Age, according to Mark Twain, is a question of mind over matter: If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Mexico is a country where whole extended families, from babies to great-grandparents, live together. Elderly travelers will benefit from the respect and understanding Mexicans accord to older people. Besides these encouragements, consider the number of retirees already in havens in Puerto Vallarta, the Nayarit coastal towns of Bucerías, Sayulita, San Francisco, and nearby centers of Guadalajara and Lake Chapala.
Certain organizations support senior travel. Leading the field is Elderhostel (11 Ave. de Lafayette, Boston, MA 02111-1746, tel. 877/426-8056, www.elderhostel.org ). Elderhostel invites folks over 50 to join their extensive U.S. and international program of special tours, study, homestays, and people-to-people travel itineraries. Contact them for their free catalogs.
A number of newsletters publicize senior vacation and retirement opportunities. Among the best is the Mexico File monthly newsletter that, besides featuring pithy stories by Mexico travelers and news updates, offers an opportunity-packed classified section of Mexico rentals, publications, services, and much more. Subscribe ($39/year) through Simmonds Publications (5580 La Jolla Blvd. #306, La Jolla, CA 92037, tel./fax 858/456-4419 or 800/563-9345 (voice mail), www.mexicofile.com ).
Some books publicize senior travel opportunities. One of the pithiest is Unbelievably Good Deals and Great Adventures You Can’t Have Unless You’re Over 50, by Joan Rattner Heilman, published by McGraw Hill (2003). Its 200 pages are packed with details of how to get bargains on cruises, tours, car rentals, lodgings, and much, much more.
For seniors with online access (as close as your neighborhood library these days) the Internet is a gold mine of senior-oriented travel information. For example, I Googled “Senior Travel” and netted more than 90 million responses. Near the top of the list was the Transitions Abroad site, www.transitionsabroad.com , which offers a gold mine of a sub-site (www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/travel/senior ), with a load of useful resources centering around senior traveling and living abroad.