Gone are the days when you have to wait for your annual vacation to head somewhere new. Once you retire, the world is your oyster. As most retirees place to travel as their top priority when they hang up their working shoes, we have come up with several trips you might want to take that you probably couldn’t even of dream of doing when working full time. Leave all your cares and worries behind and start plotting these golden year trips.

Take an around the World Cruise

Usually entailing at least three months of time, retirees should consider taking an around the world cruise. Several cruise companies offer these types of trips in which you start in a major city and travel around the world for roughly three months. Princess World Cruises offers a round the world cruise beginning in Sydney for 106 days with visits to 27 countries with 41 ports of call. Viking World Cruises also offers an around the world cruise spanning 5 continents. Oceania Cruises has several around the world options beginning in Miami, New York, and Los Angeles. An around the world cruise is truly something you can only do when you have the time. Plus, you’ll be able to check off most destinations on your bucket list.

Hit the Road on a Coast-To-Coast U.S. Road Trip

One of the best ways to see the U.S. involves a great deal of time and driving, two things retirees should have at their disposal. When you have a more open schedule, you can take part in an iconic road trip from coast to coast in the U.S. Spanning roughly 5,000 miles, you can either take your own wheels or even rent an RV for the trip. You’ll be able to slowly see the country and also hit up some of its most prized national parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite or the more remote Dry Tortugas National Park. You can hop on iconic road stretches like Route 66 or US 50, said to be the Loneliest Highway in America.

See the Big Five on an African Safari

Getting to Africa often takes time. Retirees who have that time can check off the bucket list an African safari. The continent fills with great destinations to go on a classic safari beginning in Kenya. As Africa’s most popular safari destination, you can’t lose by going on a safari to the Masai Mara National Reserve. Home to the Big Five, July through October is the best time to visit when the annual migration occurs. Other great wildlife viewing spots in Africa include Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, known for having one of the world’s largest populations of elephants, Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve for its mountain gorillas and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.

Experience the Northern Lights

Conditions for the Northern Lights have to be just right. The natural phenomenon that lights up the sky in a rainbow of colors can be seen from late November to March at a latitude of 65 to 72 degrees. It’s best to see the Aurora Borealis when you are retired, as you’ll have the time to wait for conditions to be just right. Skies must be crisp, cold, clear and cloudless. One of the best places to see the Northern Lights is Tromsø, Norway as it is above the Arctic Circle. The area sees the Northern Lights more than 250 nights a year. Other places you can expect to see the Northern Lights are Alaska, Greenland, Finland, Sweden, and Russia.

Hop Abroad an Epic Train Journey

If you would prefer someone else do the driving on your golden year trip, you can hop aboard several epic train journeys around the world. Train travel epitomizes retirement as it slows down life. Train journeys focus on the act of travel, of taking the time to get to a destination. You can cross off little train journeys like the Bernina Express, one of the most scenic in the world from eastern Switzerland to northern Italy or the Train to the Clouds, climbing 13,800 feet from Salta, Argentina to the Chilean border. Then again, you can go truly epic and ride the Trans Siberian, spanning 8 time zones and over 5,700 miles across Russia or the classic California Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco. There are even luxurious train journeys like the Rocky Mountaineer that travels through the rugged beauty of the Canadian Rockies with a glass-domed train.

Live Abroad in Europe for a Summer

Thanks to Europe’s compact nature, you can easily hop from major cities like London, Paris, and Rome in a short period of time. Retirees have the time to do something many long to do their whole lives, live abroad in Europe for the summer. By basing yourself in one area, you can hop to different destinations on the weekends and live like a European during the week.

Traveling during retirement is one of life’s joys. You don’t have the strings you might have had in your youth tying you down and there’s no fear of having to get back to the office. What trip do you want to take when you retire? Share your pick with us in the comments below.

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About The Author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.