Now that winter appears to have settled in for the duration, many retired adults may be thinking about travelling, visiting new places and escaping the cold and snow for a week or two. But older adults who are single and don’t have adventurous friends may find they are hesitant to travel alone, and instead stay home. Good news! There are several options, designed with the solo senior traveller in mind, to help older adults find a suitable companion and enjoy exploring the world again.
Senior Travel Buddy is an online matching service that connects same-sex older adults with a buddy interested in travelling with a new friend. Single travellers often have to pay a single supplement on cruises or tour accommodations. A matching site can help travel companions share costs with someone who has a similar budget, age, health, activity level and shared interests.
While asking friends and family if they know someone who might be interested in travelling with a new friend may also help seniors find a travel companion, older adults may need to cast a wider net to connect with a like-minded traveller. Senior Centers often offer day and weekend excursions as well as classes that provide an opportunity to connect with other seniors. Look for activities that give single older adults a chance to meet, make new friends and possibly share travel expenses and experiences together in the future. Staying socially engaged also helps prevent isolation and depression and is beneficial for cognition as we age. Learning a new skill can also help older adults stay mentally sharp and engaged with their communities.
Other online groups and Meetups help people with specific interests find companions for travel and other activities. Just remember to be safe, always meet in public, never give out financial or other private information online and trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right. Take the time to meet several times with a prospective travel buddy before planning a trip to make sure the relationship will be a good fit.