I set to work narrowing down the whole wide world to just five destinations from which they could choose. We have come to the final of the present 5 options:

Ubud, Bali: Religious tourism merges with spectacular vistas including volcanic mountains, reefs, beaches and rice paddies. Attractions range from meditative retreats to an extensive night life. (My mother would probably enjoy the Sanur Beach, allegedly referred to as the ‘Snore Beach,’ which is perfect for relaxation and good for those with achy joints.)

Accommodation: Ubud is overall very affordable, so there are many hotel options from $22 a night and a huge variety of accommodation types from which to choose.  Check out expedia.com, booking.com, and trivago.com for reasonably priced accommodations.

Food: You can experience an authentic Bali meal with a romantic atmosphere for very affordable rates. Budget-friendly restaurants include: the Rondji Restaurant, Little Talks Ubud, right by Campuhan Ridge Walk and Boni Bali Restaurant, close to the sightseeing spot Tegalalang Rice Terrace.Bali cuisine makes liberal use of herbs and spices as well as fish paste, so be aware if you have a sensitive stomach.

Transportation: The city of Ubud is small, and pretty easy to navigate on foot. There is no public transportation system, but there are some private options, including: metered taxis, Perama Shuttle and Bemo (a minivan).

While researching all these locations, I learned a few other useful points along the way. For example, I realized that unlike most other demographic groups, the elderly have flexibility to choose a vacation time from 52 weeks of the year.  They are not restricted to times like Christmas week, kids’ school vacations, etc.  That means their budgets will go further as they can go non-peak time. 

Second, I learned that there are many deals specific to pensioners. For example, don’t forget to take advantage of:

  • Mid-week breaks
  • AAA benefits (for example, 10 percent off breakfast at Hyatt hotels or 15 percent off stays at Marriott properties plus free breakfast)
  • AARP benefits (thousands of dining, shopping and entertainment offers throughout the US)
  • AFVC membership (US military retirees are subject to a whole slew of great discounts)
  • Over 55 Senior Cruise Rates

I engaged in this task of helping my parents research vacation options because I am all too aware of web scams, something unfamiliar to those in my parents’ demographic.  My goal was to compile easily navigable planning tips, which I hope I have now achieved. Watch this space for what mom and dad choose!  Oh I so wish I could sneak into their luggage!