“I want to travel and explore all part of the world before I aged further and my legs no longer support my weight.”
That’s what my Dad would say everytime I asked him why he’s travelling so often these days with his khakis. It seems like he is in a rush to cover every country on his travel bucket list. Now that my mother has also retired after working for about 40 years, she has also joined my father on travel trips. You can call them travel junkies because they would travel out of Singapore about twice a month. Thankfully, they are still healthy and strong but I am still worried about whether those standard tour packages they joined are suitable for them. I couldn’t take long haul trips even when I’m only in my late twenties and what more for them whose legs get tired easily?
Because my Dad enjoys company, he would gather his friends of his age to join him on this tour. Travelling with like-minded people of his generation meant that he would be able to exchange his life stories with them and ask them out for coffee since most of them would have stopped working. It has never come across my mind that perhaps he could join tours which are suited for elderly people.
Are there such customised tours for the silver market?
You would be glad to know that there is a travel co-operative which provides age-friendly tours in Singapore. The Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative (SHT) was formed in 2012 and it is founded by seniors for seniors. They organised long-and-short-haul tours catered just for the elderly. From short getaways to Malaysia, long vacation trips to Europe, Japan and other exotic places, there’s really no limitations when it comes to travelling, even for the seniors.
Such tours focus on the needs and interests of mature travellers, making travel more enjoyable and less stressful for them. It provides members with the opportunity to go on such age-friendly trips and socialise with like-minded individuals. Finding great company is important for my Dad who finds joys in interacting with others. I guess that’s what keeps him healthy, alive and rejuvenated in his late sixties.
Also, tours tailored for mature travellers are different from regular tours. Silver Horizon’s tours include visits to safer sites and attractions, healthier food options, in-depth cultural experiences and longer sight-seeing times. My mum would say that travelling with the elderly requires patience as some of them may not even have enough strength to get up and down the coach. Sometimes, these folks would need a longer time to walk during the tours as they need to take small breaks in between. I can totally empathise with these elderly who may be vulnerable and require more attention. I believe that tours which are conducted at a more relaxed pace would suit them better.
“It is never too old to discover the world.”
Silver Horizon also organises charity tours for the elderly who have never owned a passport or have not travelled before. Who wouldn’t want to travel at least once in a lifetime? It is an applaudable initiative by Silver Horizon is to help those elderly who might have the opportunity to discover the world.
Travelling really does broaden a person’s horizon. Travel while you still can! And if you do have parents or relatives who might be interested in this, do share this good news with them!
Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative Membership
– Open to all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents aged 40 and above, and who like to travel with other seniors.
– Non-members are allowed to join the tours, but they will participate at non-member prices.
To sign up as a member, click here to find out more.
Silver Horizon Travel Co-operative is one of the registered co-operatives (co-ops for short) in Singapore under the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF).
SNCF is the apex body for the Singapore co-operative movement which has been around for over 90 years. Formed by members for members, co-operatives (co-ops for short) are regulated social enterprises that exist to do well and do good. Today, 67 co-operatives in Singapore are affiliated with the Singapore National Co-operative Federation serving different social needs, from credit co-ops that provide financial assistance to Singaporeans to consumer and service co-ops that provide a wide range of services such as healthcare, childcare and eldercare, insurance, to supermarkets, employment services and food courts.
Co-ops allow members to embrace the values of self and mutual help to address rising social needs such as an ageing population. In doing so, co-ops work towards achieving a common economic and social end to benefit not only the members but also the community at large.
For more information, check out the following websites and follow their FB pages for more updates.