There’s no age limit when it comes to travel and when you reach your golden years, you may want to start traveling and seeing the world. Many senior travelers realize that travel presents its own challenges and is stressful, no matter which age you are, but now that your children are grown, responsibilities are not so taxing, and traveling is affordable and even easy as long as you know what to do and what to look for.
Expecting these challenges and preparing for all possibilities you may encounter you’ll have a more pleasurable and safer travel experience. Traveling has become a popular activity for seniors and several airlines and travel agencies even offer special deals if you qualify. Today, we prepared some ways and tips on how to prepare for the lifetime experience of traveling around the world and make travel easier for all seniors out there seeking for adventures and living their life to the fullest.
Planning your trip
It is important to be realistic as you plan out your trip around the world. You are certainly going to be hard pressed to travel up and down the Nile on a camel, but a luxurious trip on a river boat is just as good if not a better alternative. Besides, camels are notoriously rude and are prone to smelling bad. Sure, some seniors are still able to hike long periods at a time and even participate in some heart pounding, and this is what interests them most, so make sure you pack all hiking essentials you might need such as water bottle, a sleeping bag, top-quality shoes and easy-to-use backpacking stove to make your food in the outdoors. Adrenaline pumping activities are not for everyone, but if you prepare well, you’ll be able to do it.
Here’s how to prepare your plan:
- Consider any medical needs you and your companions may have.
- Talk to your travel agent about finding accommodations for wheelchairs and other needs you may have.
- Make sure to have enough medication while you travel.
- Talk to your doctor about regions you plan to travel and if there are any health advisories you should be aware of.
- Receive a check up from your physician before leaving.
- Be realistic as you plan.
You can leave on your trip around the world unprepared with documentation, so here’s what we advise you bring:
- If you don’t already have a passport, apply for one at least 6 months before you travel as a government passport is the highest level of identification and is accepted in all countries by federal TSA security officers.
- Make copies of statements of your medical conditions and medicine prescriptions from each medical treatment center and doctor you’re visiting.
- Make at least 4 photocopies of your insurance and Medicare cards, passport, boarding pass, travel tickets and itinerary and all physician statements and prescriptions. One set of copies forward to your family, one set should be carried in your bag wherever you go, one should be left with the hotel manager and one set of copies should be tucked in your luggage.
- It would be best to have an international SIM card in your mobile phone with all emergency numbers set in first.
Pack light. For a person who goes on a trip around the world you have to have some limitation, you don’t want to drag suitcases and bags with all those clothes you’ll probably not going to need. Plus, it’s going to be too heavy and can cause additional stress. Plan to pack everything you need in a roll-aboard suitcase and a backpack or a medium-size over-the-shoulder bag, whatever is easier for you to carry around. If not big, roll-aboard doesn’t have to be checked as luggage and flight staff (or from any other transportation) will happily stash your suitcase in the overhead rack. This will save you a lot of time when you arrive at airports and stations.
All over-the-counter medicine and prescription should be packed in a small zip-lock freezer bag, including copies that we mentioned above and carried in the hand-carry bag. Do not store your pills in a separate plastic box. Keep them in their original packaging for which you already have documentation so you can easily pass through the security.
Don’t push yourself
Traveling is exciting, fun, and there is just so much to see and to do that many seniors often forget the reality of their age. While you should not feel limited by your age, you should also be realistic about it.
- Allow for recovery time, especially when traveling across several time zones.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid drinking the local water.
- Be aware of possible infections and keep a close eye on your health.
- Schedule time to relax and take it easy.
Seniors would do well to keep in mind their own safety. Just because you are traveling to countries you have never seen before, it does not mean that the criminals will mind their manners and treat you as a guest. Believing that nothing bad will happen to you is ludicrous. You must keep in mind that anything could happen while on holiday.
- If possible travel in a group. There are several organizations that specialize in group travel for seniors.
- Never go out alone at night.
- Avoid wearing your expensive jewelry.
- Avoid unmarked taxis or offers to help from unsolicited persons.
- Be aware of where emergency services are located and how to contact them.
Find the best deals
Take advantage of your age and look for special deals and discounts for seniors. There is no shame is saving money, especially in today’s economy.
- Ask your travel agent about special discounts, especially if you are traveling with a group of seniors.
- Look at the AARP so see if they offer any discounts on travel.
- Inquire airlines about discount rates based on age.
- Travel on off-season dates.
- Book hotels in advance to save money.
It is never too late to see the world no matter your age. Seniors who wish to travel just need to be aware that while a trip requires a little more planning than it did 20 years ago it is still possible. Not only is it possible, but it may be cheaper as well. Just keep these tips in mind and you are sure to have a great time while experiencing the wonders of the world.
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.