COVID essentially shut down travel for nearly three years. For many Canadians who have recently retired, these years were prime travel years – the years after retirement when you are still healthy enough to qualify for travel insurance and able to undertake trips that are longer in duration and further in distance. For many, these were “lost” years. Many recent retirees are feeling that they now have a shorter window to fulfill their bucket list and they are fitting more trips into a shorter amount of time, now booking two to three trips a year, versus one. One of the hottest destinations for travel is New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand and Australia have long been a favourite for Canadians due to temperate weather, vast attractions and natural beauty as well as being a safe, English-speaking destination. With the South Pacific offering opposite seasons to Canada, this makes it an attractive winter getaway and often an alternative to the more traditional USA for snowbirds looking to escape.
Asia continues to grow in popularity, and we are seeing strong demand for Japan with its urban cities, cultural sites, and unique attractions like its annual cherry blossom season. With many retired Canadians having already experienced European River Cruises, it’s no surprise that the Mekong River Cruises which sail through Vietnam and Cambodia, are exploding in popularity. These unique, ultra boutique riverboats offer up cultural, culinary, and historical wonders.
Lastly, European favourites, such as Ireland and Scotland call to Canadians seeking to learn more about their heritage or to experience the magic of Ireland’s rolling green hills, towering cliffs and quaint pubs with Celtic Music and storytellers blessed with the “gift of the gab”. Spain and Portugal top our destinations for those planning to go to Europe in 2023 and 2024. With their golden beaches, quaint historical towns and fine wines and food, travellers are discovering that Spain and Portugal are gems that can be visited almost year-round.
While you are checking off your list, be sure to pack your travel advisor and your travel insurance for peace of mind!