The Best Trips to Take in Your 50s

Group hike with Mountain Trek resort in British Columbia
Photo: Courtesy of Mountain Trek

Along with invitations to join AARP, entering your 50s brings thoughts of the future — health, retirement, work life, friends, and more. Everyone is different, of course, but Baby Boomers have a lot in common, too. They’re active, involved, interested in learning and self-improvement, and youthful. (50 is the new 40, after all!) Their teen years in the 1970s saw an era of great classic rock music, and the messages still resonate — Born to Run, Go Your Own Way, and Walk on the Wild Side for example. Or take Paul McCartney’s advice and look for that Long and Winding Road. Which brings us to travel; in one way or another, it’s on nearly everyone’s agenda. Related:11 Trips You Need to Take as Soon as You Retire AARP’s Travel Trends survey indicates that Baby Boomers will take four to five trips a year, about half to “relax and rejuvenate” and half to “get away from everyday life.” When visiting international destinations, they want to interact and tour with locals, dine on authentic foods, and enjoy cultural experiences. There are many ways of accomplishing those travel goals, and we’ve gathered some ideas for journeys that will inspire 50-somethings to get out their calendars and start making plans.

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San Diego, California

Park Hyatt Aviara pool in California
Courtesy of Park Hyatt Aviara

The Park Hyatt Aviara in northern San Diego County offers VeraVia, an all-inclusive luxury health and wellness retreat based on an innovative program created by physicians, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, and behavioral psychologists. Designed to create lasting lifestyle changes, the individualized program covers fitness, nutrition, stress management, spiritual healing and rejuvenation, and after-care coaching

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Phuket, Thailand

Villa pool at the Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary resort in Thailand
Courtesy of Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary

Dedicated to health, wellbeing, and life enrichment, the Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary in Phuket, Thailand, offers guests 50 complimentary wellness activities each week, including fitness classes, inspirational experiences, and enrichment workshops such as sleep meditation, yoga, and mindful movement, based on the guest’s personal goals. A stay also includes a daily massage and nightly sleep ritual to foster a good night’s rest.

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Amelia Island, Florida

Exterior of the Ritz Carlton resort at Amelia Island, Florida
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in Florida focuses on health and fitness as well as luxury, with a variety of indoor and outdoor group classes, personal training, and yoga instruction. At their spa, signature treatments include healing and meditation, premium organic ingredients, specialized therapies, and healthful cuisine.

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Tecate, Mexico

Evening drinks at the Rancho La Puerta spa
Courtesy of Rancho La Puerta

At Rancho La Puerta in Tecate Mexico, the “original fitness resort” and spa, guests enjoy a luxurious wellness experience in this 3,000-acre nature preserve. Multiple indoor and outdoor gyms, over sixty fitness classes, spa treatments, hiking trails, therapeutic sessions, and daily lectures inspire guests to leave with a new sense of energy and well-being. Expert practitioners serve as guides in mindfulness, nutrition, holistic therapies and more.

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The Maldives

Turtle protection program at the Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru resort in the Maldives
Courtesy of Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru

The Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, a luxury beach resort in the Maldives, educates guests on marine life and coral reef preservation through its Citizen Science Program at the Maldives Marine Lab. Guests learn about marine species and collect data in support of conservation initiatives. Hands-on experiences, under staff supervision, include coral planting, reef cleaning, and sea turtle care.

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British Columbia, Canada

Group hike with Mountain Trek resort in British Columbia
Courtesy of Mountain Trek

Mountain Trek in British Columbia is an all-inclusive fitness and health retreat set in a beautiful mountain environment. Their personalized programs include hiking, yoga, massage therapy, detox treatments, fitness and nutrition classes, and lectures on stress management, nutrition, sleep, metabolism, detoxification, and goal setting. Their life-changing methods are based on common practices of centenarian populations around the world.

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Tucson, Arizona

Horse riding at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona
Marc Dozier/Getty Images

At Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, an old-time dude ranch, guests can explore the mountains and desert, hike, bike, swim, or fish. Of course, there are horses and riding lessons that include instruction on proper mounting and dismounting, correct posture, turning, stopping, and walking safely. Trail rides for various skill levels are available every day. In addition to the fun of touring on horseback, riding helps develop balance and coordination.

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Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Butterfly Garden in Sea Pines Forest Preserve, Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Louise Heusinkveld/Alamy

Guests at the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island have a variety of vacation experiences to choose from depending on the season. Naturalist-led sea turtle excursions in summer, night-time wagon rides through the Sea Pines Forest Preserve, alligator and wildlife boat tours, and visits to historic sites are a few examples. Try an adventure in geocaching, a real-world treasure hunting game where you follow clues to find hidden items at popular spots.

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Vietnam

My Son temples in Vietnam
Courtesy of Banyan Tree Lang Co

A visit to the Banyan Tree Lang Co. in central Vietnam will get travelers away from everyday life with its exotic location, ancient towns, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Guests can explore local fishing villages and lagoons in a traditional basket boat, learn to make spring rolls and Bun Bo Hue, a traditional noodle dish, or book private yoga instruction.

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Texas Hill Country, Texas

Inside the stables at Dos Brisas, in Texas
Matthew Johnson

Organic farming lessons at the Inn at Dos Brisas, a five-star luxury ranch resort in Texas Hill Country, just might lead to a healthful hobby once the vacation is over. Guests can learn from the Inn’s experts about starting their own gardens, selecting varietals, pest control, and more — in addition to picking and tasting produce. Stargazing, horseback riding, wine tasting, and cooking classes are also available.

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Barnard, Vermont

Chef Nathan Rich at Twin Farms Resort in Barnard, Vermont
Courtesy of Twin Farms

At Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont, guests have the opportunity to perfect their entertaining and culinary skills, learning how to cook like a professional, select wines to pair with dishes, and present plates that look as appealing as they taste. Executive Chef Nathan Rich and his team take guests through an enjoyable and educational culinary journey at this adults-only Relais & Chateau property

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Lanai, Hawaii

Yoga room at the Four Seasons Lanai, in Hawaii
Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Guests can practice aerial yoga at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Hawaii with a workout in silk hammocks. The anti-gravity yoga sessions restore length and openness in the spine, relieving stress and pain. The Yoga Studio offers a variety of instructors and programs, including Sunset Zen Horse Yoga, a chance to interact with the beautiful creatures under the guidance of the resort’s yoga and meditation instructor. The newly renovated 24-hour fitness facility features ocean views along with the latest equipment.

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