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The Best And Worst Places For Seniors To Travel To

You’ve always loved to wander the world. At a certain age, however, your wanderlust might start taking a back seat as you wonder if you’ll be able to complete your next adventure. From traversing remote terrains to ambling down cobblestone streets, it can be a challenge for the not-so-young to navigate the byways of unfamiliar places. Before you resign yourself to an endless succession of sedentary staycations, check out the following six popular trips. There are three world-class destinations that are easily accessible for people with mobility issues, versus three that might pose too much of a challenge…

Photo: Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

Go: Las Vegas

As editor of Emerging Horizons, Candy Harrington says, “At the top of my good list is Las Vegas. They truly have made it accessible to everyone.” The monorail is accessible, and many hotels have wheelchairs or scooters for loan. Many properties have more than the minimum number of accessible rooms, and some hotels even have ceiling track lifts — very rare and not required under the law.”

Photo: Pexels/Aleksandar Pasaric

Go: Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s leadership has demonstrated its commitment to making the city an easy place to travel. Barcelona is largely flat, which means you’ll only need to hike a hill if there’s something specific you’re hankering to see. Another step in the right direction:  cobblestone streets are nearly nonexistent. Most metro stations have ramps and elevators — even the beaches offer ramps that’ll easily take you from the sidewalk to your favorite swimming spot.

Photo: Pexels/Kin Pastor

Go: Singapore

Although Asia is not known for offering great accommodations for people who struggle to get around, Singapore is an exception. The country adopted a universal code on barrier-free accessibility more than 20 years ago; today, Singapore is praised by Lonely Planet and the United Nations as one of the most accessible cities in the world. A few of the thoughtful accommodations: elevator doors stay open longer, staircases have handrails on both sides, and chairs always have armrests.

Photo: Pexels/Pixaby

No-Go: Italy

Unfortunately, some of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy are the hardest to traverse. The city of Rome was built on seven hills; steep streets make it difficult to casually stroll, and alleys will turn into rail-less staircases without any warning. And yes, there are cobblestones aplenty to give your feet and ankles a run for their money. In addition, you’ll find yourself sharing the narrow cobblestone streets with fast-moving cars. Elevators are also rare within historic and archaic buildings.

Photo: Pexels/allPhoto Bangkok

No-Go: Cambodia                                                                                                                             

Centuries-old sites like Angkor Wat and the Bayon sure are breathtaking – but you might also find yourself huffing and puffing when trying to take in their beauty. You’ll come upon long flights of crumbling, uneven steps. Some sites like the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, or the stupas of Oudong, require climbing two or three dozen steps. Cambodia’s poorly maintained streets, notorious for traffic and potholes, aren’t ideal for the mobility challenged.

Photo: Pexels/Manuel Joseph

No-Go: China                                                                                                                         

In her blog “Travel On The Level,” which helps people avoid strenuous trips, Judy Wells writes, “China is a stretch if you have any trouble walking or climbing stairs. If you think Europe and the Americas are unevenly paved, consider how long the Chinese civilization has been piling up rocks and stones and nature via earthquakes, and erosion has been tearing them down. The Chinese must have the world’s strongest ankles.”