The kids are out of the house, and it’s time to live it up! Empty nesters are free of carpools, homework, weeknight dinner-planning, and traveling around school calendars.
Here are five trip ideas for empty nesters who are ready to celebrate a new chapter in their lives and pursue their bucket-list travel destinations.
Main pool at Sandals Emerald Bay; Photo courtesy of Sandals Resorts
SOAK IN THE SUN AT GREAT EXUMA IN THE BAHAMAS
With sunshine, pristine beaches, and endless views of the Atlantic Ocean, a quick flight to the Bahamas is a great pick for a child-free vacation. Patricia Parsons, a travel advisor with AAA in Flemington, New Jersey, said this island destination offers “one of the most beautiful and private white sand beaches in the Caribbean.”
She recommends staying at Sandals Emerald Bay, an adults only, all-inclusive Bahamas resort with oceanfront accommodations that may include your own private butler. “The resort also has an 18-hole championship golf course along the crystal clear turquoise ocean,” Parsons added. “Fire pits at night provide romantic and quiet moments perfect for enjoying their signature ‘Spicy Melon Margarita’ while barefoot in the sand.”
EXPERIENCE A FRENCH ESCAPE WHILE THE CHILDREN ARE AT COLLEGE
There’s no better place to celebrate an empty nest and toast to a new chapter than the birthplace of bubbly. Located 45 minutes outside of Paris, you’ll find the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, the only luxury wellness destination in the Champagne region of France. This luxe hotel offers an impressive 16,000-square-foot spa, private visits to Champagne cellars arranged by a dedicated Champagne Concierge, and Michelin-star dining at its Le Royal restaurant.
Use AAA’s Trip Canvas to book your dreamy trip to this 47-room boutique property. Since you’re close to Paris, venture to the “City of Light” for culture, culinary adventures, and romantic memories. Your Parisian trip can also be the springboard to other romantic cities like London, Dublin, or Rome.
The Springs Resort and Spa; Photo by Tanya Keisha/stock.adobe.com
CONSIDER A NATURE’S PARADISE IN COSTA RICA
Costa Rica is a beautiful, peaceful country that has tapped into the power of its natural resources, said Parsons. “Volcano power is harnessed to heat the natural water springs that are both therapeutic and soothing,” she said.
Without kids in tow, empty nesters can enjoy time together as a romantic couple: walking across the moving bridges above the jungle or swimming at the Springs Resort near the Arenal Volcano. This destination has pretty rooms and restaurants with farm-to-table cuisine. You can also go zip-lining, which is totally exhilarating, said Parsons. “Sharing experiences like these with your loved one is so romantic,” added Parsons.
Couple looking at elephants drinking from waterhole; Photo by Fabio Lamanna/stock.adobe.com
PLAN A BUCKET-LIST SAFARI ADVENTURE
Marking your empty-nest milestone should be celebrated in a noteworthy way, and an African safari is certainly a trip of a lifetime. “I recommend traveling with Micato Safaris, that are family owned for over 60 years, and the only outfitter that has been voted # 1 ten times, by the readers of Travel and Leisure,” said Parsons with AAA.
“They offer small group journeys with Gold Level safari directors, experienced drivers, luxurious camps and lodges, meals, all tips and more. The game drives are most exciting, to witness these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.”