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 2018, including those best for:
- Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®).
- Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Earn unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase).
- Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Get 3 points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases).
- No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card (Earn unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no annual fee).
- Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express (Get 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel, plus get access to the Global Lounge Collection). Terms Apply.
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