NEW YORK - According to a survey of retirees by the AARP, an overwhelming 97% respondents expect to go on at least one domestic trip per year. RewardExpert –a free web service dedicated to simplifying earning and spending travel rewards– released a ranking of the top vacation destinations for retirees. The report analyzes 100 of the largest U.S. cities based on 12 key metrics to determine the most accommodating vacation spots for senior travelers.
“Retirement is a great time to get out and discover new destinations,” says RewardExpert CEO and co-founder Roman Shteyn, “and no one deserves a vacation more than retirees; they have worked their whole lives for it!” RewardExpert helps with the travel planning process by analyzing cities based on four dimensions: city profile, affordability, recreation, and safety.
Key findings from 2017's Best U.S. Destinations for Retirees are:
- Irvine, California takes the number one spot. Retirees will enjoy Irvine’s wonderful weather and relaxing atmosphere. Irvine has an abundance of nature parks given its size. Seniors should check out the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary; the park has over - 10 miles of wheelchair accessible trails for those with limited mobility.
- Orlando, Florida earns the silver medal. Orlando is beautiful, warm, and friendly to those with limited mobility. Orlando ranks 3rd for most days of pleasant weather on average. Furthermore, there are tons of nature parks, recreation centers, guided tours, and cultural activities.
- North Las Vegas, Nevada comes in third place. North Las Vegas earns its spot due to its proximity to many casinos, while being a more affordable option than Las Vegas when it comes to dining and accommodations. AARP reports that 34.0% of those surveyed were looking to cross off items on their bucket list. For those who have “gamble on the strip” on their list, North Las Vegas is a wonderful, affordable travel destination.
- Tampa, Florida takes fourth. Foodies will love Tampa as it ranks sixth in regard to restaurants per capita. According to our data, there are 136 restaurants per ten thousand residents in Tampa. Additionally, the city has a relatively low population density, making Tampa a very relaxing destination.
- Chula Vista, California rounds out the top five. Chula Vista, which translates to “beautiful view,” has gorgeous weather, endless ways to relax, and plenty of fun activities. Retirees looking to practice their swing will be right at home as Chula Vista has 21.8 golf courses per 100,000 residents.
"Factors like pleasant weather, walkability, and population density can make a vacation much more relaxing and manageable for a retiree,” says Shteyn. “That’s not to say that activities and recreation aren’t important as well! This ranking evaluates destinations that provide a healthy balance between being accommodating and engaging.”