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How to Help Your Parents Plan a Cruise

Over the summer as a child, you were taken to campsites all over the place. You learned how to pitch tents, cook over an open fire and maybe . My memories of trips when young were my family enjoying the outdoors, hiking, and of course being on boats. We loved taking these trips together, whether it was an ocean whale watch or a speedboat on the lake.

view from locaboat canal boat france eileen cotter wright

Nowadays as we’re all adults and they are retired. We can start planning fun trips that offer a little more luxury and choose some more interesting locations to explore. We had a blast in France recently via private canal boat, and it spurred ideas for them to continue trying out more cruises outside of the U.S. I look forward to help planning their itineraries!

Choosing unique destinations

The river cruising is one of the best options for senior holidays and getaways. These work well for my parents, who are super active and don’t necessarily want to spend all their time on the ship. River cruises often hit many ports along the way and can be a bit smaller, so offloading takes a shorter amount of time. These types of cruises can be ideal for older couples anywhere in the world, including through the forest of Germany or along the River Nile in Egypt. Go over the possibilities with your parents on where they can go, depending on their interests and type of cruise they want to take.

egypt via flickr

Budgeting for cruise fun

River cruises can often fit almost any budget if you know where to look. My parents like mid-to-luxury range experiences, including high-end culinary delights and sightseeing. However, if they want to try a farther away destination, they’ll need to factor in flights that could take away from the actual cruising budget. Port fees and visas can also be very different in every country. If they want to take more guesswork out of the equation, they might want the cruise company to help plan their excursions, or even assist in booking a cruise for themselves and their friends as a group. Go over all the expenses, no matter how small, so your parents can get an idea of their overall spending plan.

Knowing the cruising pros and cons

While I’d be ready to jump on a cruise full of fruity drinks and dance parties, my parents would probably enjoy something a little more low-key. Not to mention, if they choose a place that is far-flung, they’ll definitely need some extra downtime for relaxing in between experiences. So finding cruise options that provide plenty of comfort, but options for light adventure, is ideal. Check out what they think will be ‘dealbreakers’ and what they’re willing to compromise on when it comes to the ship’s amenities.

cruise deck via flickr

Thinking outside the box

My parents are fairly savvy when it comes to technology. They both have tablets, laptops and smartphones to keep them connected and hunting for good getaway deals. But due to my generation (and my job!) I like to think I have a few added tricks up my sleeve. Although I’d love to just book their whole cruise, it can be just as fun to show your folks how to navigate the websites for stellar rates.

Are you over 50 and love to travel? Who do you travel with? Have you tried river cruising before?

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel writer, social media manager and owner of Pure Wander. She's been to more countries than your kindergartner can count, and she's our resident expat extraordinaire. Follow her on Twitter @Crooked_Flight

More posts by Eileen Cotter Wright

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