Trip Planning: 24 Baby Boomer Travel Experts Reveal their Favourite 3 Destinations
Trip planning is one of the most time consuming and contentious issues for the baby boomers. This generation spends more time, money and effort in history travelling to the various destinations in the world.
There are so many destinations being featured in the internet and print media. This adds to the confusion as the world has become swamped with suggestions.
To help readers, I decided to do an Expert Roundup by asking 24 Baby Boomer travel experts to help simplify this issue.
The question posted to these experts was: “Please list your top 3 favourite Destinations in your travels with a sentence to justify each choice”.
The Travel Experts are of the baby boomer generation. A number have been in travel journalism or writing since the 1980s and have travel web sites since the dawn of the internet in the early 2000s. They are from the various parts of the world, mainly the US, UK, Canada and Australia. They have travelled the world and their opinions are widely respected internationally.
3 Favourite Destinations most mentioned by the Travel Experts:
Top Country: Italy
Top Region or State: California
Top City: Hoi An in Vietnam
Read on to discover each expert’s favourite 3 destinations along with their awesome comments. You can either skip to your favourite expert using these quick links or grab a coffee, get comfortable and commence scrolling!
List of Contributing Experts:
- Akaisha & Billy Kaderli (Retire Early Lifestyle)
- Alastair McKenzie (Travel Lists)
- Barbara Weibel (Hole In The Donut)
- Cacinda Maloney (Points and Travel)
- Carole Terwilliger Meyers (Berkeley and Beyond)
- Charles McCool (McCool Travel)
- Clark Norton (Clark Norton)
- David & Veronica James (The Gypsy Nesters)
- Helen & Michael Oon (My Faces And Places)
- Janice Waugh (Solo Traveler Blog)
- Jenny Freedman (A Taste of Travel)
- Kathy Marris (50 Shades of Age)
- Ken & Cally Hardaker (Dodgy Knees)
- Leyla Alyanak (Women On The Road)
- Liz Dahl (Boomer Travel Patrol)
- Mary Jo Manzanares (Traveling with MJ)
- Max Hartshorne (Go Nomad)
- Nancy D Brown (What a Trip)
- Patti Morrow (Luggage and Lipstick)
- Paul Marshman (The Travelling Boomer)
- Paula & Gordon McInerney (Contented Traveller)
- Sharron Livingston (Travel Magazine)
- Suzanne Jones (The Travel Bunny)
- Tom & Kris Bartel (Travel Past 50)
The responses are listed in order they were received:
Women on the Road provides inspiration and advice to help women travel smart, safe and solo.
- Madrid – especially the Plaza Mayor on a Sunday morning.
- Penang in Malaysia – I love the diversity and I can’t stop eating when I’m there.
- Annecy, France – because I live nearby, of course, but also because it’s the prettiest town in France.
Solo Traveler is the site for women and men who love, and possibly long, to travel alone.
- The United Kingdom– I find England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland endlessly fascinating. From urban interests in London and Liverpool to the rugged landscapes of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland and the Isle of Skye in Scotland to the serenity of Anglesey, Wales there is beauty and history and culture everywhere.
- Kauai, Hawaii – Kauai has the most dramatic landscape in the state with the Waimea Canyon,Na Pali Coast, mountains, waterfalls and beaches. Boomers can enjoy Kauai at beautiful resorts and fine restaurants or take a more laid back approach.
- Italy – People usually think of Rome, Venice and Florence for Italy and they are must-sees but I love the Emilia Romagna area that includes Bologna, Modena, Parma and many other towns that were the origins of fine Italian cuisine.
David & Veronica James
As David & Veronica experienced the collision of Baby Boomer and Empty Nester they decided to grab life by the horns, sell the nest, and become GypsyNesters!
- Galapagos Islands: We would have to put these islands on top of the list. Unbelievable animal encounters along with starkly varied topography awaited us at every different isle that we visited.
- Prague is a top choice. There is so much culture and history to be found, and the old town looks like it was taken right out of the pages of a fairy tale storybook.
- Newfoundland: There are so many others that we can think of, but since we have to choose one we’ll go with Newfoundland. We spent a few weeks exploring in our motorhome and had a blast. In addition to the amazing scenery and adventures, we found the friendliest people anywhere that we have been. (And that’s a lot of places!)
GoNOMAD.com Travel has published thousands of travel stories from all over the world since 2000.
My favorite countries are very difficult to pin down. As many travel writers might say, ‘my favorite destination is my next one!” But I would give these three places a serious thumbs up!
- New Zealand…Nowhere is better for travelers, with so many easy to access wilderness areas and the country is very well set up to accommodate tourists. SO BEAUTIFUL.
- No place else has more fun every day, and the combination of the old world and the new is refreshing. You never laugh anywhere as much as you do in Italy.
- I’ve been to France more than any other country besides the US, and it never ever fails to make me feel alive, invigorated, and sated with their every day great food. France is perhaps my favorite place of all.
Paula & Gordon McInerney
Contented Traveller is run by husband and wife team Paula and Gordon, and is a site for fit, free and financial travellers, who are a little left of centre.
- Nozawa Onsen in Japan because it is a traditional Japanese village, that just happens to be an epic ski resort.
- Amsterdam because we loved staying on a houseboat and wandering around the city.
- Sydney because it is beautiful to look at, multicultural and a fun place to go.
Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel is a blog dedicated to telling the stories about the places Barbara Weibel visits and the people she meets along the way
Having been to more than 80 countries, it’s really difficult to narrow it down to three favorite destinations in the world, however if pressed, I’d have to choose the following:
- Thailand: Aside from having some of the most delicious food and most welcoming people in the world, Thailand offers an incredible diversity. From crystalline turquoise waters and stunning beaches in the south, to the gilt and glory of the Grand Palace and temples of Bangkok, to the art and culture of the Lanna culture in the north, Thailand is a true tourist wonderland.
- Nepal: There’s a spirituality in Nepal that seeps into my pores. Nepalis say that “Guest is God” and no matter how many times I return, I’m treated like a Goddess. The country’s mind-blowing historical sites (seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley) and the incomparable scenery of the high Himalayas make for an unbeatable destination.
- Croatia: The Dalmation Coast, from Zadar in the north to the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik in the south, offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The coast of the mainland alternates between soaring cliffs and pretty pocket beaches. Beyond the mainland are dozens of tiny islands, each with their own culture. The food is wonderful (especially the fresh seafood), the people are welcoming, and the prices are extremely affordable. Croatia is one of Europe’s undiscovered gems.
Akaisha & Billy Kaderli
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of financial independence, medical tourism and world travel, sharing what they know on their award-winning website.
The world is a beautiful place with lots of locations to choose from. However, here are three suggestions. In no particular order:
- Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chiang Mai is an exotic (and erotic) unique and unusual city, especially if you live in the ancient walled section. There are dozens of wats, golden buddhas, terrific Thai food and Thai massage, good medical care, friendly people, affordable living, easy transport and great shopping of all kinds.
- Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca is known for its tasty cuisine, has stunning Colonial architecture, festivals, friendly people, good weather, modern conveniences and is affordable. Monte Alban Maya ruins are 20 minutes away.
- Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Lake Atitlan is one of the heartlands of the Maya culture. The lake is spectacularly beautiful, the friendly indigenous are integrated into your daily living, there is great weather, affordable living, and a laid back atmosphere.
Nancy D Brown
Nancy D. Brown is a professional travel writer and the woman behind What a Trip a travel blog for the active adventure baby boomer. Here she shares insider tips on things to see and do, as well as travel gear and apparel reviews.
Asking me to narrow down my favorite destinations to three choices is like asking a mother to name her favorite child!
- Alaska: For an active adventure baby boomer, I’d recommend sailing with UnCruise Adventures to Alaska. As the name implies, UnCruise is for those folks who don’t consider themselves the “cruise ship” type. Sailing with UnCruise in Glacier Bay meant slipping into a kayak from the back of the ship and paddling up close next to a glacier, yet being able to return to the comfort of your cabin that afternoon.
- Montana: For me, there is no better way to explore nature than from the back of a horse. I have three favorite Montana dude ranches; the Ranch at Rock Creek, the Resort at Paws Up and Triple Creek Ranch. All of these luxury dude ranches offer stellar scenery, soft saddles, outstanding service and sensory experiences.
- Douro River: A cruise on Portugal’s Douro River during harvest, when the leaves are changing and the grapes are picked from the vines, is a bucket list worthy holiday. My husband and I celebrated our 30 year wedding anniversary with Viking River Cruises and it was one of the most romantic holidays ever.
The Travelling Boomer is a website that opens the world of travel for those who are over 50 but still want to explore the planet earth. Owner Paul Marshman is a retired journalist who spent 30 years writing in Canadian and international newspapers and magazines.
- Paris: This is the cultural capital of the world, full or art and great food, and it’s a city built by artists — even the bridges are beautiful.
- Vienna: If you love old, historic cities, you can’t beat Vienna, for its architecture, its palaces and museums, and its classic coffee houses.
- Mexico: Despite its troubles, this is still a great destination. Colourful culture, natural beauty, great food, endless sunshine — Mexico has it all..
Mary Jo Manzanares
Traveling with MJ focuses on value luxury destinations and experiences for active baby boomer travelers.
- Universal Orlando Resort (Orlando, Florida): – A theme park might seem unusual to have on a favorites list, but whether you’re a theme park junkie yourself or want to share it with your extended family, Universal Orland Resort combines the best of the best, along with some great food and beverage options.
- Tuscany: – Come for the food and wine, enjoy the culture and history as well. I prefer staying in small towns and then taking day trips from a home base.
- Scandinavia: – You can choose one country or city (I love Stockholm, Sweden) and do some country hopping by ferry, or, choose one of the ocean cruises that cover this area (I love Viking Ocean).
Clark has chronicled the baby boom generation since the days he and many of his contemporaries were backpacking around Europe in their twenties; as boomers were rearing families and taking their kids on the road in their thirties and forties; and as they experienced all new adventures around the globe while maturing into their fifties and sixties (sometimes with grandchildren now in tow).
- Yap: One of the Federated States of Micronesia in the far western Pacific, Yap is a throwback to another age — a tropical island with little development and fascinating history (it’s known as the Land of Stone Money because its traditional currency is limestone carved into huge round wheels).
- The Greek islands: the people, the scenery, the architecture, the food, the blue Aegean Sea — incomparable for relaxation.
- Huangshan, China: With some 70 peaks,, strange rock formations, hot springs, swirling mists, walking paths and guest houses, it’s the quintessential Chinese mountain, and easily the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.
Hi my name is Kathy Marris and I am an over 50s lifestyle and travel blogger..
My favourite 3 travel destinations are:
- Turquoise Coast, Turkey: With hundreds of kilometres of unspoilt coastline, thousands of uninhabited bays and pine-clad hills dipping into crystalline water, you can’t go past the Turquoise Coast of Turkey for heart-stopping views, picturesque yachting harbours and gorgeous little beach resort towns.
- Hoi An, Vietnam: Located on a beautiful stretch of coastline on the South China Sea and the Thu Bon River, the historical Hoi An old town is renowned for its French influence shown in some of the beautiful buildings and its abundance of tailors who will hand craft you anything from a suit to a pair of shoes.
- Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia: Stretching for 260 Kilometres from Amherst Pointsouth of Coral Bay to Bundegi Reef near the town of Exmouth in Western Australia, the virtually untouched Ningaloo Reef is home to an outstanding variety of marine life and provides some of the best diving spots in the world
A travel journalist with one foot in traditional media and the other in social media. Since 1989, a radio travel journalist and moved to online travel journalism before the millennium. I am an active member of the travel blogger & social media community and a regular speaker at social media conferences.
- Berlin: You can never get bored with Berlin. There is always something new, weird & wonderful. The city that keeps giving.
- Nantes: There’s something about Nantes. I just feel comfy there. Could be something to do with it having the highest standard of living of any city in France…. though Bordeaux comes pretty close in my view!
- Zambia: Walking safaris in the South Luangwa National Park and chilling by the Zambezi at Livingstone (Vic Falls), what’s not to like!
Luggage and Lipstick is the ultimate travel guide for baby boomers seeking fun, adventure, and culture!
- Favorite Island: James Michener described Bora Bora the “most beautiful island in the world.” I concur. Overwater bungalows looking across a crystal aqua lagoon at the volcanic backdrop…if there’s a landscape more stunning than that, I haven’t found it yet.
- Favorite European Country: Croatia surprised me with its beauty and diversity. From the fairytale vibe of Dubrovnik, to the history and culture of Split, to the frenetic upscale partying of Hvar Island, there’s something for everyone.
- Favorite Repeat Country: Mexico is the only country I return to year-after-year. No matter what part of the country I visit, I’m surrounded with colorful colonial cities, friendly locals, mouth-watering food, great climate, and budget-friendly boutique hotels.
Ken & Cally Hardaker
Dodgy Knees Travel Blog is an independent travel blog for people over 50 who like to organise their own trips and go to interesting, often less visited, places.
- Chile: Patagonia is one of the world’s great wilderness regions. Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is spectacular. Cross the border to Argentina and the very accessible and impressive Moreno Glacier and Cerro Fitz Roy’s awesome peaks put Patagonia at the top of our must visit list.
- Ethiopia: There is no other country like Ethiopia. It’s unique history and culture are fascinating. An absolute highlight is the 12th – 13th century hand hewn rock churches – an unsung wonder of the world. There’s also Africa’s Camelot – Gonder, the island monasteries of Lake Tana and much more.
- Australia: Yes, we live in Tasmania. But we moved there 20 years ago for a reason. Tasmania has vast areas of untouched wilderness and beautiful unspoilt beaches. It has some of Australia’s best food and wines, and it also has the globally acclaimed MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). We’ve visited over 100 countries and have yet to find anywhere we’d rather live and explore than Tasmania, Australia’s island state.
Join me on a journey of travel and food
- Monforte d’Alba: This wonderful old village in Piemonte, Italy is perfectly situated to explore the beautiful hill top towns of the Langhe, an the area known for their fabulous wines and some of the best food in Italy
- Istanbul: The eclectic mix of the old and new, the food and the wonderful people make Istanbul a city I find hard to stay away from…even today!
- New York: I’m a happy girl just walking the streets of New York. It gives me a buzz like no other city can. I love to escape to Central Park, explore Brooklyn and wander around Soho and West Village. Of course New York has fabulous cafes, bars and restaurants that are always exciting to try.
Tom & Kris Bartel
TravelPast50 is the well-rounded resource for travelers age 50+. With the authoritative voice of seasoned travelers and experienced reporters, Kris and Tom cover travel through award-winning articles and photography, with an emphasis on active travel, nature, arts and culture, and food and drink.
- Madrid, Spain: Madrid has it all: great museums, hundreds of excellent family owned restaurants, quirky shopping areas in eclectic neighborhoods, great parks with long walks, and the best cafe and bar hopping in Europe.
- Jordan: There’s more history and culture packed into Jordan that you have a right to expect in such a small country. There’s ancient Petra, of course. And the old Roman and early Christian city of Jerash. And Wadi Rum, where you can camp in the desert with the Bedouin and get up to watch the dawn over one of the most dramatic landscapes on the earth.
- Northern Ireland: Of course Derry and Belfast are reeking with history, and the tours of the murals in both cities that illustrate the “troubles” are well worth your time. But it’s the landscapes along the north coast that are the real breath takers. Giants Causeway and the Dark Hedges are both movie set beautiful and worth the drive off the main road to get there.
The Boomer Travel Patrol was a concept created by Liz Dahl, a former travel agent and public relations consultant who felt baby boomers were not in the coveted demographic of 18-49 and therefore left out of the “fun” activities when it came to travel. We love bus trips and cruises, but there’s more to see and do and we have the time and means to explore the world.
- Iceland – it is unique, it is exciting and makes you feel like you are exploring earth for the first time. The air and water are pure and the Blue Lagoon will rejuvenate you.
- Central Coast of California – Highway 1 Discovery Route – perfect for Baby Boomers – it is a throwback to the 1960s in a wonderful way. Simplicity, great seafood, wonderful wine, nature and a laid back lifestyle.
- Bermuda – it is not in the Caribbean but has a year round sub-tropical climate, pink sand beaches and a pristine landscape. Good food, good shopping and not overcrowded.
Through McCool Travel, Charles McCool shows travelers how to increase travel happiness and reduce stress on every trip.
My favorite places include any beach, any unpaved road, and anywhere I have not yet been to. Oh, you probably want specific places, eh? That is a bit tougher. Hmmmm, I will say US Virgin Islands, California, and Florida. Yes, Italy, Australia, and more exotic places should be on my list but, heck, it is my list. Thank you.
Carole Terwilliger Meyers
The Berkeley and Beyond website centers on the city of Berkeley, California, where travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers lives, and radiates out to cover San Francisco and the Bay Area, California, and on to various other parts of the world.
- London: I simply can’t get enough of this vibrant city, and it is where I buy my underwear (Marks & Spencer) and tea (The Tea House on Neal St.).
- New York City: This city always manages to get my blood pumping, and I can’t get enough of the Village and Soho.
- Hawaii: I’ve been to all the major islands, most numerous times, and I can’t wait to return again to the sweet fragrances wafting in the warm trade winds.
An experienced luxury travel writer, photographer, and social media influencer, Dr. Cacinda Maloney shares her love of travel with thousands of readers on her website “Points And Travel”. She searches for adventure, culture, and smart luxury travel experiences.
- Palawan, Philippines: Magical and untouched, these remote islands are a sight to see.
- Santorini, Greece: Loved the gorgeous sunsets and the vibe.
- Rome, Italy: There is just something about the old city of Rome that I can’t shake.
Suzanne Jones writes the travel blog The TravelBunny. Here she shares her passion for travel, food and photography with travel guides and tips to insure your wanderlust.
- Amalfi Coast, Italy: From the moment I stepped foot in Italy I felt at home. The Amalfi Coast with its stunning landscapes with sparkling seas, brightly painted villages teetering on the clifftops, Pompeii and of course that fabulous Mediterranean food means I’ll be returning for many years to come. The area is also home to one of my all-time favourite restaurants, La Tagliata in Positano.
- California, USA: This has to be the ultimate road-trip destination. I made amazing memories here when I cycled the Golden Gate Bridge, watched Orcas, Humpback whales and dolphins in Monterey, drove the Pacific Coast Highway and gazed in awe at the glorious Yosemite National Park landscapes.
- Hoi An, Vietnam: This tiny historic town in central Vietnam sits alongside a river and is lined with ancient merchant houses, temples and dwellings. With no motorised traffic in the centre of town it’s like stepping back in time. The bustling food market is my favourite spot where fresh produce is sold daily. The zesty, delicious Vietnamese cuisine and friendly local people are more reasons to love this magical little town.
Helen & Michael Oon
Our Travel blog “My Faces and Places” is aimed at affluent matured travellers who are young at heart and who want to travel in luxury and comfort exploring the world on enriching and enlightening experiences; luxury cruises; educational journeys enjoying arts, culture, heritage and culinary pleasures.
- Sabah, Malaysia: Gaya Island Resort, Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley and Kinabatangan River Safari in Sukau Rainforest Lodge in Sabah. Sabah offers the best of sand & sea and jungle & nature adventure to observe rare wildlife and enjoy the magic of the rainforest in Malaysia.
- Florence, Italy: the Cradle of Renaissance and the epicentre of gorgeous architecture and world famous paintings by renowned masters.
- Morocco: A vibrant and colourful country steeped in history and culture packed full of surprises and artisanal delight and the High Atlas Mountains are breathtaking.
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this mammoth post! Please share if you think it was useful!
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Just to recap, here are the results again:
3 Favourite Destinations most mentioned by the Travel Experts:
Top Country: Italy
Top Region or State: California
Top City: Hoi An in Vietnam
Please let us know of your 3 favourite destinations below.