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Senior, Single, and Special Needs Travel

Travel is For Everyone

The travel, tourism, and hospitality industries continue to diversify and provide travel products tailored to many specialty markets such as: seniors; special interests groups of all kinds; from amateur historians to soft adventure travelers, people with special vision or mobility needs, gay and lesbian travelers, solo travelers ... and the list goes on.

Travel, tourism, and hospitality is one of the largest industries on the planet, especially when you factor in all the related/interconnected businesses and industries that are secondary suppliers to this principal global industry.

As travel consumers, therefore, we can assume that our particular demographic is served somewhere by someone in this immense industry. And the more we can find and define those who serve our particular needs, the better our travel experiences will be.

Seniors — for example — represent a market within a market, and a huge one! Often referred to today as the Fifty Plus Travel Market, seniors are travelling everywhere and engaging in a diverse range of travel activities. What this means is that seniors (and similar niche market travelers) can assume that they are a market force to be reckoned with; that someone wants their business.

Why Fifty Plus? The pluses are numerous: life experience; experienced and discerning travelers; travelers with disposal time and money; a broadened frame of reference and perspective on the world; energy; enthusiasm; wisdom; pragmatic; life-long learners. Seniors (like all niche market groups) are, in turn, tailor-made for the travel industry.

And whatever your age, the seniors you meet in your travels may be the best “interpretors” of the destination you will find. Maureen Johnson, The Crab Lady of Cape Cod, is an example.

With a special interest in barrier-free travel, Adam also has a broad scope of interests and travel experiences that he has written about. His experiences and his elegant website Travel Prose are proof positive that the travel industry is as diverse as those who travel.

The Fifty Plus Club

AARP Travel and Leisure
The website of the American Association of Retired Persons has a separate webpage devoted to travel resources.

This site has the apt title ofSenior Women's Travel for the 50+ Woman with a Passion for Travel.”

Travelocity's Seniors Site
This website answers many questions and leads to other good sites.

Smarter Travel for Seniors
As a general resource, this website has some useful links.

The Double Nickels Electronic Magazine for Active Adults has a travel section with good links.

The Canadian site 50Plus Expeditions is a good source of trips with "no mandatory single supplement charge on cruises & guided tours.".

This well-known online travel site has a special page devoted to 50+ travel.

Access Able Travel Source
This site focuses on mature travelers and those with special needs.

Seniors Home Exchange
Home exchanges are a popular and cost-effective way top travel, especially for the 50+ demographic. This site is devoted the the latter group.

This is probably the best-known travel and cultural programs for the 50+ market.

Senior Globe Internet Access
This is a senior's website-for-all-seasons that also has some good travel links.

Solo and Not-so-solo

This site has recommended sources and resources for the single traveler.

Rudy Maxa's article in The Savvy Traveler has a number of useful ideas for the single traveler.

Senior Globe Internet Access
This site is self- explanatory and well-designed. You will be asked to register.

Special Needs Travel

Travel Prose
Adam Lloyd's site continues a Links page that will take you to other sites of interest that include the following:

Abilities Magazine;

Enabled Online; and

Gimp on the Go.

Talking Travel also recommends:

Disability Travel and Recreation Resources;

Google resources on travel for people with special needs

Buzzle.com's resources for the traveler who is disabled or handicapped

The GoGuides.com resource page for travelers with disabilities