The end goal of traveling is to discover new places, have fun, and make memories while at it. Despite traveling being a fun venture, it may end up being disastrous when it’s not been adequately planned. You may come across several issues along the way, but if you follow the proper process, such obstacles will be easier to overcome. Below is a guide that senior citizens can use to plan their travel.
1. Ensure Your Travel Insurance Is Valid
Have you thought about the financial implications of having a medical emergency, trip cancellation, lost baggage, or emergency evacuation in your travel? We never see such emergencies coming our way. Most people are caught off-guard and immediately go into panic mode as they wonder what to do next.
Travel insurance is a way of protecting yourself if any major issues should occur while you are on vacation. If the trip gets canceled or you face a medical emergency, your travel insurance can help cover some of the costs, so you do not face financial hardship.
If you’re a frequent traveler, travel insurance is probably a given for you. If you do not travel very often, start on the right foot by investing in travel insurance. Many people may not see the importance of having travel insurance, but you don’t have to wait for a calamity to strike for you to understand its benefits.
Seniors who travel should certainly invest in insurance as they may be at a higher risk for medical emergencies. This will let them travel wherever they want with peace of mind knowing that insurance will comfortably cover arising complications. Reach out to an insurance agent, and they’ll help you select the best insurance policy that covers your travel needs.
2. Book Off-Season Trips
There are days when we want to connect and share moments with other people, but there are other times when we want to be alone and experience life by ourselves. Most of us travel to get away from everyday life and eventually return feeling refreshed and reenergized.
If you want to avoid the crowds, booking a vacation in the off-season may be the best choice for you. You can still have a fantastic experience and you may find better rates for significant expenses (food, transport, accommodation, free entry or senior discounts, etc.). With fewer people, you will have more time to see the sights and may get better service from the staff at the hotels and locations you visit.
As you plan your travel destination, make a strategic move by avoiding peak season. For better planning, consult a travel agent to help you select senior-friendly places that align with your interests and budget. Be open to adding adjusting your budget to get the best amenities and value for your time and money.
3. Pack Light Luggage
Seniors are easy targets for pickpockets and thieves, so you’re advised to keep your luggage to a minimum. This will make it easier to pack, move around, and will prevent theft of your valuables. Most importantly, dress in light but warm cotton clothing and comfortable flat shoes.
Plan all the essential items for your trip and have a checklist you’ll use when you pack. If, for any reason, your luggage gets heavy, probably because you’ll be away for a while, ask for assistance from a porter or attendants with carrying or lifting your bags. Avoid injuries at all costs!
4. Book A Doctor’s Appointment
Traveling, especially for a long-distance, can take a toll on your body no matter how old you are. However, seniors may be a bit more sensitive, especially if they have underlying conditions. They also might take time to recover from the exhaustion.
Therefore, if you’re planning for a long trip, make sure to get your doctor’s approval to travel and also refill your medication that you may need to cover the whole trip with the inclusion of some extra days. Furthermore, your physician is best suited to advise you on the best diet you should follow as you sample the local cuisine.
5. Don’t Announce Your Trip
In the age of social media, it can be tempting to share everything, especially when you are going on an exciting vacation. However, as we mentioned earlier, seniors are an easy target; therefore, they must take extra caution. Announcing your trip before you leave lets people know that your house is empty making you a potential target for break-ins.
Seniors living in an independent senior living community may have less concern. At least in a community, the facility has suitable security measures. However, if you don’t have these advantages, you should ask a trusted loved one to check on your house occasionally. They can bring in your mail and make sure that any lights and appliances are turned off. Additionally, you will have someone who knows that you are traveling in case you need to call home in an emergency.
If you’re traveling solo and need a companion, you can hire a caregiver to accompany you. Of course, this adds to your expenses, but if it gives you peace of mind, then it can be a good option. It’s also necessary to stay on guard, especially while using public Wi-Fi, since hackers can access important information about you and defraud you. If you need to alert anyone of your whereabouts, let it be someone close to you.
6. Have Backups of Your Travel Documents
A piece of clothing or shoe can be replaced if lost, but can you imagine the hassle of losing your travel documents? Getting a replacement for those, especially in a foreign country, can be your biggest nightmare. Therefore, as the world slowly shifts to the paperless side, ensure that you have a copy of every critical travel document in your secured online document wallet.
Choose an online document wallet that you can access easily if you also lose your personal phone or computer. At least with a safely backed up copy of these documents, you can easily replace them though at an extra cost. You also don’t want to add to your luggage with paper documents.
With these tips, planning your adventure shouldn’t be too complex. Ask for help from a travel agent, especially in the planning process, as navigating through everything can be superbly overwhelming. With proper planning, your senior years will be some of the best years of your life.
About the Author
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.