Vacations worth your time
You’re retired. So you have the time. You have the money — Social Security, a still-solvent 401(k), whatever.
So turn off that confusing cell phone, put the dog in a well-rated kennel and treat yourself to a vacation. A vacation fitting for someone like you. You’ve worked hard, after all, and you deserve it.
Photo Credit: Claus Rebler
Jackson Hole’s Rustic Inn
Jackson Hole, Wyo. is beautiful. Horseback riding, winter sports, fishing, cowboy hats and the best steaks.
WHAT: Check out the Rustic Inn at Jackson Hole, which is located right near the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum… for all of you history buffs.
AMENITIES: Outdoor pool, fitness facility, full-service health spa, restaurant, patio room with flat-panel television.
PRICE: Room rates start at $123.75 per night.
Photo Credit: Expedia.com
Tubac Golf Resort & Spa
Love the sparse beauty of the American desert? Love golf? Great, this one is perfect for you.
WHAT: A golf resort in Arizona with fine wine and cuisine not far off – all three restaurants offer “outstanding” and authentic local favorite dishes.
AMENITIES: 4,000 square-foot spa with sauna and eucalyptus steam room, salon, massages and of course the “27 hole championship course” you came there to play on. The course was the set for much of Kevin Costner’s ’96 golf film, Tin Cup.
PRICE: From $185 per night for a hacienda.
Photo Credit: Tubac Golf Resort
Kiawah Island Golf Resort
One more for golf lovers. This small island off the coast of South Carolina is definitely worth a serious look.
WHAT: “Ten miles of wide, immaculate, ocean beach on which one - or two - might walk or cycle for hours and hours without interruption. Soothing by day, utterly romantic by night…” according to Kiawah’s web site.
AMENITIES: Personalized service from more than 1,000 employees on the island, an idyllic golf course, tennis courts, spa and, of course, island-style serenity.
PRICE: From $270 a night
Photo Credit: Kiawah Resort
“Hungry for Hungary”
Cheesy name aside, this “escorted itinerary” allows you to see the very best of Hungary.
WHAT: With this packaged tour you will “experience the wines and culinary experiences that Hungary has to offer.”
AMENITIES: Recommended for seniors, day one starts in Budapest with an evening “private wine-tasting” at the House of Hungarian Wines. From there, you travel the country, absorbing tons of culture and history.
PRICE: $7,500 to $8,000 per person
Photo Credit: mauricedb
“10 Day Splendors of Spain”
10 days exploring the best that Spain has to offer, in an escorted tour similar to the Hungary experience.
WHAT: An unforgettable “journey through Spain's rich culture and history. Your tour begins in the Spanish capital of Madrid where a host will be available to help you take advantage of the city's many treasures.”
AMENITIES: Host who knows the region, transfer service to high-speed train to Seville and an experienced tour guide once you arrive there. The trip closes with several nights on the Costa del Sol, allowing you to “drink in the sites of the Mediterranean.”
PRICE: From $1,914 per person
Photo Credit: felipe_gabaldon
“Lands of the Bible Cruise”
This is great for religious folk and scholarly Bible lovers alike.
WHAT: An 18-day “pilgrimage at sea” that hits many of the Biblical hot spots, including “Athens, Greece; Bethlehem, Israel; Cairo, Egypt; Greece; Haifa, Israel; Istanbul, Turkey; Izmir, Turkey; Jerusalem, Israel; Paphos, Cyprus; Rhodes, Greece; Thessaloniki, Greece.”
AMENITIES: Price includes all applicable shore excursions, roundtrip air plus all of your meals while on board the ship! Jesus would (probably) approve of this frugal vacation package!
PRICE: From $2,999
Photo Credit: etenil
You can’t go wrong with a Club Med couples special.
WHAT: A “couples escape” from Club Med could be just the affordable retiree vacation you have been searching for.
AMENITIES: “Gourmet dining throughout the day and full open bar,” plus 10-15 activities at the resort—including water sports and relaxation activities.
PRICE: From $824 per person in La Caravelle (one of their Caribbean resorts) for seven nights.
Photo Credit: Club Med
Alsace Wine Route
For the independent wine lover who can plan his or her own magical French adventure.
WHAT: Enjoy “les grands blancs” (the great white wines) along the Alsace Wine Route.
AMENITIES: Wine paths, wine brotherhoods, hot air balloon tours, scavenger hunts, oh my! Sounds pretty cool, though: “Alsace has something for everyone. Cosmopolitan Strasbourg, with its distinctive one-spired Gothic cathedral, offers the best of Alsatian culture in the heart of the EU’s co-capital. The small villages of Alsace are filled with half-timbered buildings, enticing shops and numerous restaurants. Alsace has built a reputation for its outdoor adventure parks and nature preserves; many visitors enjoy renting bikes or strolling through vineyards during the warm summer months,” according to About.com’s Senior Travel guide.
PRICE: This one is totally do-it-yourself a la carte, check out the Vins D’Alsace tourism Web site here.
Photo Credit: Vins D’Alsace
The Millennium, with its delicious “world-class” meals and “Broadway-style” shows, in addition to spa, is bound to be perfect for the restless retiree in search of something different—yet relaxing.
WHAT: “7 Night Northbound Alaska Cruise” on board the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship.
PORTS OF CALL: “Vancouver, British Columbia, Inside Passage (Cruising), Ketchikan, Alaska, Icy Strait Point, Alaska, Juneau, Alaska, Skagway, Alaska, Hubbard Glacier (Cruising), Seward, Alaska.”
PRICE: From $449 per person
Photo Credit: Celebrity Cruises
High-end European Cruise
WHAT: “Explore the Mediterranean while enjoying the stately beaches of St. Tropez and Barcelona or visiting the iconic landmarks of Athens and Rome. In Mykonos, meander among fine boutiques and delightful waterfront cafés, or in Santorini take a leisurely stroll amid white-washed buildings and charming cobblestone streets.”
AMENITIES: Up to $2,000 in complimentary shipboard spending credits per couple, allowing you to buy spa treatments, delicious wines and even shore excursions. Nice deal!
PRICE: 7 day packages from $3,750
Photo Credit: Crystal Cruises
WHAT: A 15-day cruise that circles Hawaii.
AMENITIES: You have the Hawaiian islands to gawk at — what more could you want?! The ms Zaandam, the ship you will be on, has a palatial atrium, Lido Pool, full dining room and the Mondriaan Show Lounge. The ship has 615 onboard crew members, is 781 feet long and was christened in 2000 by “actresses” Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
PRICE: From $1,699 per person
Photo Credit: Holland America
Four Seasons Scottsdale
Relax like a movie star at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.
WHAT: A beautiful desert resort—and it’s a Four Seasons, so you know the food and service will be top-notch.
AMENITIES: Fitness facilities, gorgeous outdoor pool, golf, tennis courts, bike riding and “stargazing”—which we suppose could be done nearly anywhere, but the light pollution in Scottsdale must not be significant because the views are amazing in the Sonoran Desert.
PRICE: From $195 per night for a Desert Garden Casita Room; $225 per night with the bed & breakfast package and $355 per night for the full golf package.
Photo Credit: Four Seasons Resort
Yellowstone National Park
Figured we would finish this article off with an ultra-frugal, but still fulfilling, vacation option.
WHAT: Experience “God’s country” in unspoiled Yellowstone National Park, home to approximately 10,000 thermal features—including “steaming pools, hissing fumaroles, bubbling mud pots or warm seeps” and, of course, geysers!
AMENITIES: There are 12 campgrounds in the park. Booking is done on a first-come, first-served basis.
PRICE: $12-18 fee per night, depending on the campsite.
Photo Credit: Alaskan Dude
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