Our retirement is the perfect time to go see all the places you’ve always wanted to see and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do. But it’s important to keep in mind that traveling as an older adult is a little different than traveling in your younger years. There are certain steps and precautions you’ll want to take to make sure you stay safeand enjoy a memorable experience.
Here are six travel tips for the busy senior on the go:
1. Do Your Homework
The more you research and plan your trip, the smoother everything is likely to go. Find the shortest and most direct flights, consider accessibility requirements when choosing a hotel and look into available special services options—like assisted transportation within the airport or a free shuttle to your hotel. Keep organized records of your travel itinerary and write down any important phone numbers you may need.
2. Invest in Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can be a good investment for travelers of all ages, but it can come in particularly handy for older adults. For a small, additional cost (usually between $100 and $200 per trip), you can rest assured that you’ll be covered—even if something interrupts your trip or prevents you from taking your trip as scheduled.
3. Measure Your Medications
If you take medications daily, make sure you measure your doses carefully. Avoid packing medication in your checked bag, just in case the airline loses your luggage. To be on the safe side, pack enough to cover a few extra days, just in case something delays your return home. It’s also smart to travel with a written record of the medications you’re on and the doses you need—you never know when you might need to have that information handy.
4. Be a Practical Packer
Packing light will make it easier to transport your bags from place to place, but it’s also important to think about the clothing you’ll want to wear. While you’ll certainly need to take weather into consideration, make sure to also choose clothing that is comfortable. The same goes for footwear—pack supportive and comfortable shoes that will allow you to stay steady on your feet.
5. Get the Gear
Purchasing certain travel-friendly items can make your trip easier and safer. For starters, make sure you have a suitcase that rolls easily so you won’t be burdened by cumbersome luggage. Next, purchase a secure way to carry your valuables and documents with you—like a money belt or a pouch you can wear around your neck.
6. Always Have a Travel Buddy
It’s always best to avoid traveling alone if you can help it, but if you are going solo, make sure you have a virtual “travel buddy” you can contact throughout your journey. Ideally, this would be a friend in your community who has a copy of your itinerary. It’s also a good idea to tell your hotel concierge or innkeeper about your plans for the day, especially if you’ll be touring around a new place by yours