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The general consensus is work hard and you’ll be able to play hard—one day! Travel is one of the best things to look forward to in retirement: The opportunity to roam the places you’ve only ever dreamed of. And a lot of those gorgeous destinations are actually right here, in our very own backyard. From one breathtaking coast to the other, the Great White North has plenty of beauty to offer. Read on for our top tips for senior-friendly travel, along with our picks for the destinations that you might not have thought of, but should top your must-see list.

7 Senior-Friendly Travel Tips

Travelling as a senior comes with unique challenges. Preparation and realistic expectations are your best bet to having the trip of your dreams! Exercise caution, and take into account our tips below.

1. Research where you want to go in advance, so you can be prepared for weather conditions, closures, and the safest way to get about in your desired destination. Also check accommodation accessibility, as well as those at the points of interest you wish to visit. Knowing where the closest hospital is, along with restaurant options, gas stations, etc. is all good info to have. Being prepared is your #1 ally in travel for a smooth arrival and transitions!

2. Pack layers and comfortable footwear. Research the temperatures for when you’re planning to travel, but pack a “just in case” outfit.

3. Travel within Canada. Staying within your own country makes things like health and travel insurance, health care accessibility, and currency a lot easier (and budget friendly!).

4. Use a travel agent. Reputable sites like the long-standing travel industry gold standard, Travel + Leisure, updates their A-List travel advisors list regularly. The advantage of a trusted travel advisor is customizing your trip to your needs and wants.

5. Road trip on your horizon? Use a trip planning app like BCAA-approved TripTik for maps, directions, gas price monitoring, and point of interest info.

6. Guided tours—either the whole trip, or organized events and tours at points of interest— are both a great way to learn about where you are, as well as to ensure safety and ease of enjoyment.

7. Travel on off-peak times and shoulder seasons to avoid over-crowding and peak prices on hotels and travel.

Canada’s Most Beautiful Travel Destinations You Might Not Have Thought Of

Quebec City, Quebec

Get a little bit of Europe without going the distance. Quebec City’s urban center is more than 400 years old, and offers every bit the quintessential charm of a European town. From the cobblestoned streets in Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage site) to its picturesque 17th century architecture and the iconic Château Frontenac, Quebec City offers a vibrant cultural scene, cuisine, and scenic delights. 

Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario

Close enough to the city, far enough to be an escape, this picturesque lakefront town is close to wineries and offers boutiques, bakeries, and stunning views of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario from Queen’s Royal Park.

Blue Mountain, Ontario

Get away to the “mountains” but stay in the heart of it all: Blue Mountain Village is packed with quaint shopping and restaurant experiences, while the active mountain resort also offers senior-friendly pickleball, a rolling fairway for golfers, and a private beach to relax at aside from its hiking, biking, and winter activities.

Churchill, Manitoba

The “Polar Bear Capital of the World” is located where the subarctic tundra meets the Hudson Bay for incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, such as the annual polar migration and beluga whale sightings in the summer. Churchill is also a prime location to see the Northern Lights, and is known for its Northern Studies Center featuring informative lectures.

The Rocky Mountaineer, Alberta & BC

From Banff or Jasper, Alberta, to Vancouver in beautiful British Columbia, experience first-class travel on the train. It’s a convenient and safe way to see the rugged beauty of some of Canada’s most beautiful terrain, as well as visit some of its hot spot cities. 

Intrigued by our list or seen them all already? Travel + Leisure offers 21 more picturesque places to visit in Canada.

Bon Voyage

Travelling as a senior offers so many wonderful mind-body-spirit benefits: from promoting cognitive functioning and creativity, to boosting physical health and positive social connection through shared experiences. As one learns about new things, cultures, food, and more, connection is fostered with those around us. And through it, a meaningful life lived with verve.

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