You have reached your senior years, and now you are ready to explore, travel and go on adventures. However, your limited mobility is a concern.

Vacations can be challenging when you have difficulty walking, or if you use a walker or wheelchair. However, many vacation ideas and destinations for seniors with mobility challenges are available, with a wide variety of activities to enjoy.

With some planning and research in advance, you are likely to find an ideal vacation destination that meets your needs.

Vacation Options for Seniors

When planning your vacation, you should first look into any restrictions on travel and activities at your destination(s). For your own safety, it is highly suggested for you and your traveling companions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before embarking on a trip.

Here are some suggested vacation ideas and locations highly regarded by older adults and that provide the mobility accommodations you seek:

U.S. National Parks

These beautiful parks are accessible to people with physical challenges. U.S. citizens aged 62 and older can get the National Park Service’s lifetime pass for a one-time fee.

Information is available on parks that run shuttles, have wheelchair accessibility, and provide audio tours.

Alaska

Glaciers, whales, grizzly bears, and magnificent landscapes await vacationers. There are several Alaskan cruise services to choose from, or you can board the Aurora Winter Train that travels between Anchorage and Fairbanks.

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in America. Sightseeing trolleys make getting around this historic city much easier.

Visitors will find an array of attractions. From living history museums like the Castillo de San Marcos to specialized tours in the air, on the sea, and in the heart of the historic district.

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg is another historic city where seniors can visit museums, homes, shops and churches, and watch craftsmen create items from America’s early history.

According to their website, guests with wheelchairs will find that the streets, most gardens, and activities in the Historic Area are accessible. A Shuttle Bus service is also available, and is wheelchair accessible.

Caribbean Cruises

The cruise lines make their ships accessible for all passengers. If you’ll need accommodations, just call ahead to let the cruise company know. Some of the stops include the islands of the Bahamas, Antigua, and Barbados.

Europe

Travel Sassy Senior provides information on the best six cities in Europe for senior travelers.

  • Barcelona
  • Rome
  • Berlin
  • Mykonos (A lovely little coastal village in Greece, it features beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters).
  • Porto (This city in Portugal is one of Europe’s top-rated destinations. A stop for wine lovers, mixed with beautiful scenery).
  • Zagreb (The capital of Croatia. Not too big to explore, but filled with ancient attractions including courtyards, galleries, and museums).

The website suggests train travel and bus tours as ways for seniors to see Europe. River cruises are a great way to travel, but a senior with limited mobility needs to carefully choose the ship and destination to determine what accommodations can be made. Not all river cruise lines have wheelchair-accessible cabins.

Other Vacation Ideas

Museums

When traveling to other parts of the country, consider visiting a museum. Famous U.S. museums include:

  • American Museum of Natural History in New York City
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Field Museum in Chicago
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Historical Sites

America abounds in historical sites. Here is a list of the 10 best historic sites in the United States to visit, as listed by History Hit.

Road Tours

If driving isn’t an option, there are senior tour groups.

Travel Tips

Rick Steves’ Savvy Senior Travelers site provides a wealth of information for senior travelers, including:

  • Travel insurance
  • Packing
  • Medications and health
  • Flying
  • Accommodations
  • Getting around
  • Senior discounts
  • Sightseeing
  • Educational, exchange, and volunteer opportunities
  • Long-term trips

AARP also provides a travel guide listing places to go, the do’s and don’ts of pandemic travel, how to prepare for a trip, and various travel options.

Make a Plan

Seniors with limited mobility and their family members can work together to create a vacation plan. Look for destinations that both interest the senior and provide accommodations for any physical challenges she or he may have.

Select the best method of travel so that you can arrive fresh and ready to enjoy the vacation.

Book reservations early. Keep abreast of any changes in policies for visitors.

And enjoy your trip!

Learn more about enabling seniors to live independently on Bethesda’s blog.