Top 10 Retirement Trips of a Lifetime

If you've been thinking about full retirement and what you might do with all that added time on your hands, we have the answers for you here: travel, travel and travel some more.

Jay Brownstein | Oct 31, 2019

If you've been thinking about full retirement and what you might do with all that added time on your hands, we have the answers for you here: travel, travel and travel some more. What was once an annual week or two-week vacation is now a permanent vacation, so let's go and enjoy ourselves!

10. Blue Ridge Parkway

The parkway is an incredible 469-mile drive through Virginia's Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina. It is at its most beautiful during the autumn season when the leaves are turning bright, golden colors. The trip comes complete with hiking trails, rest areas with spectacular views as well as history and culture opportunities along the way. In North Carolina, be sure to stop and tour the 1895 creation through the 250 room Biltmore Estate, with beautiful gardens.

9. Israel

You will gain great historical and religious insights visiting the small country of Israel. For great beaches and clubs, hit Tel Aviv where you will also find the famous Care Noir and the unique Carmel Market filled with textiles, fresh foods, teas, and herbs. The Romain ruins are north of Tel Aviv, in Caesarea, which also offers a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea. Visit the Dome of the Rock in must see Jerusalem as well as the Crucifixion, the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall. Use of the concierge service at the Ben Gurion Airport is recommended.

8. Ireland

Get your green on with the friendly lads and lasses of fantastic Ireland. Trinity College is in Dublin where you will find a ton of Irish history. Guinness Storehouse must be on your list of stops for a pint or two of ale, and if you don't cater to beer, the 360-degree view of the city will amaze and leave you breathless. Kinsale, Belfast, Emerald Isle, Dingle, and Killarney offer the country's picturesque lush greenery. Wicklow Mountain and Killarney National Parks should be very near the top of your list as well. To see the departure point for the doomed Titanic, visit Cobh in County Cork. Careful if you decide to drive lefties!

7. China

Kick off a trip to the mysterious orient in Beijing, and visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Hike the 4,000-mile Great Wall with its breathtaking and historical views of China. In Shanghai, sachet along the Bund to see the colonial era architecture. And you must hit the restaurants for a taste of soup dumplings.

6. Southeast Asia River Cruise

What could be more relaxing that a massive cruise ship delivering you to gorgeous, exotic, ancient temples in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (also known as the "Paris of the Orient")? Nothing, except maybe an overnight visit in Ha Long Bay with incredible views of limestone rock formations. With the painful history of the country, areas have emerged stronger and more beautiful, see the Killing Fields and Genocide Museum and witness some of those memories.

5. Canadian Rockies

If you have yet to hop a train, you must board Rocky Mountaineer's glass dome cars to see spectacular views of Jasper, Yoho and Banff National Parks plus Lake Louise. The highlight will no doubt be the Continental Divide to exciting Vancouver. Via their Ice Exploration Vehicle, get a glorious view of the Athabasca Glacier and six mountain ranges.

4. Sicily

In the toe of the iconic boot, Sicily offers its capital city of Palermo with outdoor markets, cathedrals, street foods and Mt. Etna, an active volcano. Explore ancient ruins or enjoy the coastal beaches and fresh seafood restaurants. Parking in the cities will be a challenge so definitely consider the train, bus or hiring a private driver.

3. Scottsdale, Arizona

Just a few miles from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, enter the enchanting world of The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician Hotel. This resort provides complimentary breakfast buffets, daily cocktail hours, spa services and an infinity pool. Oh, did we mention exquisite, fine dining options? Relaxing with a good book is easy too, visit the best seller's library, and read peacefully in the cactus garden. There is even a movie theater on the property! Golf, complete with views of local nature and wildlife or a golf course safari if you'd rather leave your clubs at home.

2. Costa Rica

You will hear the locals say, "para Vida," which means "enjoy life and be happy." We can't think of any better advice with opportunities to visit jungles, rain forests, volcanoes, hot springs and the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Wildlife includes whales, monkeys, sloths, sea turtles, wildcats and reptiles all in their natural habitats. Inside any of their resorts or five-star hotels, you will feel rested, relaxed and completely stress-free.

1. Australia

Last, but not least, going down under isn't as much fun unless you can do it without having any time restrictions. From Sydney's opera house to Kangaroo Island's nature reserve to the Great Barrier Reef to the dense Otway rainforests, you will marvel at the beauty. You can even cruise along the Yarra River in Melbourne to see the beautiful skyline.