Traveling should be an activity that people of any age can enjoy, if they so desire. Many people find that traveling after retirement is the most practical option.
Careers and child-rearing often get in the way of travel for a large portion of the adult population.
So, when the kids have moved away, and careers are concluded, it is finally time to get out and explore the world. Health permitting, that is.
To help remove worry and stress from travel for seniors, smart planning and preparation can make a big difference.
Travel Planning Tips for Seniors
The are several helpful tips and suggestions older adults can follow to make travel smoother and tension-free.
Some recommended practices for seniors looking to travel, include:
- Research, research, research
- Consult a physician
- Make travel arrangements well in advance
- Obtain travel insurance
- Contact the airline
- Make lists
- Keep in contact
Research is Key
One of the most important things you can do to avoid shock and terrible surprises on vacation is to do plenty of research.
Talk to friends and family to see what they know about your destination, and if they know anyone that has traveled there previously. Talking to someone with first-hand experience can offer valuable information.
Failing that, online reports and reviews about your location of choice can offer helpful insights.
Consult a Physician
It is advisable for older adults to talk to a doctor before leaving the country, just to make sure travel is safe.
Be sure to discuss all existing health conditions and medications openly to find out about any potential health risks or causes for concern.
Any medications being taken should be topped up before departure to avoid running out while traveling. Trying to refill a prescription in a foreign country can be a nightmare.
Required medications can be split into separate containers for carry-on and checked bags, just in case of lost luggage.
Book your Travel in Advance
Booking your flight and accommodations far in advance is smart planning for many reasons. Advanced booking offers:
- Better deals
- Plenty of time to research and prepare
- Get the itinerary and accommodations you want
- Access to special offers
Some hotels, resorts, and B&Bs have special deals for seniors. Booking in advance gives you time to explore these options.
Seniors may want to consider using a travel agent, rather than booking online, to have greater access to senior discounts, complimentary meals, special events, and additional amenities.
It is not recommended for anyone to travel without insurance, but it is even more important for seniors due to the increased potential for health problems.
Even a brief trip to a hospital in a foreign country can be shockingly expensive.
There are many different types of travel insurance, so it is recommended to speak to an expert before purchase to make sure you have the right coverage.
Travel insurance can be obtained through private insurance companies specializing in travel insurance, or through your financial institution.
Call the Airline
If you will be requiring any special arrangements for meals or seating, it is a good idea to contact the airline in advance.
Most airlines will have no problem accommodating these requests with advanced warning.
Making lists can also be a tremendous stress reliever.
Make a packing list weeks before take-off so adjustments can be made as your flight draws nearer. You want to try to avoid packing too much, or too little.
Make a list of hospitals and health clinics at your destination that can be quickly accessed in case of emergency.
Keep in Contact
Don’t cause your friends and family at home undue worry and stress while you are traveling. Make sure to leave contact numbers for all accommodations you have booked for your travels.
Email is a convenient way to stay connected with your loved ones back home.
Communication applications like WhatsApp can offer an effective and affordable way to stay in touch internationally.
WhatsApp provides free calling and texting for anyone that has downloaded the app to their phone.