Senior citizens usually have more time and freedom to explore places they never could before, but travel also gets harder as you get older. Health concerns are on your mind, and you may be more vulnerable to the stresses of travel than when you were young. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for these worries and have the best trip of your life.
Here are five helpful tips for senior travelers looking to do just that:
Don’t Over-Plan Your Days
Though you may want to squeeze in every activity you’ve dreamt of doing since you were young, you’ll have a better experience by limiting your itinerary. Common health concerns are more manageable if you build some margins into your trip. For example, traveling with incontinence may necessitate frequent breaks and other forward thinking.
Designating some time to sit and rest will help you manage chronic joint pain, and delaying that next show or museum will give you a needed break if you tend to become mentally exhausted quickly. (Also, read our guide on how to sleep well to make the most of your downtime!)
Travelers insurance affords senior trekkers much-needed peace of mind as they look to enjoy new locales. An accidental fall or a sudden illness is often more serious for seniors with existing chronic conditions or inhibited immune systems. Knowing that you have access to immediate care without any complications based on foreign policies can benefit you even if you never have to use it.
If you do need to tap into your insurance, you’ll probably pay less overall for an emergency and even get treated more quickly. Evacuation insurance is another option that will cover your transportation to an area that provides any specialized treatment you may need.
Check your current medical coverage if you’re going overseas. If you use Medicare, which doesn’t apply outside the United States, you’ll want to consider travelers insurance. Pay attention to how you’re covered in the specific area you’re visiting, because insurance terms will likely vary.
Packing excess clothes and other useful items may ease your mind initially, but when you arrive, you’ll wish you had streamlined. You can always buy clothes and toiletries wherever you go, and the benefit of a light suitcase is clear.
A carry-on suitcase is more compact and maneuverable, and lugging less weight around gives your joints a break while increasing your mobility. Plus, you’ll have more room for mementos—and maybe you’ll like the clothes you buy abroad better than the ones you brought with you! If you’re game, here’s our guide on how to pack and travel light.
Look for Senior Discounts
Traveling as a senior has clear benefits, including senior discounts. First, learn how your destination refers to senior discounts. For example, Great Britain and Australia refer to these discounts as senior “concessions.” Once you know the proper terms, feel free to ask about these discounts at restaurants, museums, and basically wherever you go. You never know who will honor it, and getting a discount will make those experiences even more memorable.
Carry Your Medications with You
Packing your medications in a carry-on bag is another helpful tip for senior travel. That way, you won’t risk losing your medications in a lost checked bag. While you’re journeying through your destination, consider keeping them with you in a sealed bag so that there’s a smaller chance they’re stolen or misplaced as you move about between restaurants and hotels.