Trips You Need To Take As Soon As You Retire

Trips You Need to Take As Soon As You Retire

You don't have to fantasize about ditching all of your possessions and hitting the road after you've made giving up work official. The "retire and travel" dream is very much alive. Once the reality of your new situation sets in – that you're actually free and have all the time in the world – your next step is to start planning several trips.

See the Northern Lights

Witnessing the phenomenon of the Northern Lights is a must. Photos don't do them justice.  The marvel appears in many shades but pale green and pink are the most common.  One of the best places to go is Tromsø, Norway, where you can see this natural phenomenon for more than 250 nights a year. Go on an aurora-chasing snowmobile or a bus tour. Greenland is another hot spot to see the dancing Northern Lights.

Go on a European tour

How about traveling through Europe in a camper van? Or backpacking from city to city? You can also see much of the Old Continent by cruising down one of its major rivers. Some of the most affordable holiday destinations in Europe in 2017 are Budapest in Hungary, Rhodes in Greece, Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, and Algarve in Portugal. Don't forget about small towns — walk through a picturesque market town, visit an old castle where you can stay for the night, sleep in an ancient cave. You are not likely to be offered these thrilling experiences in a crowded mega-city cramped with tourists.

Gamble in Las Vegas

Vegas is not just for young party-goers around Spring Break. Gambling in Sin City is in the top three of bucket list things to do after retirement, according to research. In case you don't strike it rich, embark on a few adventures just a short journey off the Strip. You name it — hiking, mountain biking, rappelling, sky-diving, zip-lining, and even snowboarding — Las Vegas and the surrounding area just about has it all.

Ride a hot air balloon

Imagine lifting off, and the only thing separating you from the ground is a basket and a couple thousand feet. This is a great idea for an adventurous date. Excitement is in the thin high-altitude air. Luckily, there are great opportunities all over the country. Drifting with the whim of the wind, most trips will have you floating for about an hour and you never quite know where you'll land.

Swim with sharks

Contrary to popular belief, sharks are generally not a threat to people. The giant sea creatures do not normally hunt humans. Encountering the giant fish is an exhilarating adventure many people want to experience. Swimming with sharks or looking at them from inside a cage is on many thrill-seekers' bucket lists. Resorts and tour agencies offer the chance to get very close to the ocean's most terrifying creature.

Explore the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is a place of rare beauty and astonishing wildlife that has captivated adventure travelers for centuries — and it is slowly disappearing, so visit while you still can. The pristine environment and low visitor impact is due to the strict visitation regulations enforced by the Galapagos National Park,. A dive into the waters of the Galapagos offers a chance to see extremely unique and diverse wildlife population. There are gorgeous beaches and both easy and challenging hiking trails, offering views that will take your breath away.

A road trip across the U.S.

Considering how cheap gas is these days, there is nothing stopping you from cranking up the music and hitting the open road. Criss-cross the country via its most iconic roads and see for yourself why the ultimate American road trip has been the theme of so many books and movies. Witness first-hand why the Going-to-the Sun Road, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Seward Highway are on so many travelers' lists of essential things to do.

Visit Utah’s national parks

Utah's "Mighty Five" national parks — Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands — must be on your next trip's itinerary. Avoid sweltering hot temperatures in the summer. Spring is the time to see the waterfalls of Zion in their prime and the gorgeous contrast between the red rocks and the abundance of green foliage all over these parks. Explore the Arches and its more than 2,000 natural stone formations, unlike those anywhere else in the world. Visitors love the three-mile round-trip trek to Delicate Arch and the Fiery Furnace Walks, both real gems.

Visit secluded adventure destinations

Imagine a charming village that is so remote that it is in danger of depopulation. Be one of the few to go there; you'll have incredible stories to tell. Until 2004, when a tunnel was built, the only ways to get to the Gasadalur Village on Faroe Islands were by hiking over the mountain terrain that rises over 2,000 feet or climbing up the cliff face from a ship. Isolated spots usually have a very well-preserved history and local culture which make them even more appealing and worth the trip.  

Take an expedition cruise

The most popular cruises will take you to warm places with sandy beaches; people like these kinds of trips because they can swim in pools and sip cocktails all day along the way. But expedition cruises are growing in popularity. These are keyed to adventurers who are looking for more thrilling experiences. Explore Alaska from a boat. You'll cool off when the weather is hot, and see glaciers up close — and spot truly wild animals such as bears, seals, and whales. You'll also get a chance to kayak to remote areas between Alaska and Russia.

Golf in Scotland

People associate Scotland with incredible castles and golf, for a good reason. The game as you know it was born there — it has been part of the sporting landscape in Scotland since at least the fifteenth century — so you can expect some of the best courses in the world.  Scotland has 578 of them, with the highest concentrations being around Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Wild safari

Visit Maasai Mara in Kenya which offers wide range of safaris , variously involving hot air balloons, walking, photographing, and more... The reserve, along with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, form Africa's most diverse ecosystem. The best time to visit is between July and October, to witness the wildebeest migration, famous as the World Cup of Wildlife. The world's remaining gorilla population,  fewer than 1,000 of them, lives in four national parks in two countries, Rwanda and Uganda, according to the African Wildlife Foundation. Gorilla trekking is an immensely popular safari activity in both places.

A week-long train ride

Choose the scenic route over the quick flight and make getting to your destination part of the vacation. Don't risk long lines, delays, lost luggage horror stories, and annoying fellow passengers. Instead, relax, take in the stunning sights, and explore parts of the world you have never seen before. Traveling by train may seem like traveling through time, but passengers continue to be thrilled by mountain summits, lavish landscapes, narrow and scary tunnels, and even terrifyingly steep grades.

Scuba diving in Belize

Scuba diving is a thrilling experience anywhere, but in this tiny Central American nation there are more than 400 islands, white sandy beaches along 185 miles of coastline, and the longest unbroken barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Stellar coral formations, big fish sightings, and 25 miles of barrier reef sitting less than a mile offshore make Ambergris Caye a fascinating dive location for the whole family.  The famous Blue Hole in Belize is one of the most stunning scuba diving locations when seen from above. It's beautiful underwater as well, with clear waters, rich sea life, and lots of sunshine. It's also one of the most dangerous, descending more than 400 feet down into the earth.

Tour the Arctic

Cruise the fjords with a guide, who will stop at popular attractions along the way and teach you about local history. If you want to see the region's amazing wildlife, a safari is the right choice. Another favorite pursuit is kayaking near the polar bears and beluga whales. Some of the most thrilling adventures in Iceland include cruising Jökulsárlón Lagoon and exploring the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and the Holuhraun Lava Fields.

Live abroad

It's never too late to learn a new language. More than 2.3 million American citizens live away from the homeland. The most popular countries are, understandably, south and north of the U.S. border. Many Americans are moving to places where the life expectancy is much higher than in their own country, due to improvements in lifestyle, medications, and better healthcare. They also go because people are happier there, according to international surveys.