Getting old shouldn’t mean you have to give up traveling!
It’s true that foreign trips traditionally require you to walk around for hours and hours at a time. All that walking means pain in your feet, knees, hips, back… basically, everywhere! It can make a vacation feel more like a chore.
However, traveling to another city or country doesn’t have to require pounding the pavement all day. There are many destinations that are easy to get around with minimal walking while still allowing you to see tons of breathtaking sights!
In this article, we’ll be exploring several types of vacations for seniors that require minimal walking, as well as specific destinations we recommend for an easy-paced trip!
Best Types of Vacations That Require Minimal Walking
1. Beach Vacation
When it comes to sitting back and relaxing, it’s hard to beat a beach vacation. Whether it’s in Hawaii, Mexico, or even the Bahamas; there are plenty of beaches with soft sand and gentle waves that will let you take things nice and slow.
The best part is, lounging on the beach is perfect for seniors with limited mobility, since soaking up the sun is the only work that needs to be done.
2. Resort Getaway
Resort vacations have a lot to offer. In addition to beautiful scenery, resorts are often filled with amenities that make it easy for seniors without much mobility to have a great time.
Many of them provide shuttles that can take guests from their rooms, right up to resort-run events, numerous pools, and hot tubs, as well as restaurants and cafes that cater to the guests’ needs!
Cruises are a great way to travel with minimal hassle. On a cruise, you don’t need to worry about packing, rolling, and carrying your bags from destination to destination. Instead, you can just sit back, relax, and keep your belongings settled in your suite as you disembark on fantastic destinations all along the cruise route.
In order to really experience your various destination stops, you will have to get off the cruise ship and walk around a little, but many cruises will run their own guided bus or van tours at various ports to make things easy.
On top of that, many cruise lines will provide fantastic shows and scrumptious meals onboard, making the entire cruise experience fun and unforgettable.
4. Bike Tours
If you have plenty of stamina but you simply can’t handle the joint impact of walking, a bicycle tour might be an appropriate walking tour alternative. Plus, bike tours allow you to cover more ground and usually see more sites than you could by foot.
5. Boat Tour
Boats offer a great way to see the sites of many seaside towns and tropical islands. While you won’t be seeing the same types of landmarks a city walking tour might cover, a boat tour offers a wonderful experience to spend time out on the ocean and get a feel for the natural landscape.
6. Train Trip
Trains trips can be a marvelous way to travel and experience new locations without requiring much walking. Observe scenic landscapes from the comfort of your cabin! The downside is that a train trip won’t allow you to get to know foreign cities intimately, but instead, you’ll get a great sense of an area’s vegetation and broader natural setting.
Some trips feature special vintage train cars, which may be a fun bonus for those who want to step back in time and experience travel as it used to be done in centuries past.
7. Bus Tour
Bus tours are a convenient way to see the sights of a city without having to walk much and risk injury or exhaustion. These tours are easy for seniors to use and also contain the added benefit of a guide who can point out all the important landmarks in the city and even recommend top spots to eat! With a bus tour, you can see all the sites of a city without needing to hike around foreign streets.
RV-ing is an increasingly popular leisure activity for many seniors, and it’s no surprise why! RVs offer all the amenities of a home: beds, kitchens, bathrooms, and even televisions!
RV travelers can explore new destinations while still enjoying creature comforts from their home on wheels. An RV allows seniors to travel across the country and see famous national treasures and landmarks, all with minimal walking required!
9. Riverboat Trip
Riverboat tours are similar to boat tours in that they provide an easy way to get to know a water-soaked region without needing to walk.
Riverboat trips are generally shorter than traditional cruises, but not always.
One of the benefits of many older European cities is that they were set up long ago to use rivers and waterways as a way to connect cities so that supplies and passengers could easily travel between locations, before the advent of cars.
Many popular Europan cities feature riverboat cruises that will allow you to see plenty sights and sounds without needing to do much (if any) walking!
River cruises are a fantastic and intimate way to travel through scenic areas of Germany, Hungary, and Austria via impressive waterways like the Danube and the Rhine. See castles and villages that look like something out of a picturebook alongside picturesque landscapes!
US-based river cruises tend to be shorter and often focus on day trips, but many others offer overnights, the opportunity to dine on board, or even listen to live music, making any riverboat ride a special and unique experience.
Some riverboat trips will even have more of a theme element added, often with historical touches from the time when riverboats were a common means of travel.
19 Recommended Cities for Vacations that Require Minimal Walking
South Africa’s Kruger National Park is a must-see for any animal-loving seniors. African safaris will allow you to experience the region’s incredible wildlife from an open-air jeep or all-terrain buggy for an unforgettable walk-free trip.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Vegas can be quite a solid pick for any senior who appreciates nightlife! Las Vegas is known as the city that never sleeps, and with plenty of shows and events going on, you can see plenty without walking much. And of course, gambling doesn’t require you to do much walking at all!
The streets and sidewalks in Las Vegas are flat and easy to maneuver, plus there are plenty of shuttles and public buses that are ADA compliant and can get you where you want to go. There are also plenty of scooter and wheelchair rental options if needed.
The downside of Vegas is that there are few outdoor activities available. Vegas also has many hotels competing for customers, so you can usually find a decent hotel without breaking the bank.
Amsterdam is another one of the easiest cities to travel in for seniors. First off, the city is quite flat, allowing for easy walking as well as easy use of mobility scooters if needed. And of course, with Amsterdam’s famous large system of water canals, a low-mobility senior can travel by boat and still see much of the city.
Plus, there are plenty of bus tours that can explore the outskirts of the city, even taking you to remote fishing villages. Amsterdam’s impressive tram system is another way that seniors can get around without needing to walk much at all.
Niagra Falls, Canada
Niagra Falls is quite a remarkable site, situated on the border of Canada and the USA. Niagra Falls can easily be taken in by car, and a closer look can be achieved by embarking on the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour! There are trolleys and bus tours in Niagra Falls as well.
While Switzerland is known as being a mountainous and hilly country (which it certainly is), it can still be a great place to visit for limited-mobility seniors.
Like many European cities, Switzerland has a fantastic rail system that makes getting around easy. There are also many cable cars, gondolas, and trams that can get you up the mountainside to take in beautiful, breathtaking sites without needing to walk or hike.
Switzerland also features several beautiful lakes such as in Brienz, Interlaken, or Luzern. Many of these lakes have paddle-steamer you can ride to your heart’s content!
Hawaii is a US state that falls under the jurisdiction of ADA, so public attractions, hotels, and transportation must cater to mobility impairments. This allows even seniors who can’t walk much to easily get out and about town. Plus, there’s no greater pastime in Hawaii than lounging on a beach, and that requires no walking at all!
However, for those who want a bit more movement, you can rent all-terrain wheelchairs for a roll down the beach – how fun does that sound? There are also plenty of buggy rides in Hawaii that will allow a senior to see all the breathtaking sites of Hawaii without a ton of walking.
New York City, New York
New York City is perhaps the most well-known city in the world, and there’s tons to see here that don’t require hitting the pavement.
You can experience some of New York City’s best attractions like The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, and Times Square without needing to walk much at all!
Getting around isn’t usually too challenging, as NYC boasts an impressive subway system as well as a constant stream of taxis that can take you wherever you want to go.
To see as much of the city as you can, try one of the many hop-on-hop-off bus tours.
New Orleans, Louisiana
With a culture that embodies living life to the fullest, it should come as no surprise that New Orleans is on this list!
The French Quarter in New Orleans is great for sightseeing since everything is condensed so there isn’t too much walking. There are also plenty of bus tours (even haunted ones) that you can join to get an even better understanding of the city’s history.
As a lively city with tons of European charm, you’ll find plenty of small museums as well as lots of live music to enjoy. Take a ride on a classic streetcar that runs through the city’s smaller neighborhoods, or sit out on a terrace and enjoy a Hurricane!
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. With a great metro system and a flat layout, Madrid is great for limited-mobility seniors who still want to experience a little bit of Spanish culture!
Madrid features stunning architecture, world-class art museums, and tons of great food with tapas abound!
Madrid is also home to plenty of parks like the Buen Retiro Park with its beautiful fountains or the iconic Plaza Mayor with all of its vibrant energy.
While Rome isn’t the easiest city to get around in (especially its narrow and busy streets), it can be good for seniors who want to explore the ancient Roman ruins.
Despite the uneven ancient stones, there are tons of bus tours that go around the city, and you can see many of Rome’s historical beauties from the comfort of a tour van or bus. And exploring churches and museums is usually doable via scooter or wheelchair.
It may be difficult to stroll down those famous stone roads from antiquity, but a visit here is worth it for history buffs!
Krakow is another great European city that caters to those with limited mobility.
With beautiful architecture, clean walking paths, and plenty of public transportation (including a tram system), Krakow is an accessible option for seniors looking to see Europe without too much walking!
Krakow boasts a small, compact center that’s easy to navigate – especially since there are many golf-cart style buggies that can be hired to fly you around town!
Krakow also has several art museums as well as some nice parks, making it a solid hit for those with limited mobility.
London is another top European city that’s easily navigable and packed with history, culture, and tons of activities.
Getting around London will be easy for seniors thanks to a great metro system that can take you all over the city, or the classic double-decker buses that run through the city’s famous squares. Plus, it’s a fairly flat city, so the little walking that you do have to do should be easy.
Another great European city, Paris is made for seniors who want to see and do more than just sit around in their hotel room. With events occurring all over the city, like musical concerts and outdoor performances, you’ll never be bored!
Paris has a lovely metro system that’s easy to navigate as well as a host of disability-friendly bus and van tours. And with many impressive art museums that can be explored via a wheelchair or scooter, you’ll always have plenty to see.
Venice is another great European city with plenty of accessible sites to visit. While it may be painfully narrow, Venice does have a lovely water taxi system that will get seniors to their favorite sites in no time. However, you will have to contend with several sets of stairs that dot Venice’s bridges if you want to do some walking, so plan out your route well or prepare to do a bit of stair-stepping.
This historic city also has a number of charming restaurants and architectural wonders that make Venice an all-around enjoyable
Vienna has a number of accessible sites to visit – especially for the art lover. The main attractions include the Kunsthistorisches Museum (the largest art museum in Vienna), Schönbrunn Palace, and Schloss Belvedere (a lovely palace with beautiful scenery).
The city is quite flat, making it easy to maneuver around. Plus, the city features extensive pedestrian avenues with many cafes & outdoor seating that allow you to sit back and enjoy the sites. There are also fun carriage rides that offer a unique way to see the inner city without trampling around on foot.
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is a fun US city that has some great sites that don’t require tons of walking. In addition to the famous Alamo, San Antonio boasts a charming Riverwalk along the San Antonio River with cute Mexican eateries and stores.
While the pathways can be fairly narrow, they are fun to walk at a leisurely pace. The San Antonio Disability Access map can help you plan the best accessible paths and shows the locations of elevators. There are also small boats that travel the San Antonio River too, if you want to go totally sans-walking.
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
While most US destinations are known for high-energy and action, Colonial Williamsburg is the ideal place to slow down a bit. A great spot for any history buff, seniors can spend several days here reliving the past.
With rich colonial architecture, lovely gardens, and plenty of accessible walking paths you’ll have plenty to do with very little walking.
You can visit the homes and favorite hang-outs of legendary characters like George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson. You can even watch craftsmen perform traditional crafts, such as weaving cloth or forging jewelry!
The capital of the United States is filled with history and culture, making this a top destination for seniors who want to experience the country’s beginnings.
There are many museums (including the national monuments), historical landmarks, government buildings that are ADA compliant and easy to maneuver with a scooter or wheelchair!
Washington DC also has great public transportation if you don’t want to walk around too much. And of course, there are several great bus tours as well, and many hotels will offer handy shuttle services to help you get around.
The Bahamas is a great choice for the senior who wants to relax on white-sand beaches and enjoy some sunshine.
The Bahamas has several barrier island resorts where you can stay in beachside bungalows that are wheelchair accessible with a ramp or elevator. Just dig those feet into the sand and forget about walking!
Tips for Planning a Vacation with Little Walking
- Talk to Your Hotel. Many hotels offer mobility scooters that can be rented for disabled guests, so call ahead and ask what kind of services they offer.
- Utilize the Concierge. A hotel’s concierge is there to help make your trip enjoyable! If you need to call ahead about wheelchair accessibility for a certain museum you want to attend or a highlighted restaurant, the concierge can call for you and can offer tips about what areas are best for exploring with minimal walking.
- Avoid Cobblestones. Some European cities are filled with cobblestone streets, which can be difficult to push a wheelchair over and can pose a fall risk. This may require you to avoid the “Old Town” region of many European cities – or at least make sure to travel there via bus.
- Explore By Water. Many European cities feature canals or rivers that allow you to travel by boat. This is a great way for limited-mobility travelers to traverse the city without having to worry about stairs or cobblestone streets.
The best cities for seniors will be relatively flat and have great public transportation. Nearly all popular tourist destinations will have hop-on, hop-off buses or van tours that can help you see the city with minimal all day. We also recommend opting for cities with great waterways and canals that will allow you to explore by boat!
Are there any great minimal walking vacation destinations we missed? Share your favorite cities in the comments!