As we enter our 60s, we women realize that we have had many “once in a lifetime” experiences. Perhaps we’ve raised children or been present at the birth of a beloved grandchild. Maybe we’ve started a business or found profound fulfillment in volunteering to help others.
As action-packed as our lives have been, we also know that there are plenty of amazing experiences waiting for us, including travel adventures.
If you’ve always wanted to take an incredible “once in a lifetime trip” but haven’t yet decided on the perfect destination, here are 6 spectacular trips to consider.
Antarctica’s Icy Charm
For a truly unique adventure travel experience, there’s no better place to go than Antarctica. Take a small ship cruise and prepare to photograph, penguin watch and look for whales in the unspoiled waters of the Antarctic.
Take a Zodiac trip to shore and hike along the icy coastline to look for birds and seals. Photograph blue-white icebergs and bumpy humpback whales. Sign up for an optional kayak or diving excursion and get even closer to Antarctica’s wildlife. Back on board your ship, talk with naturalists to learn more about the White Continent.
New England’s Fall Colors
Whether you cruise, drive or take a group tour to see New England’s autumn colors, you’re in for a spectacular experience. The trees boast shades of red, gold, orange and burgundy that seem too intense to be real, and the air is crisp and cool. Did we mention the delightful small towns, delicious seafood and welcoming B&Bs?
Tip: New England is an extremely popular fall destination; you’ll get top choice of hotels, inns and flights if you plan many months in advance.
Cuba’s Exotic Adventures
Cuba seems shrouded in mystery, but, in reality, this island nation has been welcoming visitors since the mid-90s. Travelers from Canada, Mexico, the U. K. and many other countries have rediscovered Cuba’s sparkling beaches, musical rhythms and architectural treasures.
Now that the U. S. and Cuba are rolling back travel restrictions, cruise lines and tour operators are preparing to offer trips that appeal to all types of vacationers. You can explore the island by boat, take a jazz-themed tour or focus on Cuba’s wildlife and beaches. You can even take a baseball tour of Cuba.
India’s Unique Landmarks
Exotic India offers much, much more than just the Taj Mahal. As you explore temples and stupas, you’ll see how India’s architecture reflects the country’s religious history as the birthplace of Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
India’s 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites showcase the country’s wildlife, mountain beauty, centuries-old spirituality and diverse architectural heritage. India’s vibrant cultural scene, reflected in everything from Bollywood to religious festivals, continues to enchant visitors from all over the world.
Rhine River Adventures
Rhine River cruises range from low-cost day trips to multi-day upscale adventures. Whichever way you decide to explore the Rhine, you will be treated to spectacular views of medieval castles, mountainside vineyards and half-timbered houses. Plan some stops along the way to sample local wines, wander narrow, tidy streets and explore the castles.
If your schedule and budget permit, continue south along the Rhine to Strasbourg, the flowery capital of France’s Alsace region, or northwest to modern Rotterdam and canal-laced Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Scotland’s Rugged Beauty
Scotland’s windy hillsides, deep blue lochs and looming castles have enchanted visitors for many years. Scotland is the perfect place to delve into history and explore the outdoors. Go back in time at Culloden Battlefield to the days of the Jacobite Rising. Spend an evening discovering Scotland’s music and dance at a ceilidh.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a canoe trip or hike the Highlands. For more adventure, fly or take a ferry to the Orkney to see the cliffs and go bird watching. Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series can take self-guided and guide-led tours of the sites Jamie, Claire and the men and women of Clan Fraser visited in the novels and television series.
Have you taken a “once in a lifetime” trip? Where did you go, and what did you see and do along the way? Why did you choose this destination? Share your travel experiences with the Sixty and Me community in the comments below.