Traveling After Retirement |Top 10 Destinations for 2023

One of the most exciting parts of retirement is finally having the freedom to travel and see the world. With more free time and newfound flexibility, retirees can take the trips they’ve dreamed about for decades. In 2023, stunning destinations near and far beckon across the globe. This article explores the top 10 places to consider when traveling after retirement.

Top 10 Destinations For Traveling After Retirement

1. United States National Parks

For retirees who want to explore America’s natural wonders, the national parks offer awe-inspiring scenery from sea to shining sea. Parks like Arches, Zion, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Acadia, and others provide endless inspiration year-round. Tour them independently or join a group.

The America the Beautiful Senior Pass gets you lifetime free entry for just $20 (age 62+). Take advantage of the flexibility retirement offers to hit multiple parks and avoid peak crowds. Rent an RV or stay in park lodges. 2023 marks the perfect time to check national parks off your bucket list!

2. Caribbean Cruising

Cruising the blue waters of the Caribbean onboard a floating resort provides the perfect taste of paradise for retirees. Visit incredible islands like St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and more without hassle. Relax while world-class dining, beaches, entertainment, and amenities come to you.

Major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, and Holland America offer Caribbean itineraries ranging from 4 to 14 days from convenient Florida ports. Try eastern, western, or southern routes. Discover adventure, culture, and relaxation all from the comfort of a cruise ship.

Traveling After Retirement

3. Mediterranean Cruising

Cruising the Mediterranean onboard a ship allows you to wake up to new stunning European scenery every morning. Visit iconic cities like Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Malta, and Istanbul without packing and repacking. Relax while top-notch dining, entertainment, and amenities come to you.

Major cruise lines offer Mediterranean itineraries ranging from 7 to 14 days from convenient ports like Rome, Barcelona, and Athens. Try a western, eastern, or Adriatic Sea route. Traveling Europe by cruise ship after retirement is simply unmatched for convenience.

4. African Safaris

An African safari should be on every nature lover’s retirement dream list. Kenya and Tanzania offer epic wildlife viewing on the Serengeti plains and in the Maasai Mara. Seeing elephants, lions, zebras, hippos, and giraffes roam free in their natural habitat is an unbeatable travel experience.

Book a camping or lodge-based safari for multiple days in the wilderness. Look for small group tours for intimacy. Be ready to rise early for dawn game drives when animals are most active. A hot air balloon ride over the savanna provides a stunning aerial view at sunrise too.

5. Hawaii

Growing in popularity among retirees, Hawaii is enticed with stunning beaches, volcanic landscapes, pineapple fields, botanical gardens, historic Pearl Harbor, and island culture. Escape the winter chill to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island for ultimate relaxation.

Stay at an oceanfront condo or resort. Play golf on world-class courses. Snorkel some of the world’s best reefs. Hike through jungles and lava flows. Enjoy Hawaiian cuisine and entertainment. With direct flights from the mainland, getting to Hawaii is easier than ever.

6. Ireland’s Emerald Isle

Traveling After Retirement

From the Cliffs of Moher to the pubs of Dublin, Ireland’s green landscapes and friendly villages beckon. Tour medieval castles, kiss the Blarney Stone, and sip whiskey tastings. Rugged coastal cliffs, rolling farmlands, and historic sites like the Book of Kells await.

See Ireland’s iconic attractions at a relaxed pace via a self-drive tour so you can follow your whims. Or sit back and have guided day trips take you to highlights effortlessly. With mild weather year-round, light summer crowds, and super rates in spring and fall, the Emerald Isle shines bright in 2023.

7. England and Scotland

Discover the roots of your family history and heritage across the pond in England, Scotland, and Wales. Tour majestic castles and cathedrals, walk medieval city walls, and explore historic monuments and meeting sites. London and Edinburgh brim with iconic landmarks and culture.

Travel comfortably between cities via train and hire a local guide for an insider perspective. Stay in small inns for personalized service. See England and Scotland’s icons at your own pace on a custom retirement trip. Don’t forget to enjoy afternoon tea time daily!

8. Cruising Alaska

For natural beauty and frontier adventure, an Alaskan cruise tops retiree’s wish lists. Marvel at massive glaciers calving icebergs, look for wildlife like whales and bears, learn about Native Alaskan culture, take a train journey inland, and relish endless daylight in the summer months.

Popular cruise ports include Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Sitka. Combine your cruise with a pre or post-stay in Anchorage. Holland America and Princess cruise lines offer the most Alaskan itinerary options, service, and experience.

9. Branson, Missouri

For retirees who love music, entertainment, and Southern hospitality, Branson belongs on your radar. This lively Ozarks town offers 100+ live performance venues ranging from country to classics to Broadway shows. When not enjoying a show, take in the beautiful scenery along country roads.

Branson’s affordable hotels, condos, and cabins cater to retirees with amenities and location. Everything in town is close, traffic is light and the Branson pace is low-key. Catch a headline show and then keep the music going on the Showboat Branson Belle riverboat.

Traveling After Retirement

10. Historic East Coast Cities

For an educational and walkable American travel option, visit historic colonial cities on the East Coast. Soak up early American history in Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, and Washington DC. Follow the Freedom Trail, see the Liberty Bell or tour Independence Hall.

Visit impressive museums like the Met and Smithsonian. Dine at classic eateries and stay in charming hotels. Travel comfortably via train or luxury coach buses between cities. Spring and fall bring pleasant weather and thinner crowds. Be sure to pack your most comfortable walking shoes.


The possibilities for amazing post-retirement travel adventures are endless in 2023. Take your bucket list itinerary and make it a reality. Whether you want to take in awe-inspiring nature, witness iconic sites and cultures, or just relax on a pristine beach, fulfilling destinations await in the year ahead. Retirement is the perfect time to craft your dream voyage. Bon voyage!

FAQs About Traveling After Retirement

What are some good domestic travel destinations for retirees?

Great US destinations for retirees include national parks, historic East Coast cities, Florida beaches and resorts, Hawaii, the Southwest, cruises to Alaska, lake vacations, and visiting family across the country.

What should you look for in an international tour provider for retirees?

Small groups under 25, accommodating pacing for seniors, centrally-located hotels, knowledgeable guides, minimal flights, elevators over stairs, and air conditioning are ideal features.

What essential documents do retirees need when traveling internationally?

At minimum have a valid passport, travel insurance documentation, proof of vaccinations, credit/debit cards, emergency contacts, and medication lists. Visas may be required for some countries.

How can retirees find discounts on hotels, flights, and activities?

Join AARP for member deals. Check hotel, airline, and activity websites for senior rates. Consult publications like Where to Retire and Retire Wow for savings tips. Travel mid-week and off-season.

What tips help retirees stay healthy when traveling?

Drink plenty of water, use sunscreen and hats outdoors, pack twice the medications needed, get travel insurance with medical coverage, avoid raw foods with higher risk, don’t overexert yourself, and build in rest days.

A Ahmad
A Ahmad

A Ahmad, a certified financial planner, Retirement Step was created to share over two decades of retirement planning experience with readers looking to take control of their financial futures.

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