Senior Travel: How To Be A Savvy and Smart Senior Traveler

Senior TravelThese 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

Senior Travel: Safe Airline Travel For Seniors

Sign trip. Illustration of a group of suitcases and a plane tickMany of the younger generation are excited to get out and explore everything the world has to offer. They take in the sights, bask in foreign cultures and enjoy an opportunity to travel. However, with air travel being as common as it is today, more people than ever are experiencing places that many seniors never dreamed of having an chance to see. Of course, seniors should certainly have an opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of retirement and spend some time seeing other parts of the world. In fact, it’s a great idea for everyone to take advantage of the freedom they have and explore a far off land.

It is definitely understandable that many seniors are reluctant to fly. After all, it can be scary flying if it is something you have never experienced before; of course, even the thought of taking a trip that is longer than normal can be distressing. However, you should not let these uneasy feelings keep you from experiencing the joys of travel. Airplanes are extremely safe and they have very thorough checks designed to ensure that every available safety measure is met. In fact, flying can actually be an enjoyable experience. The important thing is to make sure that you have made all of your arrangements before arriving at the airport, then you can sit back and relax.

Important Tips For Safe Airline Travel

Seniors should consider a checkup with their physician prior to booking an airline flight, then have another checkup just before traveling. This is the best way to make sure that you are healthy enough to travel and that you do not encounter any unforeseen health issues while on your trip. Your checkup, at a minimum, should include an eye exam, blood pressure check and a discussion about any medical problems you might be experiencing. It is also important to discuss any medications you will be taking prior to your flight.

There are some drugs which can increase the likelihood of developing blood clots or deep vein thrombosis, as it is also called. Your doctor will have important advice regarding precautions and risks associated with certain types of medications. Additionally, your doctor will be able to provide the best schedule for medications, taking into account the new time zone you will be traveling to, so that your medications continue to be taken in the dosages and time-frame your doctor has ordered. You will definitely want to pack your medications with the items you will carry onboard with you. In fact, always carry at least three or four days worth of medications with you, just in case your checked baggage gets lost or delayed.Never even consider getting on a flight with only enough medicine to get you through until you reach your destination. Similarly, if you have asthma, are diabetic or epileptic, you should always have your medications onboard with you when you fly. You never know if you might need it, but you should also notify the airlines a few days before traveling so that they will be aware of the fact that you will be traveling with medications.

Revisiting the issue of deep vein thrombosis, this condition can be much more common in seniors and it is important that they take precautions to prevent this serious condition from occurring. First of all, purchase a pair of flight stockings. These flight stockings are specially designed socks that are similar to surgical stockings. They are intended to be tight so that blood flow is stimulated and should reach to just above the knee; however, for seniors, it is recommended that they wear them at least to mid-thigh.

When on your flight, it is important that you get up at least every hour. You can walk around the cabin a few times or make a trip to one of the bathrooms. This walking about will help encourage proper blood flow and prevent dangerous blood clots from occurring. However, if it is not possible to get up and move about, there are some simple exercises that can be done right in your seat. For example, every twenty minutes you can cycle your feet and try to pull your knees as close to your chest as you can, do this ten or twenty times. Again, the movement will help prevent blood clots by encouraging good blood flow, whether you do it for only a couple of minutes or 10 minutes every hour. The movement is crucial.

It is certainly clear that flying as a senior can require a little advanced planning. It might not be as easy as just booking your flight and showing up at the airport. There are preparations that must be taken care of prior to actually getting on your flight. Seniors face real hazards when flying, but with some basic precautions they do not have to give up the adventure of travel. If you prepare in advance, chances are very good you will not encounter any problems.

Senior Travel: Five Important Travel Tips for Seniors

Senior TravelTravel is what often makes the “golden years” of one’s life so enjoyable. At last, you have the time and leisure to explore new places and encounter new sights, sounds, tastes, people, customs, and cultures. There is good and bad news for seniors who wish to travel nowadays. The good news is that many businesses, including airlines, hotels, restaurants, touring organizations, and more are eager to accommodate the ever-growing population of seniors and baby boomers seeking to travel.

The bad news is no surprise: you are not as young as you used to be. Many of your generation are experiencing health problems and other circumstances that make senior travel more complicated and difficult than when you were in your twenties. With forethought and common sense, though, you can go virtually anywhere and be assured of a comfortable, enjoyable visit. Here are five important tips to take into account when planning your next trip.

Tip One: Plan In Advance

Spontaneity is great when you are young, but more of a challenge as you get older. When you were twenty-five, you could hop on a bus with thirty dollars, trusting just in your sense of adventure. If you had nowhere to sleep, you could curl up anywhere and wake up ready to go. If you love spontaneous fun and are not good at advance planning, it’s time to acknowledge that at this stage of life, planning is crucial to ensure your safety and comfort on your trip.

An useful and even fun technique is to picture every step of the way, every activity you will undertake. If you find stairs difficult to climb, make sure you inquire whether the places you most wish to visit have accessibility issues. When considering physical activities, be sure to ask about the physical requirements involved. If you find standing for long periods uncomfortable, anticipate the places where you will encounter lengthy lines and waiting times.

Tip Two: Make Contingency Plans

We have all learned that our computer files need backups. Senior travel definitely does too. In an unfamiliar locale, you never know when some local custom will close hotels for the weekend, or health professionals will keep very different hours than what you are used to, or when your supposedly confirmed plans will fall through. It may be tedious to have two or three other plans in place, just in case, but once you need them, you’ll be grateful for the effort you made in preparing for unexpected events.

Tip Three: Articulate Your Needs Upfront

Today’s seniors hold a lot of economic power and you shouldn’t be afraid to leverage this to your advantage. In these tough economic times, businesses need and want your patronage. Travel and tour organizations are finding innovative ways to serve the growing senior population. Therefore, don’t be shy about asking for items and services that will ease your individual experience. From firm mattresses to shower seats and handlebars, to first-floor accommodations, many businesses are learning how to cheerfully meet the needs of older travelers. Go ahead and ask, and if the answer is no, perhaps the next business down the street will say yes.

Tip Four: Travel Light and Use Appropriate Luggage

As part of picturing every step of your trip, don’t forget that you have to figure out how to get from place to place, and that this isn’t as simple as it once was. When there are people to help you with your luggage—bellhops and drivers—then all is easy. However, you may well run into unexpected moments when you need to transport your luggage for long distances, up a hill, down steps, and so forth. Bring luggage that is senior-friendly. Look for baggage that has multiple handles on the side and top, wheels, shoulder straps, and adjustable sizes. Pack as lightly as possible: learn to be versatile where you can, saving room for the crucial items.

Tip Five: Travel Safely

Most importantly, you must think about safety. Seniors can be easy prey for thieves, pickpockets, and con artists. Traveling in large groups is thus your best option. Be extra thorough in your planning if you will be going somewhere in small groups. Purchase travel safety items—and there are more and more of these. Besides classic items such as money belts that can be worn under your shirt and contain your cash and identification, you can find innovative items such as a false shirt that hangs in your hotel room, that in reality has hidden pockets for jewelry and other valuables.

Bags and purses can be found that are lined with wire mesh to guard against pickpockets. Travel locks can protect your belongings in crowded places. In addition, consider having your wallet RFID-insured, to guard against identity theft.

Important Senior Tip: You may wish to carry a second wallet containing a small amount of cash, that you could lose without too much pain, to deter thieves away from your real valuables!

Thinking things through ahead of time will afford you peace of mind and a comfortable journey, even when small unexpected problems arise, so that you can concentrate on relaxation and new experiences.

It’s not too late: Senior travel can enrich your life with meaningful explorations and new memories! Don’t be afraid to travel, just plan ahead to be a true Modern Senior!