I’ve read quite a few articles over the years about how you should do all your traveling while you’re young. I don’t totally disagree. Believe me, more than once I’ve wished the money I spent in college bars was used to fund a backpacking trip through Europe.

Photo by Michael Cohen, Creative Commons

Photo by Michael Cohen, Creative Commons

However, barring ill health preventing you otherwise, traveling when you’re of the senior generation can certainly have its advantages. Here are some reasons to dust off that steamer trunk and get packing.

1. You don’t get carded. Like ever. I’ll admit – it does this almost forty-five-year-old ego good to get that question once in a Blue Moon (see what I did there?). However, to be able to freely enjoy an adult beverage in a local establishment without having to burrow through the bowels of my purse for a driver’s license is quite the perk.

2. You can’t take it with you. Well, technically, I guess you can. But then you run the risk of grave robbers digging up your sorry sack of bones for that big stash of cash you failed to use for that trip to Fiji.

3. You deserve it. You’ve punched in that time card day in and day out. You’ve packed those lunches every morning with love – or shoved a couple of bucks in their hands as they boarded the bus, whatever. It’s been a lot of hard work being you for the past half a century or more. It would be so much more interesting to be you somewhere else in the world, don’t you think?

4. Move it, or lose it! Whether you play shuffleboard on a cruise ship or take a walking tour of Italy, it’s easy to stay active when you travel. I’m no doctor, and I don’t play one on TV, but I’ve read that physical activity helps older people maintain their independence, recover from illness quicker, and reduce their risk of disease. I would imagine sitting around doing nothing might take a bit of the shine off those “golden years”.

5. You’ll have better stories for your grandchildren. Let’s be realistic. The “life was so much different when I was your age” tales lose their luster after two or ten retellings. Heck, my own kids are already over my riveting play by play of the 1984 Duran Duran concert. Sharing new adventures will keep them engaged in your life. They’ll probably dig the souvenirs, too.

It may not be in your budget to cruise the Mediterranean or take a week’s jaunt through Ireland. Don’t let that keep you from getting out and seeing more than your back yard. You might be surprised to find what attractions and historical landmarks await you in your neighboring state!

Happy trails!