“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama
Traveling is a favorite pastime enjoyed by everyone giving people the chance to see the world and to become inspired by the experience. Before making any travel plan, there are some things to consider, especially for seniors. Here are our top 6 tips for seniors looking at their travel options.
1. Stay Comfortable
Many travel destinations can involve a lot of walking, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Always have sunscreen readily available if you plan on spending extended periods of time outside and remember to reapply often.
It’s always important to know your limits when traveling, no matter where you go. If walking long distances might be tough, try to find destinations with great public transportation, or even consider a cruise or train tour. Also, try to pack light to ensure your baggage won’t weigh you down or cause you too much strain.
2. Keep Track of Your Meds
Pack a full supply of all medications you will need on your trip. This is especially important if you’re traveling to another country, where local pharmacists could be unfamiliar with your usual prescriptions. In rare cases, some medications might not be allowed in certain countries, so it never hurts to check what they accept before making travel plans.
3. Think About Accommodations and Planned Events
It’s very important to plan accordingly when making accommodations and what to expect when arriving at your destination. Start with your accommodations to ensure you’ll have the right size bed, handicap-accessible bathrooms if needed, comfortable climate control, and easy ways in and out of the hotel. It’s also a good idea to stay on the first or second floors if possible. This way, you won’t have to worry about long elevator rides packed full of people, or if the elevator runs into any problems that might cause you to ascend and descend multiple flights of stairs.
Also, consider the events you’d like to attend. What will the “crowd” be like? Will it be packed and noisy? If you’d prefer a quiet, peaceful vacation, you might want to avoid large events and instead do something small. Even doing something that is locally recommended can be more fun than a popular advertised tour or event. You can also ask the hotel concierge or find travel sites that list some of the local suggestions. If you’re going on a cruise or tour, look for specific programming that might suit your adventure preferences.
4. Look at Inclusive & Packaged Options
An easy way to travel without having to deal with carrying your wallet or exchanging dollars for foreign currency is to take a look at all-inclusive and packaged travel options. These might be cruises, bus tours, train rides, or other great adventures with a set price you pay up-front. That way, you can focus on enjoying yourself without carrying money or worrying about extra costs piling up.
5. Boost Your Safety & Security
There are many things you can consider doing to stay safe while on vacation. The first thing to look at is travel insurance, which will provide medical coverage where your existing plan might not cover you or be considered out-of-network.
Next, be careful about being too flashy about your travels. Minimize your social media activity and take into consideration when talking about travel plans. Also, while you’re traveling, try to stay modest when wearing jewelry, watches, or fancy clothes. Another rule of thumb is to carry as little cash as possible in public, and keep expensive electronics at home. Being aware of these things could help reduce the risk of standing out to potential thieves.
Finally, be sure to have regular contact with a loved one or friend. Checking in with a friend or family member regularly is a great way to help stay safe in case of emergencies.
6. Don’t Hesitate
Our biggest tip is not to hesitate! With the success of retirement, traveling is a great way to enjoy all of your hard work from raising a family to achieving your career goals. Take a trip to your dream destination; sit back, relax and go have some fun. Just consider our recommendations, and you’ll be sure to have the time of your life!
Scott, Samantha (2016, August 15) Tips for Traveling With Limited Mobility Retrieved from https://www.stridetravel.com/blogs/tips-for-traveling-with-limited-mobility.html
Steves, Rick (2018) Savvy Senior Travelers Retrieved from https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning/savvy-senior-travelers
Smarter Travel (2017, June 19) 7 Safety Tips for Seniors Travelers Retrieved from https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/06/19/7-safety-tips-senior-travelers/
Walansky, Aly (2018) 8 Helpful Tips for Traveling with Seniors Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/tips-for-traveling-with-seniors/