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Epic Travel Experiences To Add To Your Retirement Bucket List

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

Retirement means no more clocking up annual leave for holidays, and according to a survey conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 83 per cent of baby boomers want to travel when they retire. So here’s our pick of seven of the most bucket list-worthy destinations to add to your travel list once you’ve finished work. Then, after you’ve picked your perfect holiday, all that’s left is to book your travel, hotel and of course, your airport transfer on to ensure a smooth and seamless journey.

1. Explore an icy wonderland on an Alaskan cruise

The largest state in the US also offers some of the most majestic natural beauty in the country, and what better way to see the glaciers and snow-capped mountains (and maybe even a polar bear!) of Alaska than from the water. If being surrounded by breathtaking wilderness, going for a short hike as eagles soar above you, visiting charming Alaskan towns and having the option of kicking back and relaxing or indulging in some onshore adventures sounds appealing, then make sure you add an Alaskan cruise to your bucket list, just as customer Pamela Foskett did.

‘We wanted to experience firsthand the grandeur of the Arctic wilderness areas and the magnificence of the fjords and glaciers in places that could generally only be accessed by water. It was our first major trip since my husband and I had both retired, and we wanted to go somewhere memorable and a place that neither of us had been previously.

‘We enjoyed seeing everything from the comfort of the ship as a base. It was great to board and unpack our bags for the entire week’s trip. The cruise, which we booked with Princess Cruises, was very well run. There was plenty of entertainment day and night, including various talks given by expert naturalists and park rangers on what we were likely to see the next day.

‘We saw some incredible wildlife, including bald eagles, moose, bears, sea otters, seals, whales and mountain goats!

‘This is not a trip we could have done 20 years ago with a family, but was perfect for a retired couple.’

Popular airport for Alaska travels: Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

You might also like: 6 Tips For First Time Cruisers

An Alaskan cruise offers stunning glacial views and Arctic wilderness. Photo by Heather Shevlin on Unsplash

2. Search out the Southern Lights

Yes, the Northern Lights are a common addition to many a bucket list, but did you know it’s possible, and quite accessible, to seek out the Aurora Australis (otherwise known as the Southern Lights)? For one of the best vantage points in the world to see this mysterious light show, fly into Australia’s southern state of Tasmania.

The remoteness of this island state makes it perfect to seek out the aurora, as there is little light pollution. For the best view, head out of the cities and away from large mountain ranges; one of the best locations is just a short drive southeast from the capital Hobart at the South Arm peninsula, but anywhere south-facing without an obstruction or light pollution will do.

Of course it’s important to remember that while photographs of the Northern and Southern Lights show vivid, swirling hues of greens, yellows, blues and reds, the naked eye sees a duller version of this. Look out for dancing white light in the sky, and to capture in a photo, use long exposure settings on your camera.

Insider tip: It’s also possible to see the southern lights near the city of Melbourne. While not as strong as the views in Tasmania, aurora seekers often head down the coast to places like Phillip Island to watch the night sky dance with light.

Closest airports: Hobart Airport, Melbourne AirportAvalon Airport

You might also like: How To Take The Perfect Travel Photo

While many desire to see the Northern Lights, a trip to Australia’s Tasmania could treat you to a magical light show starring the Southern Lights

3. Visit the oldest National Park in the US

Often dubbed the ‘American Serengeti’ thanks to the abundance of animals that call the park home, Yellowstone National Park just begs to be explored, and what better time to discover its beauty than when you have all the time in the world! The US’s first ever designated National Park boasts not only incredible natural beauty, epic wildlife and splendid forest, but thanks to the ancient volcanic activity in the area, is also home to natural thermal mud pools, and see-it-to-believe-it technicolour hot springs. If getting back to nature is on your to-do list, then make sure you indulge in trip to Yellowstone.

Nearest airports: Jackson Hole AirportYellowstone Regional AirportBozeman Yellowstone International AirportIdaho Falls Regional Airport

You might also like: 6 Epic National Parks Not To Miss In The US

4. ‘Go bush’ in the red centre

You could spend a lifetime discovering the dazzling natural wonders of Australia, but if you want a true Aussie Outback experience that will stay in your heart a lifetime, put a trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock) on your bucket list. This giant monolith in central Australia looms up out of nowhere, dwarfing everything around it. While you may have seen photographs of this iconic Australian rock, nothing compares to witnessing the colours of the rock’s façade changing as the sun rises, or standing in its giant presence. There is something magical about Australia’s red centre; the ochre-red soil, Aboriginal dreamtime stories and magnificent outback desert might all play a part, but we suggest experiencing it for yourself to truly immerse in this special part of Australia.

Note: While climbing Uluru is a dream for many, it is not encouraged as not only is the rock sacred to Indigenous Australians, it can also be a very dangerous climb. Instead, consider walking around the base for a completely different perspective, or take to the skies on a helicopter tour.

Closest airports: Alice Springs AirportAyers Rock Airport

You might also like: 8 Things To Know Before Travelling To Australia and 8 Extraordinary Australian National Parks You Must Visit

5. Trace your ancestry

More than 34 million Americans identify as having Irish ancestors; similarly, almost one third of Australians descend from Ireland, according to the Australian Embassy in Dublin. So if you’re one of them and you’ve ever wondered where your great-great grandparents lived and what they did for a crust, why not embark on a family history trip to Ireland to explore the roots of your ancestors?

Many people enjoy taking vacations tracing their family roots to countries like Ireland

Ireland is a storied land filled with quaint countryside, lush rolling hills, rugged cliffs, friendly locals, bustling cities and of course, great beer and stout, so whether you want to discover your family history or discover a great pub, Ireland will fit the bill. England and Scotland are other popular choices to learn some family history, just as customer Jo Dunster did.

‘My trip to the UK was one I had been dreaming of for years and had become an almost spiritual pilgrimage to explore the homeland of my father’s side of the family. Visiting the village and castle where my surname comes from, Dunster Castle, was a particular highlight. I loved every minute I was there.’

Popular Airports: Dublin AirportCork Airport

6. Sit in a TV audience in LA

Your retirement bucket list doesn’t have to be limited to just destinations; this is the time to do the things you’ve only ever dreamed of before! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in a studio audience or sit in as a test audience for the filming of your favourite TV show, it’s time to head to Tinseltown to make your dream a reality. The best part is, it’s usually free to get involved! There are a number of ways to score show tickets to TV filming in LA; if you have a particular show that interests you, you can write directly to the programme or apply online. You can also visit websites like 1iota to try and get tickets. There are seasonal highs and lows with television production, but even in quieter months, there’s usually something being filmed in and around LA. It is Hollywood, after all!

Closest airport: Los Angeles International Airport

You might also like: Explore Los Angeles Like A Local

7. Wind along the Great Ocean Road

One of Australia’s great scenic roads, the Great Ocean Road lies west of Melbourne and winds its way along stunning coastal backdrops, weaving in and out of pretty beach towns, and takes you to some of the country’s best beaches and iconic landmarks. This is a bucket list road trip for sure. It’s the Great Ocean Road where you’ll find the renowned 12 Apostles – huge cliffs of limestone jutting out of the ocean – and if you’re a keen whale-watcher, the township in Warrnambool is one of the best places to see the gentle giants migrate along the coast.

A trip along the Great Ocean Road will treat you to a view of the impressive 12 Apostles. Photo by Dan Preindl on Unsplash

Quick fact: You may be familiar with the term ‘Grey Nomad’; mature-aged travellers who hit the road for weeks at a time in a campervan. Grey Nomads are especially drawn to Australia, where it can take weeks at a time to explore the vast country. ‘The Grey Nomads’ blog is a great resource for anyone looking to hit the road when they retire.

Closest airports: Melbourne AirportAvalon Airport

You might also like: 24 Hours In Melbourne

Phew, retirement never looked so good! What’s on your retirement bucket list? Let us know in the comments box below. is an airport transfer search and comparison site, where you can choose from thousands of airport transfers to find the one that suits you, at a great price. Get to the airport with ease: search and book transfers on today.

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