When you only get one vacation a year, you aim high: Europe, the South Pacific, Africa. But when you retire, a whole world of options opens to you.
Those fly-over destinations that once weren’t worth your time take on new appeal. On the flip side, retirees setting out to see the world have to get the most out of every dollar.
So it’s no surprise that the top 15 destinations for seniors last year are close to home and easy on the wallet.
Here are the locales where, according to Priceline, the 60-plus crowd bought the most hotel room nights in and the most plane tickets to between July 2017 and July 2018, followed by average hotel rates they paid last year.
1. Chicago: The Windy City blew to the No. 1 spot for senior travel, attracting visitors with its world-class entertainment, museums and dining. Average nightly rate: $174.
2. Orlando, Florida: When you have more time off, it’s easier to tag along with the grandkids to see Mickey and Harry. Average nightly rate: $123.
3. Denver: A high-energy downtown with great dining and entertainment all just a short drive from where buffalo roam make Denver a must on most bucket lists. Average nightly rate: $130.
» Learn more: Landing the best airfare is a matter of timing
4. Las Vegas: Retirees have a serious edge in a town where outrageously opulent rooms offer massive discounts during off-peak times. Average nightly rate: $110.
5. Phoenix: Sprawling resorts, world-class spas and only-in-the-desert outdoor experiences landed Phoenix the No. 5 spot on the list of retiree destinations. Average nightly rate: $102.
6. New York: Retirees come again and again for the shows, the skyline and the unique energy found nowhere else on earth. Average nightly rate: $245.
7. Seattle: This hipster haven didn’t land on most travelers’ lists till the 1990s, meaning that folks 60 and over may have overlooked this vibrant city for decades. Average nightly rate: $163.
8. Philadelphia: Philly is a hub for museums and historic sights made easy with hop-on, hop-off tours. Average nightly rate: $150.
9. Washington, D.C.: More than just a place where students get marched past huge monuments, D.C. is a breathtakingly beautiful city worth a repeat visit (or 10). Average nightly rate: $183.
10. Portland, Oregon: Portland is a foodie paradise with an alternative vibe surrounded by some of the nation’s most gorgeous countryside. Average nightly rate: $136.
» Learn more: Why you should fly first class at least once, and how to afford it
11. Charlotte, North Carolina: Great barbecue, live blues and a healthy dose of Southern charm attract retirees to this historic town whose roots trace to the 1799 discovery of a 17-pound (yes, pound) gold nugget. Average nightly rate: $117.
12. Baltimore: Orioles baseball, an impressive aquarium and all the crab you can eat draw retirees to this sparkling coastal city. Average nightly rate: $131.
13. New Orleans: New and repeat travelers come for New Orleans’ utterly unique experiences, from live Dixieland jazz to spooky shops filled with voodoo curios. Average nightly rate: $170.
14. Salt Lake City: Temple Square, the sprawling headquarters of the Mormon Church, and the Salt Lake Temple are a few of the only-in-Utah experiences. The city’s namesake lake offers hiking and picnicking. Average nightly rate: $110.
15. Nashville, Tennessee: Both country and rock music have strong roots in this vibrant Southern city. Average nightly rate: $172.
How to maximize your rewardsYou want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2020, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
- Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
- Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Best retirement plans: Choose the right account for you
They quit their jobs 27 years ago and have been traveling ever since. How did they pull it off?
One couple’s journey from debt to $1.5 million in savings