July 22, 2024

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I’m a Travel Agent: 5 Affordable Places Retirees Should Visit in 2024

Iceland

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If you’ve retired and want to travel, but you’re worried about your budget or aren’t sure where to go, you’re in luck. There are some truly breathtaking and interesting places to visit this year, some of which might be closer to home than you expect. All things considered, these locations are also reasonably priced.

GOBankingRates spoke with two travel agents, Alonso Marly and Jim Campbell, about which affordable destinations they’d suggest going as a retiree. Here’s what they said.

San Antonio

“If you’re looking to vacation domestically, San Antonio is a family-oriented city, known as one of the best vacation spots across the States, and it’s also one of the cheapest places to visit, especially in comparison to other Texas cities, such as Dallas,” said Alonso Marly, a travel agent at Skylux Travel. The city is “full of history, Mexican culture, amazing food and outdoor fun, and there is plenty to do in San Antonio on a budget for every taste.”

What’s great about San Antonio is that you’re bound to find something that suits your interests as a retiree, too — whether you’re traveling alone or with others.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always visit Six Flags Fiesta Texas or SeaWorld. Or if you want to take in a bit of history and culture, check out The Alamo, the Witte Museum or The Pearl District.

Marly also suggested visiting the Natural Wildlife Ranch on a safari drive or taking in a Broadway classic at the Majestic Theatre, followed by a relaxing picnic at Brackenridge Park. And if you’re still looking for something to do, you can always go on a riverboat tour that dives further into the culture and history of the city.

“If you need a little break from the big city life to embark on a more active adventure, I suggest taking a quick day trip to the scenic Krause Springs, about an hour and a half drive from San Antonio,” Marly said.

Jamaica

Jamaica is a beautiful Caribbean nation that’s home to some truly stunning beaches and rainforests. And if you want to make your vacation as relaxing as possible, go with an all-inclusive trip.

“I highly recommend retirees consider one of Sandals’ seven resorts in Jamaica. They provide great value, luxury service and are the best bang for the buck out of all the all-inclusives that we work with,” said Jim Campbell, a travel agent and owner of Honeymoons.com. According to Campbell, a weeklong trip in September costs around $2,790.

Many of these all-inclusive packages include gourmet meals, water sports, entertainment and all of the other amenities you could ask for — without additional costs. And if you want to do some planning of your own, check out some notable sites like the Bob Marley Museum, the Rose Hall Great House, the Dunn’s River Falls or the Negril Seven Mile Beach.

Vietnam

If Asia is on your list of must-visit destinations, you’ve got a lot of affordable options there, as well, including Vietnam.

“My personal favorite is Vietnam, a diverse country with breathtaking landscapes, amazing food scene and welcoming locals,” said Marly. “Stretching from its border with China in the north to the Gulf of Thailand in the southwest, Vietnam has over 2,000 miles of majestic coastline with magnificent golden beaches, fishing villages, tropical islands, national parks, spectacular inland waterways, majestic mountains, lush rice terraces, 1,000-year-old temples, dynamic cities and historic villages, all worth exploring and falling in love with.”

Whether you want to enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, or you’d prefer something a bit quieter and more scenic, you’ve got plenty of options.

“Regardless of where you go and what you do in this spectacular destination, Vietnam is known for its value-for-money accommodation, from family guesthouses and remote resorts to budget hostels and more high-end hotels in larger cities, ranging from just $35 a night,” said Marly. “Not to mention its very affordable local food scene starting from $1 per meal.”

A week in Vietnam for two costs about $850, he added. This includes everything except the airfare.

Iceland

Iceland is another place that should be on your bucket list.

“[It’s] a one-of-a-kind Nordic country in the North Atlantic Ocean that every nature lover will appreciate,” said Marly. “Iceland enchants with its blend of volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, lava fields, northern lights and other natural wonders.”

You can always book a tour, or you can get a car rental and explore the country that way.

“Although there are also plenty of senior group tours available in Iceland, I suggest exploring this magical country by car, so you fully enjoy it at your own pace and make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime trip,” said Marly.

Either way, you won’t be disappointed. Just make sure you leave enough time to experience as much as possible while you’re there.

“No matter how long you spend in the country, you can pack your itinerary with many incredible destinations,” said Marly. “The country’s capital city, Reykjavik, has spectacular landmarks, such as Hallgrimskirkja church, the Harpa Concert Hall and the interactive museum at Perlan. The South Coast sightseeing route is also easy to explore from Reykjavik. It includes the world-famous Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, the black sand beach of Reynisfjara and impressive volcanoes.”

From the United States, roundtrip flights to Iceland start at about $300 to $400 per person.

Oman

“An emerging holiday destination for those retirees who seek one-of-a-kind adventures is Oman — the perfect place to experience old Arabia that offers beautiful beaches, vibrant culture and diverse landscapes,” said Marly. “Oman’s natural wonders include dramatic mountains, long golden shores with palm trees and groves of citrus trees.”

Marly also had several suggestions for retirees who want to visit Oman.

“Some of the most well-known tourist attractions include the Al Alam Palace by the sea, Muscat Old Town and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, but there’s plenty more to do and see,” he said. This includes snorkeling, riding camels, dolphin watching and walking the highest peak in the Middle East.

Oman has become a bit more expensive in recent years, but it’s still reasonably affordable. According to Budget Your Trip, a day there costs $246, including hotels, food, sightseeing and the like.

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