Five top destinations for 2020 travel

Ready to pack your bags and head overseas in 2020? Here are five hot destinations

International travel
The iconic architecture of Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum in Singapore's Marine Bay. Photo: Shutterstock

The iconic architecture of Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum in Singapore's Marine Bay. Photo: Shutterstock

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From Bali and the US to Singapore, Thailand and Italy, the world is waiting to be explored.

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WHAT'S hot with over-60s travellers in 2020?

Insurer 1Cover's customer data suggests five hotspots proving popular with senior travellers:

Beautiful Bali

Just a three-hour flight from Perth or six hours from Sydney, neighbourly Bali is incredibly popular with young and old alike.

While Bali offers partying and surf culture in areas such as Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu and Uluwatu, senior travellers aren't short on options.

You can get a relaxing, leisurely five-star experience at relatively low cost in areas such as Ubud, Nusa Dua and Sanur where you'll be able to swim, meditate at retreat centres, stretch out at yoga classes or visit a day spa - all without needing to fight crowds of locals or haggle over prices.

If you want to check out the island's history, arts and culture, the Blue Bird Taxi company will get you from A to B. It works just like Uber, and means you won't need to haggle over the taxi fare.

Grandiose USA

The young and young-at-heart may enjoy the urban sprawl of places like New York, Chicago and San Francisco, but for many over-60s, the US offers contrasting, gorgeous natural environments with plenty of options for getting from one dazzling place to the next.

The US has 59 protected areas offering infinite natural beauty. These include Montana's East Glacier National Park, California's Death Valley, Alaska's Denali, Florida's Everglades and Utah's Canyonlands. Last but not least is the infamous Grand Canyon in Arizona.

What makes theese places particularly great for seniors is the amount of information on offer from the government-run National Park Service, making your trip easy to plan.

The country's outstanding roads and infrastructure makes getting around extremely easy.

Clean and green Singapore

This modern island-city with an exotic mix of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and Thai cultures is only a nine-hour flight from Sydney. It gives visitors a cultural taste of every part of Asia - with a touch of the West.

Mobility and travel time is never an issue. Singapore is one of the easiest places to get around due to its Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) rail system that spans the entire island. And almost everyone on the island speaks English, which makes travel even easier.

Tap water is drinkable and food at most establishments is prepared to stringent guidelines.

If you're looking for arts, history and culture, you can check out the National Museum of Singapore (with a great-value 50 per cent discount to over-60s).

There's action if you want it, but you can put your feet up with a Singapore Sling cocktail at places like the Raffles Hotel, one of Singapore's oldest and most famous luxury establishments. Or you could opt for the Marina Bay Sands infinity pool for outstanding views of the city.

Tropical Thailand

With its chaotic roads and zig-zagging tuk tuks, Thailand may not seem like an intuitive destination choice for the senior traveller. But it offers both excitement and complete relaxation at relatively cheap prices.

In the north, you'll find picturesque valleys, elephant camps, hot springs and gorgeous waterfalls. The atmosphere is relaxed.

Closer to Bangkok are historical sites such as Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Keo and Wat Pho - the places you go to see 10-storey high Buddha statues covered in gold and listen to monks chant sutras for hours on end.

Off the southern tip of the country are some of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world. Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Phuket all offer clear waters and white-sand beaches.

You can travel much of the country in air-conditioned sleeper trains or fly on local airlines. But if getting around yourself, haggling over tuk tuk fares and struggling with language seems daunting, there are countless tours available with reputable operators such as Oriental Escape and ATJ.

Historic Italy

Pizza. Pasta. Gelato. Vespas. Ferraris. Opera. Renaissance art. Grand cathedrals. Inspired architecture. High fashion. Football. This is what Italy is about.

What makes it even more appealing is the reverent, inclusive attitude the Italians have toward seniors. Just watch your knees! In Italy, hitting the cobblestones is unavoidable.

Luckily, in cities such as Rome and Florence, regulated taxi services are on offer. After an epic stroll around the Duomo or the Vatican City, you can hail a taxi with the help of an enthusiastic local cafe or bar owner (hailing a taxi yourself is not recommended as you may not get a regulated one).

In Venice, the Vaporetto water bus system will help you enjoy the stunning canals and get you to any of the 400 Venetian islands.

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