People Over 70 Regret Missing Out on These Travel Experiences
The eternal travel dilemma is that you either have time but no money or have money but no time. This is why so many people choose to wait until retirement to visit bucket-list destinations they've always dreamed of seeing.
But the problem is that once people reach a certain age, they often find that they don't have the stamina to go on wild adventures. A new study asked people over the age of 70 about the travel experiences they regret not doing the most. These are the top 10 answers.
Needless to say, listen to your elders and get to booking.
10. Taking a California Road Trip
Driving through California and hitting spots like Los Angeles, Big Sur, San Francisco and Yosemite is the dream of any traveler who loves variety. You need time and money to do it, but the investment is definitely worth it, as you'll pass through some of the most spectacular places in the U.S.
Can you do it even after you've turned 70? Of course! But you'll enjoy hiking, surfing and driving more if you don't wait so long.
Note: This ranking is based on an Explore! report inspired by the life and work of Sir David Attenborough.
9. Doing an African Safari
Getting to do an African safari is no doubt a privilege that few people get to experience. Safaris are extremely costly, often running over $5,000 — not including flights.
If you have the chance to do one, jump on it without a second thought! The money will come and go, but you'll never get to see lions, giraffes and elephants in the wild.
8. Exploring the Petra Ruins in Jordan
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the ruins of Petra will leave you in absolute awe. The jewel of Jordan is hidden in the desert and demands visitors deal with the heat, sun and sand.
Not that anyone complains, as these gigantic ruins of a once grandiose city are one of the most amazing things you'll ever see.
7. Walking the Great Wall of China
Do we even need to explain why this is a place you have to see before you die? One of the longest structures ever built by humanity, the Great Wall is both a testament to our species' tenacity and our penchant for war. Walking along this treasure (another one of the New Seven Wonders of the World) is an experience so incredible that it often leaves people in tears.
That said, you'll have to share the experience with hundreds of other people, which is more palatable when you're young and willing to deal with discomfort.
6. Visiting the Taj Mahal
The most beautiful tomb ever built, the Taj Majal gleams against the sky while it welcomes visitors to see its intricately delicate details. It's something you have to see with your own eyes to really appreciate.
As with the Great Wall, the issue is that you'll have to deal with large crowds. India also has air pollution and extreme heat. Of course, it's possible to visit after you retire, but you may want to visit earlier in your life.
5. Standing Over Niagara Falls
Undoubtedly North America's most powerful waterfalls, Niagara Falls are shared by the U.S. and Canada. They're fairly accessible, with viewing platforms that have ramps and tour boats accommodating people with disabilities — likely because so many people over 70 regretted not visiting.
Needless to say, this is a place everyone should visit at least once.
4. Walking in Machu Picchu
As the heart of the Inca Empire, Peru has countless archaeological treasures. But none compare to the magnificent Machu Picchu. Another Wonder of the World, this Inca city was built at 7,972 feet above sea level and faces an even steeper mountain, Huayna Picchu. Visitors are treated to a scene unlike any other on Earth.
Because this was built in the 15th century with great slabs of stone, it is not the most accessible place to visit. While it's still possible to enjoy its beauty with limited mobility, you won't be able to access many of the site's most important places.
3. Touring the Great Pyramids of Giza
The only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that still exists, the Great Pyramids of Giza are over 4,500 years old. To put that in perspective, that's over 2,500 years before Cleopatra was born.
Few human structures have managed to survive this long, so standing in front of the pyramids is truly a rare glimpse into the past.
2. Swimming in the Maldives
The Maldives went ignored as a travel destination for decades thanks to their remoteness. But this gem of the Indian Ocean is now one of the most coveted places in the world, partly because of all the gorgeous content influencers post about it.
While this collection of paradisiacal islands is known for its luxury resorts and overwater bungalows, it's also an underrated adventure destination with amazing scuba-diving opportunities.
1. Seeing the Northern Lights
What's the No. 1 thing people regret not seeing? It turns out that most people wish they had been able to see the magical yet elusive northern lights.
This natural light show is usually only visible in the Arctic Circle during winter, which means travelers have to withstand extreme cold and spend a heck of a lot of money getting to remote places — all without the guarantee of seeing the aurora borealis. The idea that they might spend thousands of dollars and not get to witness the miracle turns many people off trying their luck.
But if we can learn anything from those who've lived longer, it seems like the chance is worth it.