Single women over 60 are traveling like never before – and loving it. With so much travel information available in print and online, planning a rewarding solo vacation is easier than ever.
Here are six amazing vacation ideas for single women over 60 – four organized travel experiences and two do-it-yourself vacations – for you to consider.
#1: Road Scholar’s In the Heart of the Scottish Highlands Tour
Road Scholar offers learning adventures where itineraries are perfectly curated to give the most immersive and educational experience to groups of travelers.
Discover what makes the Scottish Highlands one of Europe’s most unique natural wonders, as you learn the history of ancient lochs, clan lands, castles and glens. Let historians guide you on the Road Scholar’s 13 days In the Heart of the Scottish Highlands tour, where legend blends with history and that is sure to make you step back in time.
This is a small group with light walking, nothing too strenuous. The trip includes 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, and 11 dinners.
#2: Overseas Adventure Travel’s Ancient Kingdoms: Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia
Visiting Asia with a tour group doesn’t have to be intimidating. Overseas Adventure Travel’s 18-day Ancient Kingdoms tour takes you to Bangkok, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat with a small group.
Explore the Mekong River by boat, experience a tuk-tuk ride and learn about life in a floating village and a Hmong home. Visit the Killing Fields and Vietnamese tunnels used by the Viet Cong and gain insights into the southeast Asian conflicts that tore countries and families apart.
You must be in reasonably good physical condition to take this trip; you’ll be on the go for several hours each day and will need to be able to navigate uneven terrain and staircases.
This tour sells out quickly, possibly because OAT does not charge a single supplement on the Ancient Kingdoms tour. Airfare, visa fees, some gratuities, optional tours, some lunches and some dinners not included.
#3: Norwegian Cruise Line’s 7-Day Eastern Caribbean, Round-Trip Miami Cruise Aboard Norwegian Getaway
Norwegian Cruise Line revolutionized solo cruising with its Studio staterooms. Created especially for solo travelers, Studio staterooms feature full-sized beds, walk-in showers and access to the Studio Lounge. Philipsburg, Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) and Nassau are easy Eastern Caribbean ports to explore on your own if you don’t want to pay for a shore excursion.
Consider making your way to St. John, U. S. Virgin Islands, for the day during your port call in Charlotte Amalie. If you’re feeling adventurous, splurge on the America’s Cup Regatta shore excursion in Philipsburg, St. Maarten; you’ll learn to crew on an actual America’s Cup sailboat and participate in a race.
The Norwegian Getaway’s Studio staterooms cost more than sharing a double-occupancy stateroom would, but you’ll have plenty of privacy and a chance to explore the Eastern Caribbean on your own terms. Transportation to and from Miami, shore excursions, gratuities, premium dining, fuel supplements and beverages are not included.
#4: Inside Japan Tours’ Tokaido Trail
Inside Japan Tours takes a slightly different approach to small group tours. Instead of chartering buses to take tour participants from place to place, Inside Japan Tours guides show you how to use the efficient Japanese subway and rail systems and give you plenty of free time to see the sights that interest you. You’ll also be asked to carry your own luggage. In return, you’ll discover the wonders of Tokyo, Kyoto, Kamakura and Hakone on the Tokaido Trail tour.
During your time in Tokyo, you’ll explore historic Asakusa, modern Harajuku and vibrant Shinjuku. In Kamakura, you can visit shrines and temples, take a long walk through the town or stroll on the beach. From there, you will move to Hakone, at the foot of Mount Fuji. Hot springs, hiking and museums are just some of Hakone’s attractions. In Kyoto, tour the Geisha district, visit the Golden Pavilion, explore one of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city or take the train to Hiroshima or Nara.
Inside Japan Tours does not charge a single supplement on the Tokaido Trail tour; solo travelers will be given single rooms in Western-style hotels, but will need to share a room with a roommate of the same gender during the two nights spent in a ryokan (traditional, Japanese-style lodgings). Airport transfers, baggage handling, entrance fees, public transportation costs, lunches and most dinners are not included.
#5: A Do-It-Yourself Learning Vacation: Oxford University
Oxford University offers adults from around the world the opportunity to take one-week courses at its celebrated campus in the United Kingdom. Topics vary from year to year, but typically include creative writing, Shakespeare, philosophy, British literature and poetry.
You can apply for the program in February; early application is advisable, especially for solo travelers, as single accommodations fill very quickly. If you are accepted, you will need to complete a preliminary reading assignment and write an essay before your course begins. Further assignments will be determined by your course tutor. You’ll have time to explore the local area on your own during the week.
If you book on-campus accommodation at Rewley House, your room, board and tuition are all included in your quoted rate. You also have the option to find your own lodgings in Oxford. Airfare and ground transportation are not included.
#6: A Do-It-Yourself Brandywine Valley Vacation
Chemist E. I. du Pont made his fortune manufacturing gunpowder in Delaware’s Brandywine River valley, and built his Georgian mansion, Eleutherian Mills, near his powder mill on the riverbank. Today, you can tour the famous Brandywine Valley estates that belonged to succeeding generations of du Ponts.
Begin at the Hagley Museum and Gardens, where E. I. built his powder mill. Explore riverside paths and take a guided tour of Eleutherian Mills. Then, drive north to Winterthur Museum and Gardens, the most famous of the du Pont mansions. This immense estate includes 1,000 acres of gardens as well as the elegant Winterthur mansion, a showcase of the best in American decorative arts.
Continue your journey at the Nemours Mansion and Gardens. Take a guided tour of the French-style mansion and formal gardens, which are reminiscent of those at Versailles.
Finally, head across the Pennsylvania state line to Longwood Gardens. Wander through the outdoor gardens, watch a fountain show and explore the Conservatory. For deeper insight into Longwood Gardens’ history and the vision of Pierre du Pont, who created Longwood Gardens, buy a ticket for an Insider Tour or join an educational walk.
In order to make the most of your mansion and garden tours, plan to spend a night or two in a Brandywine Valley B&B or hotel. If you visit during the summer months, plan your itinerary and make reservations well in advance of your arrival. You’ll need a car to explore the Brandywine Valley on your own. Tip: Nemours Mansion and Gardens is open May through December only, and is closed on Mondays.
Are you single? Have you been on an amazing vacation of your own? Share your travel experiences in the comments below.
Dreaming to go on a cruise but hate to pay the single supplement? Senior travel expert, Nancy Parode is here to help!