Costa Rica for Seniors is magnificent! Either because it is a place for adventure, or simply because it is one of the most popular destinations for the golden time in life when it is all about enjoying yourself!
Costa Rica for seniors is fantastic, yes, but! Is it true? Will you not be exhausted with all the hikes and adventure? Well! Keep on reading; we might have some tips for you!
Let’s first say, who is writing this, because there is nothing more frustrating than have a millennial telling us that we can do everything when they don’t have a clue of how it feels to have stiff joints!
I am an almost 60 years old ex tour guide, mother of grown children, and happy traveler. With the usual health problems of my age, I am very active and deeply believe in traveling when children are grown, and we are free to fly around!
I also worked for decades with groups of passengers from 63 to 93 years old and learned through many experiences that even though in mind, you are as old as you tell yourself. Nevertheless, and again, the joints get stiff, and we get tired faster and easier.
We cannot eat everything we want to and must remember to take the pills at a specific time, in many cases. And that is perfectly fine!
So! Let’s not argue for our limitations and adapt to them in a great and fun vacation in Costa Rica.
And that is why I decided to write this post!
The two first questions that come to mind are:
A travel agent or not?
We all knew how it was before, in the Pan American days. Everything had to be done through a travel agency. We used to carry all the papers with you and gave out vouchers wherever you traveled to.
Nowadays, you can book your trip by yourself and without any help.
However, even if you are technologically proficient, some things happen when we book everything by yourself at this age, that maybe when we were twenty, we didn’t mind, but now, these small glitches can become nightmares.
For example, when you book a room through any of the well-known hotels or apartment platforms and the room or the apartment is noisy, or it’s a popular place for students and spring breakers.
Or, for instance, the bathroom is shared, the neighborhood is not nice, or getting to the areas you want to see the most is a crusade in itself.
All these, for a 20 or 30 years old traveler, are just good fun!
But as a friend of mine says, “Hon, I need at least the point of a star wherever I stay!”
And in general, I want a restful night if I am traveling.
Another thing that happens to us with age is that we become more selective. We know what we like, and we certainly know what we don’t like. And we do not want to spend our retirement funds on trips doing and experiencing things that we don’t care about.
I have traveled by myself and with an agency, and the older I get, the more I like to have a travel agent to support my trip.
Why? Well! As I say, with a travel agent, I can arrange to have precisely what I want and not adapt to whatever I get.
And that is a difference!
At this point in life and after working for thirty years and raising the children, I deserve the pampering!
So, a travel agent? Yes!
Group or customized trip?
Well! If I can afford it -and it is usually more affordable than we think-, I’d instead go for a customized trip.
When you travel in a group, you have to adapt to the needs of many other people. And sometimes, even in Seniors’ groups, the needs and ways to see life are not at all the same from one to the next.
Solo or accompanied?
Well, it depends on your character, I guess. I don’t mind traveling by myself. However, the older I get, the more I enjoy sharing my trips with someone.
It is nice to have someone to talk and someone to rely on, in the case something happens (And vice versa). Of course, wife or husband, children, or siblings are ideal travel mates.
However, you can always find a friend to share everything for! Double occupancy in hotels (And cruises) is less expensive, and you will probably find more joy in everything.
On a Costa Rica for seniors trip, is it really worth it to pay for Travel Insurance?
In this, I am not even getting into explanations. Yes. No doubt.
In my experience, insurance is never wasted even if you don’t use it. The older I get, the more relief I feel to have travel insurance wherever I go.
For how long do you want to go abroad?
This question, of course, relates to retirees or people with their own business that can afford to go for as long as you want.
I always try to go for ten days or more, staying three nights per destination so that I don’t have the pressure feeling.
Stress on vacation? Really? No way, Jose!
In the case of Costa Rica and depending on what you want, in a two weeks stay you can go from one coast to the other visiting the main highlights. If it’s your first time and some of the most amazing off the beaten track places if this is your second or third time.
Now, Costa Rica for seniors.
In Costa Rica, there are great companies from all over the World, bringing Seniors’ groups all through the rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches.
Therefore there are plenty of hotels that can provide hotels where you don’t have to climb three hundred steps to get in your room and rooms that are made for you not to slip and fall, for instance.
Depending on your needs, you may want to ask your travel agent for a room on a first floor, railings in the bathtub, or rough (And not slippery) floors.
Think about things that are important for your full comfort. For instance, I like to have my coffee as the first thing in the morning; therefore, I always ask for places with a coffee maker in the room.
Is the view essential for you too? A balcony with a comfortable chair? AC?
I know, nowadays, I will spend a lot of time sitting on a possible terrace or balcony. Reading or sketching, hearing an audiobook, or merely zipping a cup of tea.
The rooms are not just places to spend the night. The older I get the more I like beautiful, big and comfy rooms with a view.
Nowadays, I can travel for more extended vacations as I don’t have to be anywhere after the trip; therefore I like to enjoy a beautiful room that is not only a bed and a tv set.
Lodges or Hotels?
Oh! Do not underestimate lodges! There are fantastic and comfortable rooms in some of the most isolated lodges in Costa Rica.
Of course that in a hotel, you know what to expect, and a Marriot will never give you less than Marriott.
But rainforest lodges can be as comfortable and pleasant as an expensive franchise hotel!
And the food can also be as lovely and accommodating! Even if they have a fixed menu. You just have to tell in advance if you have any dietary limitations.
Either gluten, lactose, or sugar. Tell your travel agent about it if you are staying at a lodge. (We will get into food later on the second part of this blog post)
In my experience, and talking about Costa Rica for seniors, if you can afford to have your own driver/guide, it’s probably the best way to travel in Costa Rica.
However, there are many choices.
You can go for a car rental (Find the article here) and enjoy traveling in the Costa Rican roads. If you have driven in other countries before, you can certainly drive in Costa Rica.
You can go for shared shuttles and buy one day tours wherever you go. It is essential to acknowledge that shared shuttles may be full, and you may be sitting in one position for hours.
They may stop for restrooms and even for a picture, but usually, it is very brief.
You can also go for private shuttles, where you will have space and facility to move and stop in certain places, although they are not a tour bus and are not meant to be.
And ultimately, my main recco, a tour guide/driver that can be with you throughout the whole trip. This is the safest, more comfortable, most relaxed, and free way to travel.