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Click here for the video FIVE PILLARS FOR A SUCCESSFUL RETIREMENT
If you're thinking about retirement vacations, my guess is that your age is between 50-70 and you're here because you want your senior retirement living to maintain your zest for living throughout retirement.
These Traveller pages are designed to inspire you, as you prepare for retirement, with retirement planning tips and inspiration for later travel as a senior.
And travel clubs are an excellent venue where senior people meet others with similar lifestyles, and consequently friendship develop.
The concept of retirement vacations is not an oxymoron as some would think, as the focus and anticipation keeps your post-retirement years filled with mental stimulation and physical activity. This alone is ample justification for some retirement travel.
Tourists and local residents buying produce at one of the many street markets in Xianggang, China
As they say: "When in Xianggang, do as the Xianggangs do" with apologies: St. Ambrose 387 A.D
Choosing anyone's top ten travel destinations for retirement vacations is very subjective, but if you're into retirement then you have more time, so you'll want to consider everywhere you'd like to go, and you'll want to visit the best locations. So jot them down in your workbook: Planning for Retirement.
So let's just start with the top ten travel destinations in America - and here I've been guided by the professionals at Lonely Planet.
But I'm also conscious that you may want to holiday and travel abroad. So I've written articles on my favourite places in Europe and also the South Pacific.
And then I thought - maybe you'll be asking yourself "Do we need foreign travel health insurance?" - or maybe it's just special interest retirement travel that you're interested in.
Many of us - now that being retired has been stretched by perhaps 15-20 years - will visit Beijing and see the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square (start the day there at dawn to witness the impressive ceremony of rising the national flag), have dinner at the home of the last Empress and also to visit the Great Wall nearby.
Incidentally, there are four locations to visit the Great Wall - the first is too crowded, the second is nearby and is quite OK (and the ride back down in a kart with the brake between your legs is memorable) but my pick would be No 4 - two hours out of town (where you come back down in a harness attached to an overhead wire).
However, avoid the first weeks of either May or October when local holidays bring out millions of local tourists. However at any time of the year you'll have to put up with rudeness and public spitting.
However for a "top ten" discussion when you get back home, fit in a visit to the mausoleum built for Tian Yi - who was the favourite eunuch of the emperor Wanli. It's the world's only museum devoted to eunuchs. Out of ten for your intended retirement vacations, where would you rank this one?
The bluebonnet is to Texas what the cherry blossom is to Japan, the tulip is to the Nederlands, the rose is to England and the shamrock to Ireland.
And the Bluebonnet Festival is actually as host of community events throughout Texas in April, when the wild flowers are in bloom. People of middle age and older flock there for the natural display and the community festivals. It's a major draw card for retirement vacations, with 30,000 visitors annually.
But while you're in Texas, combine it with a visit to Fort Worth: "where the west begins" and where wealth from both the cattle industry, and later the discovery of oil, has left a legacy of cultural refinement - for example the only painting by Michelangelo in the country, "The Torment of Saint Anthony" in the Kimbell Art Museum.
Then there's honky-tonk Austin, only 240 miles south of Fort Worth. There' more than 200 live music venues in this the Live Music Capital of the World.
And if you don't visit the Alamo, your grandchildren will think you wasted your trip. It's in San Antonio, and "remember the Alamo" was the battle cry for troops under General Sam Houston when they defeated the Mexican army there on 21 April 1836. Interestingly, Texas then declared itself a self governing republic and did not join the United States until 1845.
along the Ruta del Cares trail in the National Park
This small mountain range in the north west of Spain was the first sightings ancient sailors had of Europe on the way back from South America, but these mountains are virtually unknown - except to locals and international middle aged adventure travellers.
However, these white limestone peaks contain two of the ten deepest caves in the world, and the walking track through the Garganta del Cares is the most popular in Spain.
It's definitely a travel destination if you're working hard on the Five Pillars for a successful retirement when you'r planning for retirement, which includes of course your plans for retirement vacations.
Cotopaxi is the tallest active volcano in the world, at 5,897 metres. It last erupted in 1877, although the historical records show that it's well overdue to perform again.
It's in a national park of the same name, in Ecuador, and while you're there, get a taste of how life used to be by staying at the Hacienda San Agustin del Callo, a guest house of sorts since 1475, but now a working farm functioning as a vibrant, modern international hotel.
It's an ideal for anyone who is retired, and who has visited "ordinary" tourist destinations, and who wants to go further than your backyard deck this summer.
Put Cotopaxi on your list of must-visit retirement vacations.
Have you ever thought of joining a Habit for Humanity project and contribute to building houses? Pack up your RV and do something for your fellow citizens.
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