Tips for Safe Senior Travel
There is nothing more exciting than picking out your next trip — there are so many places to go, so many cultures to learn about and so many different kinds of food to try. It can also, no matter your age, be a very stressful thing to plan for. From making sure that your house is taken care of to packing all of the right gear and supplies, there are a lot of things to take into account before the next adventure. For seniors this can be even more of an undertaking, as you could be planning around limited mobility, specific dietary needs, or a whole host of other restrictions. That does not mean you can’t travel! There are actually many perks to traveling as a senior, from discounts to specials on tour groups. Keep reading for all of our best tips on traveling safely and enjoyably as a senior!
First of all, it is important to make sure that all of your house is in order before you leave. Don’t make it obvious to potential thieves or intruders that you are leaving your residence for an extended period of time and creating a possible target. It can be prudent to as a friend, neighbor, or relative to check in on the house occasionally to make it seem as though there are still people around. This can check off a couple boxes on your prep list by also asking said friend to water plants, pick up mail, and take care of any pets in your absence. You can ask a grandson to do it for a little extra pocket money, or create a trade-off system with neighbors as a contingency plan for when any of you travel.
It is also key to make an exhaustive packing checklist. No matter how well you think you know everything you need, it always happens that a toothbrush is forgotten or spare glasses left behind. It’s not always a problem if these are generic items purchasable in any store, but if you forget to take items like medicine or medical equipment along with you, then you’re out of luck. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure to pack enough pills as well as that sunscreen for when you’re soaking up the rays.
Think about the weather of your final destination when you are packing. Will it be raining? Is it going to be much warmer than your current climate, or much cooler? Taking the right clothes can make or break a trip — if you are uncomfortable in what you’re wearing you won’t have as much fun or be able to enjoy your surroundings. Equally important: comfortable shoes! If you’re doing a lot of walking it is always better to be comfortable than to limp around in your best heels or the brogues that pinch your feet.
It’s safer, too. Unfortunately, seniors can be seen as easy targets for pickpockets, thieves, and other well-wishers. Shoes that allow you to walk at an easy but steady pace and stay with your group will help to keep you safe. Also think about your accommodations — people think of hotels as safe places but they can be a target for thievery, especially if the robber is looking for jewelry, currency, and passports. Always store your valuables in a secure location and stay aware of your surroundings.
Comfort is key in route to your destination, as well. If you are flying, wear loose clothing to keep blood pressure low and make sure to walk around the plane to prevent blood clots during longer flights. Also if your bag is large and bulky and you have a layover or two, consider checking it so you don’t have to drag it all around the airport and on and off the plane. And make sure to always get to the airport early in case of flight changes or overly long lines.
Finally, look into senior specials at your final destination! There are frequently discounts available, and even tour groups catering especially to adventurous seniors like yourself.