucket list. What would be on your agenda? Relaxing in the countryside? Partying in the Riviera? Feasting on the local color (and cuisine) in Paris, one of the most romantic cities on the planet?

11.) Arizona

As we’ve mentioned before, Arizona is a hugely popular retreat for snowbirds, thanks to its warm weather and scenic vistas. Tourists may be familiar with the spectacular sight of the Grand Canyon, but this southwestern state has even more to offer! For example, did you know that Yuma, AZ has been called one of the sunniest places in the world? A visit sounds like a bright idea, doesn’t it?

12.) Thailand

What makes Thailand, and its capital city, Bangkok, a top vacation destination for retirees? As one travel agent explained to CBS News, this Southeast Asian nation has “arguably distinguished itself as the best value destination in the world.” And as one recent traveler put it, “the service is unbeatable, and yes—reaching a ‘certain age’ is respected and revered.”

13.) Nevada

According to U.S. News, about seven percent of retirees are planning a trip to Las Vegas, which offers some of the most incredible casinos and nightlife in the country. But outside of this popular city, Nevada still has a lot going for it, including spectacular nature walks around Red Rock Canyon or Lake Mead.

14.) Mexico

Mexico offers countless options for retirees looking to kick back by the ocean. From active resort hubs like Cancun or Cabo San Lucas to archeological wonders like Tulum, to “tranquil,” secluded beach towns, Mexico has a destination for every taste and budget.

Are any of these amazing destinations on your travel bucket list? Have you taken a trip to an under-the-radar locale that other retirees need to know about? Be sure to keep the conversation going over on Facebook!

And if you’re looking for the right health insurance plan to suit your active lifestyle in retirement, the Enrollment Specialists have you covered there, too! Drop us a line today to start talking all things health and life insurance!

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