These days, more and more seniors are putting their rockers in storage and purchasing plane tickets to visit places they have wanted to see since their youth. Although seniors may often face specific challenges due to their age and mobility concerns, they also have many advantages over the younger jet set crowd. To start, if they are retired, they have a lot more opportunities and flexibility in terms of their travel dates, and can often take advantage of significantly discounted fares and rates during the off season. As seniors, they also can get senior rates for many travel packages. And finally, many seniors may be financially better able to afford travel, especially if they have planned for this in their retirement.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind as you plan for your next trip.
- Travel in the off or “shoulder season” if you can, especially if you are planning a trip to Europe. This will allow you to both beat the crowds and also avoid the extreme heat found during the summer months.
- Pack as light as you can. Packing light is actually more important for seniors than for younger travelers, as your strength to carry your luggage is likely going to be less than when you were in your 20’s. Invest in a quality rolling suitcase (or perhaps even a backpack!). Keep in mind that you don’t need a lot of clothes. You can do laundry on the way, and purchase more clothes as needed.
- Pack safely. Invest in a quality money belt or pouch and keep it well secured and hidden while traveling. Some seniors also carry a second small money bag with small amounts of cash as a detractor to thieves.
- Check your travel insurance coverage. You definitely should have travel insurance coverage, and medicare does not cover out of the country medical expenses. In particular, make sure you are covered for emergency transportation back to the U.S.
- Carry enough of your medications and also copies of your prescriptions. Never check your medication when flying, as you will not want these to be in your bags if they get lost.
- Take care of yourself first! Keep in mind that traveling can put a substantial drain on your body, and make an extra effort to stay hydrates and not push yourself too much while traveling. Make things easy for yourself whenever possible! If you find climbing stairs to be tiring, get a room on the ground floor instead. If you find long distance walking is exhausting you, hail a cab. The healthy you are and the better you take care of yourself while traveling, the better your experience will be!