Xcaret eco-archaeological park in Mexico

The Xcaret eco-archaeological park just south of Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean side of Mexico where you can get a taste of Mexico’s history and culture.

For many Baby Boomers, August is a time of transition, as they send their youngest child off to college and join the growing ranks of empty-nesters.

With this life-changing event, their travel plans also enter a new phase.

According to a 2017 report on travel trends from AARP, members of this generation are looking for a laid-back and relaxing trip. Popular international destinations include Mexico, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Mexico and the Caribbean routinely pop up on Travel Leaders Group surveys of the top international vacation destinations for American consumers. The crystal-clear waters, white-sand beaches and warm temperatures are a draw for vacationers regardless of age.

They’re also places that are easy to reach from most of the United States. Plus, there are lots of options for travelers who want an adults-only resort, including well-known brands such as Sandals, Iberostar and RIU.

If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, consider exploring the resort towns along the Riviera Maya as a less-crowded, quieter alternative to Cancun.

Playa del Carmen offers a variety of recreational activities, including snorkeling sailing and golfing, along with a bohemian vibe. The main street, Fifth Avenue, is a great spot for shopping and dining.

The Mayan ruins of Tulum and the Xcaret eco-archaeological park are two places to get a taste of Mexico’s history and culture.

For a Caribbean getaway without the crowds, consider low-key Nevis, the smaller of two islands that make up St. Kitts and Nevis. It’s also the childhood home of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, and history buffs can visit the museum built on the site of his birthplace.

For a livelier spot, try Jamaica, the Dominican Republic or the Bahamas, all of which offer a range of resorts and opportunities for a romantic dinner for two, followed by a stroll along the beach.

Of course, London is a popular base for traveling throughout the United Kingdom. See if you qualify for the British Senior Railcard and get a discount to explore places like Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral and Windsor Castle.

Music fans can check out the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Pink Floyd exhibit that runs until Oct. 1.

Be sure to visit one of the city’s pubs, like the Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden, where Charles Dickens was believed to be a regular patron.

Fall is a good time to enjoy Ireland’s festivals. The Dublin Theatre Festival takes place from Sept. 28 to Oct. 15 and the Cork Folk Festival will be held from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1. Also in Dublin, check out the shopping on Grafton Street, and the beautiful St. Stephen’s Green.

Beer lovers should put the Guinness Brewery tour on their list along with the Brazen Head, Dublin’s oldest pub.

Whether your destination is Ireland or England, you’ll find a wide range of accommodations, from centrally located hotels with all the amenities to smaller spots in quieter neighborhoods away from the hustle and bustle.

To plan your own empty nest vacation contact Travel Leaders/Fly Away Travel. For information call 541-672-5701.

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