Age does not have to restrict one’s ability to travel, and with age comes experience and more opportunities to enjoy travel. Before taking off for parts unknown, men and women over 50 can take steps to ensure their excursions are as safe as they are memorable.
Consider risking the coronavirus pandemic has taught the world that situations can change rapidly. Before booking any travel, weigh the risks and the benefits of a trip. Determine if COVID-19 is spreading where you live or at your destination. Older adults have a higher risk for severe illness caused by the virus. Until you are vaccinated, it may be best to wait to travel.
So we chose to bring you some helpful senior travel tips to cut your stress in order to keep your travel as enjoyable as possible.
- Visit your doctor. Check-in with a primer doctor approximately 4 weeks before the trip. Discuss any illnesses or medications you are taking to make sure treatments are up-to-date, and you are healthy enough to travel. Make sure you have your doctor’s phone number and your medical insurance card in case of emergencies. Review your insurance policy to ensure any emergency needs will be covered, especially traveling abroad. Consider buying supplemental travel health insurance in case of injury or illness when traveling overseas.
- Manage your medications. Pack all medications in carry-on luggage along with a complete list of what you’re taking. This way, if your checked luggage gets lost, you’ll still have your medication. Bring medications in original containers with a copy of the prescription, and pack some extra doses so you’re prepared if you experience travel delays. Don’t forget to bring treatment for pain, allergies, or indigestion. Do you have any medications that require special handling such as refrigeration? Make plans ahead of time to ensure they’re kept at the appropriate temperature throughout your trip.
- Meet Mobility Needs. Regardless if you need a walker or wheelchair on a typical day or not, it’s a wise idea to make arrangements to have mobility assistance readily accessible. Review the layout for the airport, train or bus station, hotel, etc., and ensure that a wheelchair may be rented if needed. Use senior-friendly services that offer the best perks for older adults.
- Pack the basics. Include clothing depending on the weather for the location you’re visiting. Be sure to pack clothing that can be layered in order to adjust to changing temperatures and include cold-weather options. You never know if it is going to be hot or cold outside, in the airport or in hotels or buildings where you’ll spend your time. Be sure to pack all of your favorite toiletries as your options may be limited once you arrive at your new location. A travel pillow can also help make traveling more comfortable, as well as earplugs, phone chargers, glasses, sanitizers, and additional masks.
- Make Use of Senior Discounts. Numerous discounts are available to older adults, through hotels, restaurants, major airlines, cruises, etc. A small amount of preplanning can ensure you’re able to take full advantage of all discounts for which the older adult is entitled. Because of COVID-19, some travel providers no longer offer senior discounts, but they may offer other benefits, such as early boarding or assistance with traveling from gates to baggage areas.
- Know your limits. Book excursions that match your physical abilities. Give yourself some extra time to recover from jet lag or motion sickness if needed. The altitude and climate may be different from what you’re used to, so give yourself some time to adjust. Bring any assistive devices for mobility, such as a wheelchair, cane, or walker, and determine if the areas you are visiting are handicap accessible.
- Don’t advertise your absence. It may be tempting to upload photos of your beachside vacation to social media as you are immersed in paradise. Unfortunately, seniors tend to be targeted for thieves because they are seen as vulnerable. Don’t make the job easier by advertising you are away from home. In addition, have a neighbor periodically pick up your mail and set lights on timers to give the impression you are home even when you’re not.
- Pack copies of important documents. If paperwork is lost while traveling, request copies of prescriptions and/or statements of medical conditions from each physician and medical treatment center so you have a second set. Keep copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance cards, travel tickets, and other documents as well. To make it even easier, send a photocopy of all the important documents to your email. In this case, you could have all the information with one click.
If you are interested to know more about senior traveling, check our article Traveling Tips for Seniors about How to book, what to wear, how to bring medicines, and save time.
Seniors have the ability to travel much more than other age groups. Make the experience enjoyable by focusing on safety.