Fresh out of college or newly retired, 20-somethings and baby boomers may share the same travel bug with similarly limited resources. Youth hostels are inexpensive accommodations for younger explorers but what can an adventurous spirit over 60 on a budget expect to find traveling these days?
Seniors can look for discounted train tickets through Rail Europe or may want to stay closer to home and invest in a United States national parks lifetime pass. European River Cruises are also popular and not all are exceptionally pricey. And if Latin America is more your speed, the summer is the off-season for destinations like Costa Rica or Panama and travel may be less costly and with fewer crowds.
For organized trips geared for the older adult, check out Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), which helps coordinate learning adventures for adults over the age of 50 or ElderTreks, an outfit that organizes small group exotic tours for travelers 50 and older.
A working holiday is another option for older adults. Retired first responders can find a second career as a flight attendant and fly for free with their family. Some cruise lines employ older men to serve as dance and dinner companions for single older women; although they do not necessarily earn a salary, the men travel and dine free of cost.
Volunteering through organizations such as the Peace Corp allows seniors to help in while visiting another part of the world and most provide a stipend for food and incidentals as well as an allowance to help transition back home. Other volunteer opportunities for older adults include working for environmental groups such as Earthwatch or United Planet Quest. If you speak more than one language fluently, translators are sometimes hired by the government as guides for international visitors. With a little research, seniors can put their skill set to work helping others while nurturing a passion for adventure, all without burning through their savings.
For more travel ideas and money saving tips, visit the Canadian Association of Retired Persons website at: http://www.carp.ca/member-benefits/exclusive-carp-cruise-offers-save-up-to-300/ .