60 is the new 16: Pat comes the reply from my parents when I tell them that travelling at this age can be tiresome, albeit a difficult one. But they pay no heed to my concern and their enthusiasm levels are already shooting through the roof. They have already made up their mind that having worked all their life, this was their time to leave everything behind and just travel.
But if you look closely, senior travel is not something new. It has been noticed that senior citizens have become the new globetrotters with travelling on their agenda.
Recent research reveals that the number of seniors packing their bags and leaving for an expedition has increased, so much so that this segment is growing by 15%. Watching my parents travel carefree made me realise that they weren’t the only ones.
Senior travel has come into the limelight and there are brands that design and offer customised travel packages to senior citizens. My parents have been to numerous places now, and it doesn’t necessarily involve only religious destinations. They’ve travelled to Kashmir, Goa, Sundarbans, Puri, Mandarmani and have even been on a couple of international trips.
Not only do they make memories in all their expeditions, but they’ve also met some like-minded people with whom they’ve been in touch, till date. I remember the time when my parents had visited Goa on their 30th wedding anniversary. When they broke the news that they were planning for a Goa trip on this day, I wasn’t quite convinced. I had always thought Goa was a place for youngsters, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My parents never had a second thought and soon they packed their bags and left to explore the sandy beaches of Goa. I remember my dad calling the next day while I was half-asleep. But my sleep vanished when I heard the ‘big news’ that they had to share. My parents, at 60 and 58, had gotten carried away by the spirit of wanderlust and decided to go parasailing.
Although apprehensive at first, my worries went for a toss when I saw the photos later on. The sheer happiness of doing something adventurous and that too at this age was evident on their faces. They couldn’t stop raving about the whole trip. To support them on their travel expeditions, I started researching more about the places they can visit and all the adventures they can take part in.
That’s when I realised that senior travel is a huge thing out there. My parents aren’t the only senior citizens who wish to indulge in travelling. Senior travel provide special travel packages for senior citizens. These packages tend to include ample adventure in them and don’t burn a hole in your pocket.
My parents have been to beautiful places within India itself, where the charges have been less than 10,000 per person. I can’t wait to see the excitement on their faces when I tell them that I have their next vacation planned out already.
Senior travel is no more a myth or a thing of the past. It is true when they say that life begins after 50 for senior citizens because it truly does. Our parents have lived all their lives taking care of their children. So it’s about time they have some adventure of their own.