Planning The Ultimate Travel Experience For Post 50s

The chance to learn something new, have genuine experiences with locals, and get value for money: Are we asking too much out of our trips? After so many years of limited travel thanks to tightened budgets Baby Boomers are raring to hit the road, the air and the seas again.

But before we plunk down thousands of dollars on our next expedition, we owe it to ourselves to take some time to figure out exactly what we want and don't want out of our travels. Otherwise, you could find yourself booked on an overpriced excursion that eats up all your annual vacation time, going someplace you've never wanted to visit.

The risk of that happening is huge: you've got friends and family telling you where to vacation; thousands of itineraries, tours, cruises and destinations to choose from; and the Internet, guidebooks, The Travel Channel, magazines and newspaper travel sections that further confuse you with so much information. Where's a traveling Boomer to start?

You should know what you want before you even start browsing all these sources. Just in case you think that's impossible, here's a slideshow of needs based on my own travel experiences and those of fellow Boomers who've shared their knowledge with me (feel free to add your own in the comments below).

Knowing what we want out of our travels before we start doing our research makes it easier to choose from the thousands of options out there. It also means we're more likely to find the perfect travel experience that we'll remember for the rest of our lives.