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Author: susandbb

Joined: 1/27/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 0

January 26, 2011

Hi:  I'm brand new to this site and have questions.  Are the trips physically active?  I'm 65 and used to lots of activity (yoga, gym, walking, etc).  Is this the right place for me?  Have traveled solo and love it.  Have traveled with others and loved that too. Am thinking of the Russian trip next summer.  A good choice?

Thanks all:)

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 158
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2005

January 27, 2011

You are 65 and used to lots of activity; you should have no problem with any of the GCT tours. The average age of an GCT traveler is around 65 or maybe a little higher. In case you didn't know, all the tour descriptions have a brief physical requirement listing in "Know Before You Go" . The Russia trip says;

  • This program features a fair amount of walking over uneven surfaces. For full enjoyment of this trip, you should be in relatively good health. If you have difficulty walking or are wheelchair-bound, please consult our Travel Counselors for guidance.

Frequently on various GCT/'OAT trips a traveler has opted out of a particular "tour"; examples:  to stay at the hotel in lieu of going on an afternoon museum visit, stay on the air conditioned minibus in lieu of a short desert hike to a namad camp, and neither of which was a problem, etc.  The point is that you are not forced or obligated to do all the tours if you don't want to.  

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 531
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

January 27, 2011

I think it depends upon the trip. As suggested, read the information provided about fitness requirements and also read the trip reviews and the itineraries. Grand Circle offers a good range of trips to choose from. If you want even more activity check out their sister company, Overseas Adventure Travel.

Of the GCT land tours that I've taken, all have had plenty of walking and some free time to do what you want. Most of the hotels had pools and/or fitness facilities. I swam in four different hotel pools and in the Med on the Turkey trip. Also took the hot air balloon ride and walked and walked and walked in Izmir.

The average age was lower than 65 on a couple of the trips that I've taken (Turkey, Australia) There were some in their 40s, several in the 50s and then up. I think the average age and activity level might be higher on the cruises.

Some of the travelers I've met who were in their 60s, 70s and a bit higher are in darn good shape and make interesting traveling companions.

 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 27, 2011

I agree with gobuckeyes.  The trips are as easy or as strenuous as you want them to be.  And they do tell (warn) you about that.  Walking on cobblestones, for instance, or uneven pavements.  And if you find that you don't feel like taking one of the shore excursions for any reason, you just don't.  There's plenty to keep you occupied.

In my case, I am 78 and have never been all that active.  Walking on the level is fine, but hills can be a problem.  I was on the Russia trip in August and found all the steep stairs a problem.  Fortunately, very nice fellow travelers gave me a hand so I could manage.  But I felt I couldn't depend on that all the time, so I signed up for physical therapy when I got home and have been doing the exercises I was given.  I see an improvement and so does my therapist, so I hope that by the time I go to Ireland in June I won't have any problems.

But I would never take an OAT trip, because they are very strenuous and people who can't keep up can be sent home.

If you have any questions when you're on the trip, your Program Director will advise you.

 

 

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

January 27, 2011

Based on how you describe yourself, I do not believe you will find GCT trips too challenging.  More likely, they will be less physically active than you would like.  Usually, there is some free time to explore on your own which is often best done by walking.  I don't know how much free time there is on the Russian trip while the boat is in a port so I suggest you contact GCT to see what they can tell you.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

January 28, 2011

To add to my previous comments.  Most, if not all, of the European river ships have a room with some kind of fitness equipment and a whirlpool.  The two Russian ships do not.  However, deck 2 could be called a promenade deck since it goes all the way around, and most people walk at various times. 

The decks on the Russian ships are connected by elevator as well as stairs with the exception of the top deck.  And that is the one with the large lounge where a lot of the presentations and all the entertainments take place, so everyone makes it up the stairs.

 

 

Author: doe409

Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 10
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

Along with Carribean cruises I have travelled to Ireland, Costa Rica and in 2014 will go to Italy. I love national parks so I have been to many of them. Maine, Vermont, DC, Mt Rushmore area, parks of the Southwest, Oregon Coast, Hawaii, Colorado, Alaska, Canadian Rockies, San Fransico area.

Traveler Since: 2012

February 09, 2012

I am interested in the Ireland trip and would be going solo. I was wondering what the average age is on this trip? I will be 58 at the time and would like to know I will feal comfortable with the group. I like to keep moving and would also like to know there would be someone I could hang out with

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 531
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

February 10, 2012

I made that trip last year and it's a good one. I'm not good at guessing people's ages, but I think the average was around 60 with many very active participants. There is a good bit of free time and convenient hotel stays and you can get out and be as active as you want. One solo woman walked all over the cities, rain or shine, and swam every night.

I can't comment on whether you'd have anyone to "hang out" with in the evenings, if that's what you mean.  I went to dinner with a couple of women traveling together but I don't know what others did. Traveling solo you need to be able entertain yourself if no one invites you to join them but that has never bothered me. You'd be with the group during the day and there are many meals together and you'll get to know the others.

Do some research on what to do on your free time before you go and you can stay busy and active. Also read the traveler reviews.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

February 10, 2012

I agree with Luisa.  I also took that trip solo last June and had a wonderful time.  Sometimes, I shared a meal with another solo or was invited to join a couple.  Other times I ate by myself, always where I could watch the world going by and armed with my Kindle.  There were seven of us traveling solo on that trip, two with couples who were friends.  The other five of us really solo.  The two youngest hit it off quickly, and the rest of us thought that might develop into a real friendship where they would end up traveling together even though they didn't live near each other.

I wasn't the oldest on the trip, although at 78 I was almost the oldest.  But age doesn't seem to matter.  It's your outlook on life and enjoyment and appreciation of seeing new things and new places.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

February 10, 2012

To doe409, the majority of GCT travelers go with a traveling companion who tend to spend their free time together. In my opinion, the majority are not as active as you describe yourself. It's really hard to predict whether you will find anyone else who is as active as you and is interested in doing the same things as you. As a single traveler, I go prepared to go out on my own if I don't find someone who has the same interests and stamina as I do. One of my memorable travel experiences happened on my first time in Salzburg many years ago. While everyone else in the group was either on an optional tour to the Eagle's Nest or resting in the hotel, I attended a wedding as an uninvited guest while wandering around the city on my own.

Author: doe409

Joined: 2/9/2012
Posts: 10
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

Along with Carribean cruises I have travelled to Ireland, Costa Rica and in 2014 will go to Italy. I love national parks so I have been to many of them. Maine, Vermont, DC, Mt Rushmore area, parks of the Southwest, Oregon Coast, Hawaii, Colorado, Alaska, Canadian Rockies, San Fransico area.

Traveler Since: 2012

February 10, 2012

Thanks to all you responded. I certainly don't need someone to "hang out" with although it certainly makes for a nicer trip to expierence the area with someone. I travel solo completely alone and do everything on my own so I think this trip would fit me just fine. I am an avid photographer and once behind the camera I tend to forget my surroundings. I guess my last question is just  is there any place that I should be concerned to be alone? I always though that Ireland was a very safe place and wouldn't have the language barrier as some countries.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 531
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

February 11, 2012

I just wrote a long response to your question and it disappeared when I was copying it in case it disappeared. Frustrating.

Anyway, this will be shorter: On my trip I remember at least five other solos: four women and one man, a couple of them in their 40s and still working. We seemed to have different interests and all kept busy on our free time. I'm interested in history and museums and spent a lot of time in the Archeological Museum in Dublin (photos allowed) and in art galleries and at historic sites. I took an excursion to Newgrange, which was wonderful -- no photos inside the passage tomb but the outside is interesting too with the huge carved stones. The Hill of Tara was included on the tour but it was raining too hard to climb to the top, but we got partway up. If interested, you need to book the tour on your own on the internet before your trip.

I needed to ask directions several times and always got cheerful, helpful answers.

Ireland is very pretty and photogenic, and abundance of opportunities for great photos. I took breakaway travel in Dublin and stayed in the same hotel, which is fairly well located. I had a list of what I wanted to do and see there was little time alloted on the trip. I could have taken one day. So I recommend doing some research and deciding if you would want to stay on.

Re safety: I'd rely on the advice of the PD. On our city tour she recommended staying away from one section of Dublin at night. I think you can find information on the web too.

I think you'd have a good time and needn't worry about acitivity level or someone to hang out with. You will be experiencing the trip with others during excursions, breakfasts and other included meals, it's just that you may not find someone with like interests during the free time.

 

 

Author: walshcs

Joined: 1/25/2011
Posts: 98
Trips Taken: 3
Countries Visited:

Costa Rica, Ireland, Italy, the Canadian Maritimes incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI, Montreal (Quebec), Guatemala, and many USA cities incl. NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington DC, Portland Oregon, the Oregon coast, Maine coast, parts of Florida. I took a 10 day tour to Costa Rica where I was especially thrilled to experience the tropical plants, birds, volcanos, and met the friendly Ticos. I did Ireland in Depth with GCT Oct. 2011 and it was an inspiring, beautiful, and meaningful experience to finally visit the land of my Irish ancestors. Completed the Tuscany & the Amalfi Coast with the pre-trip to Venice April 21, 2012 and it was a travel dream fulfilled. I booked Guatemala with Tikal, Antigua and Atitlan for January 2013 and had a wonderful adventure discovering modern day Maya culture and learning about ancient Maya city states with my visit to Tikal. Very excited that OAT has brought back the trip to Japan and I leave on that tour Nov. 4, 2013 with the pre-trip to Tokyo. Now I finally have the resources to pursue my "bucket list" of foreign travel and the freedom to chart my own life's course. Ask questions that will satisfy your requirements/interests in a travel buddy. Looking forward to meeting you here and maybe in the world. Warm regards, Cate I'll post a photo when I remember to bring one from home. (Only have internet at work for now.)

Traveler Since: 2011

February 13, 2012

Hi doe409,

I took the Ireland in Depth trip in October 2011 and was very fortunate that there were 7 solo women travelers incl.myself and that we all "ganged up" together almost immediately. Although our entire tour group was friendly and sociable...we 7 became companions for each other and shared some wonderful travel experiences.

You may find that its refreshing to occasionally break away and enjoy some of your free time alone to explore museums, shop, or have a bit of tea in a charming local place like "Cuppa Tae" in Galway across the street from the Spanish Arch.

I was never lonely and Ireland always felt safe to me. I agree with those who said let your PD be your guide if you have any questions or concerns about areas or situations to avoid. I did some independent daytime touring in Dublin but would check with PD if you venture out at night.

There are opportunities to get out for a good walk during your free time in Killarney as you could walk through the National Park and visit Ross Castle, and in Cork you could strike off to see city sights not on the basic tour.

On my departure the average age WAS 60-65, however, I think they may have been a few folks in their late 50's.

Its a very enjoyable but not highly active trip experience compared to adventure travel.

Best to you, Cate

 

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