By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Any travel suggestions for a gal who will be celebrating a milestone birthday (50)? I’d like to take a trip as I have not travelled much up until now. I’m in good shape so activity wouldn’t be an issue. I appreciate whatever suggestions you can give.

A: Depending on your interests, you’ll find there is a wide range of travel to accommodate every taste today. This includes those who wish to start travelling later in life. Over the years, I have heard many people make the remark, “I’ll start to travel once I retire,” but sadly discover when the day has arrived the activities may no longer be suitable. However there are exceptions.

I have a good friend who last year rode a camel at the age of 83 and a colleague of mine zip-lined through Costa Rica when she was in her late sixties. To help get you on your way, I consulted with a few tour operators to give me their best bet. Here’s the scoop:

Chris Musselman, manager for Parkway Travel & Cruise (phone 416-264-3211) notes a cruise is a great option. “We do have a lot of ladies who travel on their own. We have had success in matching them up with others of similar interests, and find this works especially well on cruises. Aboard a ship, they can go their separate ways to do whatever they prefer and still feel safe in the company of other people. They can then have dinner together, and compare notes, share new friends, and so on.”

Another option is, a travel network devoted to the “gutsy woman inside us.”

Over at Tourcan Vacations (, there are tours such as coach tours popular among the solo female travel set. “We offer more relaxed coach touring in Europe for solo travellers and always offer shared tour places with fellow travellers of the same sex. The travellers we match up may not always be from Canada but we ensure that both travellers match well with each other's habits - smoker/non-smokers, same age, and interests,” offers Priyantha Amarasinghe, Tourcan Vacation’s manager for Europe & Special Travel Projects. Also be sure to check out their “Tours For Women” sublink found on their web site.

Gloria Thompson a CTC (certified travel counselor) based in Thornhill has travelled with GAP Adventures ( for her own solo travel. When it came to the hotel categories she says she was alone but has also shared “with a nice person each time.” “If you want a single room, their rates are very reasonable because they use modest hotels with lots of character. You have not specified your tastes or budget, but if you are flexible, this is a good suggestion,” she explains and concludes, “Remember to call a good travel agent. It will cost you no more, and they offer you protections and good information.”


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