Hire a Companion
If you'd rather not travel alone or just need help dealing with travel hassles, you can purchase the services of a travel companion. Davis International LLC offers travel buddies who assist older travelers flying, taking cruises, getting around in a foreign country or even relocating to a new home. Cruisers looking for a helper can also check out Cruise Critic (click on "Boards"); for such a person for land and sea, try Lonely Planet (click on "Thorn Tree forum").
Bring the Grandkids
About a third of grandparents who travel have taken a child on a vacation. A Disney cruise with your little princes and princesses might come to mind. Other options include Road Scholar, which offers intergenerational trips within the United States and abroad, and Single Parent Travel, which isn't just for single parents: They cater to any single adult (grandmother, aunt, etc.) traveling with children.
Got a taste for adventure? You can stay all over the world using no-cost sites such as CouchSurfing or Itamos. Through these sites, people host visitors in their homes — for free. You can also bunk in youth hostels, which are not just for the young. Or do a swap through Craigslist or via house-swapping companies such as Home Link International or HomeExchange.com. Of course, be careful; there are some not-so-honest people out there. Be sure to scrutinize photos and check references thoroughly.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc. from "The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement," by Jan Cullinane, © 2012 by AARP.
Jan Cullinane is a best-selling author, speaker, and consultant. The excerpts above are based on her AARP/Wiley Book, The Single Woman's Guide to Retirement Her other books include .The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life and Retire Happy!