After years of working hard and taking care of your family and your home, retirement is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your labor. World travel has become increasingly popular among seniors over the last few decades and is one of the best ways to make new memories and like minded friends.
In this guide, we're discussing ten tips that seniors and retirees need to know to get the most out of their travel plans. From health and safety considerations to financial tips, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you want to ensure the most enjoyable and relaxing travel experience.
Careful consideration and planning are crucial to successful travel plans —especially for seniors. If you or your spouse has specialized travel needs, such as wheelchair accessibility or guide dog availability, it's important to plan for this ahead of your trip. Consider your physical needs and how easy it will be to travel to your chosen destination. For example, if you have limited mobility, you may want to avoid busy cities that are fast paced or areas that aren't easily accessible. If you aren't sure about a particular destination, there are tour operators available who specialize in accommodating the needs of seniors, which can be an excellent resource.
When traveling out of town, it's important to consult with your doctor before you leave. This is especially true if you have any health issues and require ongoing care or medication. Having your doctor check-up on the basics, such as blood pressure, and getting up to date on routine vaccinations such as the flu shot, is vital. If you do have any health concerns, it's essential to address them before you leave for an unfamiliar place. Similarly, you should also renew and fill any prescriptions that you have, and remember to pack your medications for the trip.
Many popular airlines, such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and British Airways, offer seniors discounted airfares. This is an essential perk for seniors who are trying to stretch their retirement as far as possible and could save you hundreds of dollars on your trip.
Even if an airline doesn't advertise a specific senior discount, it doesn't hurt to ask.
If you're traveling outside of the U.S., it's imperative that you purchase supplemental travel insurance. If you fall ill while on vacation or have an accident, your health care expenses will not be covered by Medicare (except in a few select cases).
When choosing travel insurance, it's crucial to thoroughly research your available options, and acknowledge any existing medical conditions you have. If you fail to purchase adequate insurance that meets your needs, you may find yourself in a difficult position if disaster strikes.
Packing only the essential is one of the best ways to avoid being tethered to a pile of heavy luggage. If you can limit your luggage to a single carry-on or one roller suitcase, you'll make navigating the airport and an unfamiliar location infinitely easier.
By researching your destination and the types of activities you plan to do, you can pack accordingly and avoid taking items that aren't needed. It's also a good idea to plan on doing some laundry while you're away — as this will inevitably be cheaper than paying for an extra suitcase!
Catching the stomach flu is miserable at any time, but it's particularly awful when you're on vacation. In some locations, it isn't safe to drink the tap water, so it's essential to do your research and know what to expect.
You should also be mindful of consuming street food, or meals from any establishment that doesn't look clean. Although this can sometimes be difficult to determine, it's important to err on the side of caution if you want to avoid a nasty stomach bug.
If you're planning on visiting a cultural hotspot and engaging in plenty of sight seeing, you can make your experience a lot more enjoyable by researching online before you go.
Many travel websites give great advice on the best times to visit landmarks if you want to avoid the crowds. For example, later in the day is typically when there are fewer people around, making it easier to navigate popular tourist spots.
Unfortunately, popular tourist destinations are also a target for petty criminals and those trying to make a quick buck. It's crucial that you stay vigilant when traveling, and also try not to attract attention to yourself.
Replace your usual watch and jewelry with cheaper "travel-friendly" ones that you won't be upset about losing. This can also help lower your risk of being noticed by petty thieves or scam artists.
Before you set off on your trip, be sure to let family and friends know your travel plans, as well as checking in with them periodically on your trip. This will help to give them peace of mind, and also give you the opportunity to regale them with your travel adventures!
Travel is all about broadening your horizons and experiencing different cultures, so make the most of your time away! Enjoy the food, take plenty of photographs, and make unforgettable memories that last a lifetime — after all, you've earned it!
Sources: https://www.moneytalksnews.com/airlines-that-offer-senior-discounts/, https://bestlifeonline.com/countries-with-worst-tap-water/