Retirement is one of the best times to finally take that long vacation you’ve always dreamt about. With the responsibilities of work behind you and the freedom of retired life ahead, you are more available than ever to visit relatives in another country or enjoy the beaches of a foreign destination. But traveling at an older age comes with a certain set of challenges that can make seeing the world more troublesome than it needs to be.
In order to avoid issues pertaining to health, safety, and organization, planning ahead is absolutely crucial. Before you decide to start heading out this summer to travel the globe, take a look at these travel tips we’ve gathered here to help make your vacation more enjoyable.
Choosing When to Go
Being retired often means that you have more options of when to go on vacation, but with so many opportunities, when is the right time? The travel season that is typically the ideal time for seniors to go away is the “shoulder season.”
Typically, the shoulder season is from April to mid-June, and during the months of September and October. Being in between the peak season and its high prices and the low season with unpredictable weather, this time of the year is often most ideal for travellers looking for a relaxing and inexpensive vacation.
The shoulder season will help you save money because many flights and hotels are typically decently discounted during this time. Another positive of this season is the fact that you’ll be avoiding overcrowded resorts, airports, and tours while still experiencing decent travel weather.
Check with Your Physician
Always check with your doctor to ensure that any pre-existing conditions are properly managed before you decide to leave for an extended period of time. Ensure that all of your required medications (if any) are with you and make sure that you have enough to last the entirety of the trip. Remember to keep your prescription medications in their original bottles with the correct labels with your name to make the boarding process easier.
Packing for the Trip
The best packing tip for most travellers, especially seniors, is to make sure you pack light to lessen the physical strain on your body. Prepare for your trip by getting luggage that has wheels to make moving them around much easier for you. Carry-ons should be relatively small, if it works for your needs, so they can easily be stacked on top of your rolling luggage.
Make sure to pack some backups of important everyday items in case you lose something during your travels. If you wear glasses, bring an older pair as a spare set in the event your main pair is damaged or lost. Extra batteries can also be helpful, especially if they are for medical devices like hearing aids or blood glucose monitors.
Exploring the Destination
You’ll most likely be in an unfamiliar setting while away so ensuring you’re comfortable when moving around is important. If you are in good health, do some cardio exercises before your trip to prepare your body for the amount of walking you would be doing while away.
Fly direct to your destination to avoid the physical stress that comes with having to change planes and navigate other airports. If your only option is a flight with a layover, make sure you have one with a decent amount of time in between flights to give you more of an opportunity to get your bearings or stop to grab some food or drinks.
A good way to avoid excess stress on your body while abroad is to take a bus tour. These tours are often around two hours long and allow you to explore the country or city in a shaded or air-conditioned vehicle. Finally, don’t sightsee every day as that can be too taxing on the body. Instead, take a day off in between to relax and rest before heading out on another tour or excursion.
Itineraries are a helpful organizational tool for vacations that involve a lot of sightseeing and travel. If you plan to see the sights of whichever destination you are traveling to, your itinerary will map out the entirety of your day making it much more streamlined and relaxed.
Your travel agency should be able to either create an itinerary for you or help you create one based around your ideal trip. An itinerary will show you how much time you have in between activities and what modes of transportation you will take.
Stay Safe and Protect What Matters Most
It’s unfortunate, but many thieves and con artists target senior citizens because they think an older generation isn’t as alert when it comes to protecting valuables. But there are steps you can take to help avoid any trouble for yourself when on vacation.
Firstly, never bring any expensive jewelry and valuables with you on your trip. You don’t need your engagement ring or high value watches with you as you explore Italy or rest on a beach in Jamaica. Important documents and IDs should be kept in a hidden pocket somewhere under your clothes so they will be out of sight and can be accessed by you when you need them.
Always keep your bags within eyesight and reach when you are traveling. If your purse, backpack, or any other form of bag is not in your hands or on your person, keep them secure in between your feet.
This is your vacation and you deserve to enjoy every bit of it. Whether it’s a tour in another country across the world or simply a weekend getaway, take some time to consider the proper preparations so you can comfortably appreciate your time away. You’ve earned your vacation and these tips we’ve provided will help you get the most out of it without any