In the west, sightseeing tours for pensioners have long been a common and common thing. Today in Russia this side of tourism is beginning to gain momentum. Many travel companies began to offer excursion tours for retirees of different categories at affordable prices, making a discount from their income. And that's great. Some retirees buy tours themselves and start traveling around cities and countries, making their old dream come true. Some are given such a gift by adult children. All kinds of tours have been specially designed for older tourists, much cheaper and with a significant simplification of travel preparation (obtaining a visa to enter the country). Excursion tours are organized in absolutely different directions. This is Russia, and Europe, and the resorts of the Mediterranean, Red or Dead Sea.
In spring and autumn, retirees are offered interesting excursion routes throughout Europe: Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Great Britain, Ireland. These routes are less tiring, the distances are shorter, and there are immeasurably more priceless treasures worth seeing. Therefore, such voyages are most attractive for people of venerable age. Well, the health resorts of Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Israel and others are suitable for such holidaymakers all year round. Tour operators try to make maximum discounts on tours for pensioners (hotel, flight, etc.), and this is possible only outside the high season. It is during this period that such trips are offered most often.
As a rule, tours for older people are designed so that during the entire trip tourists are accompanied by an experienced Russian-speaking company employee.
Retirees are usually accommodated in cozy, quiet, inexpensive hotels with good cuisine.
The excursion program is planned with minor transfers. The acquisition of new like-minded people and friends at literary and dance evenings, walks, movie screenings, quizzes, holidays, birthdays makes sightseeing tours even more attractive and desirable. And, of course, the combination of a decent quality of pension tours with a relatively low cost is another argument in favor of such tours.
The cost of a weekly European tour for seniors, depending on the selected country, starts from 30,000 - 35,000 RUB per person. The price includes flight, transfer, medical insurance, excursion program (3-4 excursions), accompaniment of a Russian-speaking guide, meals (breakfasts) and accommodation. Additionally paid: visa (depending on the selected country), travel cancellation insurance (optional), additional medical insurance for those over 65 (optional).
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Many modern elderly people have worked their entire conscious life, thereby ensuring a comfortable existence for the family. All this time they could not afford anything superfluous. Vacation was mostly spent on solving family problems. Even a week or two in a sanatorium from the trade union was not available to everyone.
Having finished their labor activity and relinquished responsibility for the development of adult children, they have a unique chance to realize the dreams of their youth about travel and long rest.
Combined with the opportunity to improve shaky health, tours for retirees are the best option for spending free time. The duty of children is to pay tribute to their parents and, in accordance with their financial capabilities, help them to spend their old age with dignity. They deserve it.
Gone are the days when the fate of a well-deserved rest was seasonal plowing in the country, fussing with grandchildren and endlessly lonely evenings on the couch in front of the TV. For an elderly person, rare trips to the theater, cinema and similar institutions are no longer enough.
Material opportunities and state of health, flavored with an abundance of free time, dictate the need for a more active and intense pastime. The desire to see places inaccessible during work, to personally get acquainted with the traditions of peoples of other nationalities and, in the end, to have a pleasant rest made travel for pensioners very popular.
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The average Russian of retirement age is becoming more and more like his peer in Europe or America, rightly believing that retirement is only the beginning of life and considering it a second youth. Tourist trips for pensioners have become commonplace. The most obvious reasons for this state of affairs can be described as follows:
Here you can also add the presence in most travel companies of significant discounts both for excursion programs and for treatment, if we are talking about a person of retirement age. At the same time, it makes no difference whether you need a vacation at the sea, in the mountains or somewhere else. Affordable travel prices are a priority for all tour operators.
Often aged Belarusians do not even consider this kind of recreation as tourist trips, travel. They say that it is difficult for them to leave the house once again, because their knees hurt, not like going somewhere beyond the cordon. Yes, and expensive ... At the same time, in their hearts they envy fellow pensioners from Western European countries, who, having entered their golden age, get everything from life: they relax at resorts, go to discos, and have fun.
... When Elena SUKHINA from Minsk came up with the idea of organizing tours for the elderly in Belarus, not everyone around them understood this impulse. The stereotype of pensioners as people at the end of life, who, apart from the clinic, has nowhere to go, has worked long ago in our society.
- I traveled a lot around the world and, seeing how people of retirement and deeply elderly age can fully live, travel, despite their illnesses, how they enjoy life, forgetting about problems, I was amazed, - says the interlocutor "AiF". - I wanted to make sure that our pensioners also had such an opportunity: when they had already raised their children, they went on a well-deserved rest - to live for their own pleasure. Of course, I cannot solve this problem on a national scale, but I can do at least something to provide them with such an opportunity in the field in which I work. Of course, there are active retirees who go on trips as part of general groups, but this is a difficult test for them, because you need to keep up with the whole group, which usually moves quickly. Often there is no time to sit down, the guide is hard to hear. And in special tours for the elderly, where people of the same age gather, with a similar worldview, where, if possible, many of their wishes are taken into account (for example, the presence of a loudspeaker for the guide is obligatory), they may not be afraid that they will not be in time or will miss something.
In bus tours for seniors, as, indeed, in any other, for each tourist - an individual approach:
- When seating on the bus, absolutely everything is taken into account: if someone, for example, does not bend the knee joint on the right leg, we will sit it so that the person can stretch out the sore leg while moving. If someone has back problems, we can leave two places for such a tourist so that he can sit comfortably. If you get on our retirement buses, there are pillows, blankets, bolsters on almost every seat - people arrange their seats so that they are comfortable on the way. Traveling with us are both "young" pensioners who have just retired and very old people. Once we were approached by an 84-year-old woman - a resident of a village near Brest. She saved up retirement benefits to fulfill her dream - to go to Karelia. We sent her on a general tour, before that I asked: "Will there be rafting on catamarans, can you wait?" - “Baby, I'm still cheerful, I ride a bike. But I can hear badly: tell them to call me louder - then I won't get lost. "
- Indeed, many older people suffer from high blood pressure and take appropriate medications, which are known to have a diuretic effect. Therefore, in addition to planned sanitary stops, we always go to meet those who urgently need to get out. There was also a case in our practice when there were several tourists with one trip with diabetes mellitus. First of all, we learned the necessary information about the rules for transporting medicines. And since people with diabetes must eat regularly, the team leader always provided tourists with boiling water so that they could make porridge or soup. By the way, before the trip, we always advise our tourists to stock up on a large bottle of drinking water, which will constantly lie on the bus, and a thermos, which can be filled with boiling water in the parking lot. Of course, you can buy drinking water, but still it is some kind of savings. We also had a case when a woman who suffered from memory impairments was lost in Krakow. But she was quickly found, because in her pocket she had a tourist memo with the phone number of the group leader. We give out brochures to all tourists, which contain useful information about being abroad.
As for sore joints, this is not a hindrance for our tourists when traveling, because, firstly, we always choose hotels with elevators. Secondly, excursions are built in such a way that people move slowly and have the opportunity to sit on benches. Once during an excursion, one tourist said that she did not have the strength to walk anymore, and while the group was listening to the guide, we went to a cafe: she was distracted, tasted a delicious dessert and even stopped being sad because she could not stay until end of the excursion. That is, we have an individual approach to everyone. In addition, we advise our tourists to take on a trip an extract from a medical card with a description of the diseases, so that in the event of an insured event, and even in case of ordinary ailment, it would be easier to help them.
- Tourist trips for people of retirement age are also distinguished by the fact that we try to organize meetings with local pensioners in other countries for our Belarusian tourists. You have no idea how much pleasure they have in communicating, talking about children, the peculiarities of retirement benefits, even ignorance of languages does not interfere! Someone remembers English words, someone picks up a conversation in Polish, someone tries to express themselves with gestures! In Tallinn, for example, the head of the local Nordic walking club held a master class for the guests from Belarus on the shores of the Baltic Sea and helped to buy sticks for practicing at an affordable price. And in the fall in Lviv, Belarusian pensioners will meet at the International Festival with representatives of the local university of the third age and many different master classes. Thanks to such trips, the horizons expand, an idea of how people live in different countries appears. Various situations happened to our tourists, both pleasant and not so, but they all gathered in a piggy bank of life experience. For example, on one of their trips, our people were surprised to learn that for communication in a raised voice, the hotel staff can call the police - this is regarded as a violation of public order. As for the most memorable tours, according to tourists, this is a ferry ride from Tallinn to Stockholm and an incomparable buffet with fish delicacies, as well as a visit to France. Moreover, our tourists have discovered and continue to discover Belarus with pleasure.
When forming tours for pensioners, Elena Sukhina takes into account everything, especially the price issue. For example, for a trip to Israel planned in November, the most profitable low-cost flight from Kaunas to Tel Aviv was selected for 150 euros in both directions, while a flight from Minsk will cost more than twice as much. The trip itself for 7 nights/8 days to Israel will cost $ 585 in the equivalent.
They have been talking about the development of the tourist potential of Karelia for a long time, but until a snack bar and a toilet are found along the bad roads, the situation will not improve. Natalia Kolesnikova, head of the specialized department of PetrSU, told the "Respublika" what the authorities should do to develop tourism and preserve nature.