For Active Travelers, Summer Beckons

Economic downturn has spawned transportation bargains and unusual accommodation deals this summer.

By + More

It's not too late to take advantage of incredible summer travel bargains. The major travel sites have dropped their reservation fees and discounts abound. So, if you've not been grounded by the economy, here are three memorable ideas, courtesy of Canadian travel writer Alison Gardner. She specializes in active senior travel and her Travel with a Challenge online magazine focuses on unusual trips. As Gardner notes, older travelers "are not remotely interested in paying for rest and relaxation that they can do in their own home; instead they are looking for much more meaningful, proactive, educational experiences for their holidays such as nature-based vacations, educational, cultural/historical and volunteer vacations."

[See also Need a Personal Stimulus Program? Travel!] 1. Gardner recommends trips with ElderTreks, which provides cultural and educational tours. Summer discounts include Arctic destinations from Canada to Iceland to Norway and beyond. "About 65-70 percent of their clients are American, though it is a Canadian company," Gardner says, "and seniors are absolutely fascinated with exploring Arctic destinations by small-ship cruise in the summer when the area is relatively cool with 24-hour daylight and all the wildlife is at its most visible and active."

2. Gardner says European barging vacations are a huge interest of American seniors. She recommends Go Barging/European Waterways, which is offering great discounts over the summer months. "Again, based on my experience that seniors don't like summer heat and they do love Scottish history and whiskey, I can personally recommend an amazing Go Barging cruise right across the Highlands of Scotland which is being deeply discounted during the summer months."

3. If you want to stay in the U.S., Gardner recommends Row Adventures. "It is a growing mission among grandparents to bond with their grandchildren and adult children through multi-generational travel," she says. "I recommend from the Row Adventures itinerary portfolio an eight-day family vacation adventure in Idaho,  which active seniors will enjoy just as much as their younger generations. It is rated as 'easy', so no worries there, and there are three departures in July and August."

[See also Family Travel Bargains.]