Traveling when settling into those “Golden Years” can have its challenges, but that shouldn’t prevent you from fulfilling your dream vacations to another country. Here are some senior travel tips you need to know.
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Senior Travel Tips
According to the Census Bureau report on population projection, there will be 78 million Americans at the age of 65 years or older by 2035, and the definition of seniors are those over the age of 60. There’s no doubt that the American population is aging gracefully as most baby boomers (born between 1944 and 1964) head into retirement. Born between 1944 and 1964, baby boomers are now between 55-75 years old, with a population of 76 million in the U.S.
At this age, while we are still about our family and especially our grandkids, we are ready to unwind, explore and experience the world. However, due to age and its complications, fun activities such as traveling may seem like a distant reality or merely a chore. Could you be stuck at home wondering if that dream vacay is even realistic?
These senior travel tips will ensure you live your travel dream as you age gracefully. Here’s everything you need to know about baby boomer and senior travel.
What Is Senior Travel?
Baby boomer or senior travel refers to a type of tourism, where people of advanced age receive specific and unique services that help them overcome age-related challenges while on vacation. This approach addresses specific needs that you might have due to your age, such as physical limitations, with the goal of safe travels that considers your needs.
Retirement is meant to be a rewarding period with fewer concerns and more fun. For most baby boomers and seniors, age-related anxiety confines them to their homes. Don’t be on a self-imposed house arrest just because you are aging! With so many opportunities for senior travel including incentives, your travel bucket list doesn’t have to relegated to the past.
Make your vacation dreams come true with these senior travel tips to give you the confidence to forget the wrinkles and the limitations and venture out on your next vacation.
Read More: 5 Savvy Senior Travel Tips
Planning Is the Deal-Breaker
Maybe spontaneous decisions to travel to the Maldives are out, but this does not mean you should stay at home. All you need to do is to plan your trips meticulously.
If planning isn’t your forte, let younger family members help with making reservations to minimize the risk of confusion. After all, things have changed, and you may not be able to put up with the advanced technology. Delegating ensures that you don’t feel overwhelmed even before starting the trip.
Book a Non-Stop Flight
Nothing can frustrate a senior more than having to connect flights in between a trip. A lot of things can go wrong, including missing out on the connecting flight.
Other challenges include tracking your luggage, lost luggage, and/or dealing with the general pressure that flight connection procedures create.
Whether you are the one booking or you’ve delegated the role to someone else, booking a non-stop flight is your best bet. Even with that extra jet leg and the additional cost of a non-stop flight, the benefits of decreased stress are totally worth it. Because really, isn’t it better to snore your way to a vacation in a non-stop flight than risk the possible delays on and other complications on a connecting flight?
Travel Insurance Is Critical
With age, nothing is left to chance. Travel insurance ensures that all your trips are well within coverage at all times. For senior travel, supplemental travel insurance works better for you.
Insurance ensures that your health needs are well catered for in case of illness or injury during your trip. While you may have to pay more for insurance coverage as a senior due to pre-existing medical conditions, even then, this should not stand in the way of achieving your dream vacation.
It’s highly likely that you could be on medication considering the number of age-related conditions that creep in at this point. This is not unusual and should not stop you from visiting your dream destination.
However, most states and countries may require that such medicine is in prescription bottles. Consider having a letter from your doctor and the original script containers. This is to ensure that you get instant help in case of an unusual health complication while traveling.
It would be best if you also considered informing fellow travelers or the traveling agency of such issues beforehand.
Packing often presents a real challenge for elder travel. You feel like carrying everything for your next trip. Consider a few critical factors before deciding on what to pack by asking these questions.
- What is the usual weather conditions at your destination during your visit?
- How long do you plan to be there?
- What activities are you planning?
- Will those activities require specific clothing, ie. hikes, tours, fine dining, workouts?
Answers to the above will guide the contents in your bag.
A small first-aid kit, eyeglasses, spare comfy footwear, and your travel documents are a must-have during your senior travel expeditions.
Remember, a heavy bag can be a real burden (literally), so pack with moderation.
Read More: What to Pack? 9 Stylish Travel Tips
It’s Okay to Ask for Assistance
This is the one thing that most seniors abhor. No one wants to appear helpless. Don’t shy away from asking for help where necessary, especially at the airport’s check-in desk. There are people and structures put in place to lighten your burden.
Have a Clear Plan on Money
Most services have since gone paperless, an essential step towards greater efficiency. Ensure that most of your money is accessible via credit cards to reduce the risk of loss of any kind.
Limit the amount of cash you carry, although do carry some in case you need to make quick purchases or payments in places that don’t accept cards, or in the event that your card does not work in a foreign country.
Safety Begins With You
Having to deal with pickpockets or muggers can be an unpleasant experience. Senior citizens traveling on vacation can be an easy target.
Ensure that you keep your valuables intact, by investing in secure bags and keeping your purses close to your body at all times.
Partner With a Travel Agency That Understands Senior Travel
Most of the preparation mentioned above is because you’re heading out on this trip on your own.
When dealing with a travel agency, everything else is taken care of or so that you can focus on the fun part. Your next Versailles tour will undoubtedly be different if you go with a company that has a customer-oriented approach to elder travel.
You’ll be awestruck by the magnificence of Paris as guides take you through various tourist attractions.
No need to worry about security and other plans; you only need to focus on the trip.
Plan Your Activities Cautiously
There’s no telling when the fatigue will come calling. With age, activities can drain your energy and affect your moods.
Have a well-defined order of events to ensure that you don’t overwork your body—after all vacays are for resting.
Age Shouldn’t Limit the Explorer in You
Age is catching up fast, but you are still young at heart. If you’re yearning for some adventure, then senior travel is still an option worth considering.
All you need to do is to source a trusted travel agent, and your dream vacation will no longer be a pipe-dream. With a reliable travel agency, safety and other logistical issues are handled with the utmost professionalism.