Best (And Worst) Destinations For Senior Travel According To New Data

Best (And Worst) Destinations For Senior Travel According To New Data

It’s estimated that by 2030, one in six people in the world will be aged 60 or more. Being a member of that still vital and curious cohort, I know for sure that “advanced age” hasn’t stopped my desire to travel. In fact — it has increased it.

One survey found that 62 percent of people over 50 years old will take at least one leisure trip in 2023, with most planning multiple trips. However, one report has said many tourism businesses are not prepared to accommodate older people when they travel.

To inspire travel plans for this growing sector, experts at InsureMyTrip have listed the best destinations for senior travel around the world. They standardized the latest available data for each city in several categories including the number of senior tours, ease of walking, healthcare, public transport, and peacefulness. (Data was covered by Creative Commons 4.0 International attribution guidelines; check source material here.)

“A a significant amount of time and money goes into planning a vacation,” says Sarah Webber, Director of Marketing at InsureMyTrip. “Seniors often have more to think about when traveling; so this list can help them choose a destination that is not only enjoyable but also safee.”

Of the top 10 cities in the index, only one is not in Europe. Bangkok, Thailand is ranked fourth in the study, while Istanbul, Athens, and Rome make up the top three.

City/Country, 1-10: Istanbul, Turkey – Overall 8.09 out of 10; Athens, Greece – 8.03; Rome, Italy – 7.99 ; Bangkok, Thailand – 7.92; Tallinn, Estonia – 7.68; Vilnius, Lithuania – 7.68; Prague, Czech Republic – 7.61; Riga, Latvia – 7.61; Berlin, Germany – 7-53; Helsinki, Finland – 7.50

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Istanbul is named the best destination for seniors. Overall, the city scores 8.09 out of 10. The Turkish city scores highly across many of the metrics, particularly for its quality of things to do, peacefulness (10), healthcare (8.41), and ease of walking (9.57).

It was ranked highest for its peacefulness, with a solid 10 out of a possible 10. It’s most known for its incredible cultural landmarks, including the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque.

Narrowly missing out on the top spot is Athens, Greece with an overall score of 8.03. More than 22 percent of the population is over 65 years old so it’s no wonder that the city scores full marks for its number of senior tours (10). However, Athens missed the top spot due to lower scores for healthcare (6.89) and peacefulness (6.6).

Rome and Bangkok follow closely with overall scores of 7.99 and 7.92 respectively. Rome is ranked highly thanks to its quality of things to do (9.98) and walkability (9.04). In fact, Rome is considered one of the most walkable cities in the world, thanks to its abundance of beautiful sites within a short distance of each other.

It’s Bangkok’s ease of walking (9.97) and healthcare (9.33) that secures it a place in the top five. However, the number of tours available for seniors (2.43) contributes to its lower score.

Tallinn, Estonia rounds up the top five cities for seniors. While this European city is less well-known than others in the top five, it has experienced a boom in tourism. The quality of things to do (9.89) and ease of walking (9.87) contributed to its high score, however, its peacefulness (5.97) and number of senior tours (0) resulted in its slightly lower ranking.

Cities least suitable for older travelers are spread across Europe, South America, and the United States. However, it’s Port Louis in Mauritius that fared the worst, with a score of 5.67. While it was ranked favorably for its quality of things to do (9.14) and ease of walking (8.89), its healthcare (0) and senior tours (0.11) contributed to its low ranking.

Santiago, Chile and Antwerp, Belgium are the second and third worst cities for senior citizens, scoring 5.85 and 6.03, respectively. Santiago’s walkability (0) is the lowest in the study, due to its rugged and hilly terrain. In fact, only a fifth of Chile’s surface is flat.

Rounding up the bottom five cities to visit for seniors are San José (6.44) and São Paulo (6.49).

(Check out my award-winning travel podcast, Places I Remember with Lea Lane, wherever you get podcasts.)

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