Who doesn’t want a great trip? While vacations can leave seniors feeling invigorated and energized — the planning process can also be a bit stressful. The good news? With a little extra preparation, travelers can feel more at ease about their travel plans. And the 55+ crowd can also take advantage of some new travel perks and discounts to help make that trip go as smoothly as possible. InsureMyTrip rounded up some tips and ideas to help seniors travel worry-free.
1. Have Luggage Delivered
Wouldn’t it be easy to arrive at your destination without having to lug all that hefty baggage around? There are new delivery services like Luggage Forward that transport gear to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. It allows them to walk through the airport with no excess luggage or baggage.
2. Don’t Cut Corners
Don’t cut corners. You don’t have to spend extravagantly, but at this time in your life, you know what you want. If you make all your plans based on price alone, you will be disappointed, having not gotten the best value
for your time or your money. (Source: TourMatters)
3. Hire A Travel Companion
Seniors who want to travel, but may not be as mobile, can hire a travel companion. This specialized service is offered by companies like SYNERGY HomeCare. A senior can hire a caregiver to accompany them on a trip and give them whatever assistance they may need. A service like this gives the senior peace of mind.
4. Beware of Free Wi-Fi
Avoid pulling up private documents or your online banking information, when using free Wi-Fi. If you are in a coffee shop, hotel or airport, make sure you are using the legitimate, free Wi-Fi service by asking a staff member how to access it. (Source: AVG Technologies)
5. Make Document Copies
Bring extra copies of all travel documents. If a passport or wallet is stolen or lost, extra copies in hand of passport or driver’s license can help speed up assistance at the consulate. (Source: AARP)
6. Renew Passport
Some countries will deny travelers entry if their passport expires six months from arrival date. Renewing passport can save travelers a big headache. (Source: AARP)
7. Contact Credit Card Company
Travelers should call their credit card companies and alert them on what countries will be visited during a trip. This way, the fraud department will not put a hold on the card when in use abroad.
8. Find Senior Discounts
Always ask for senior discounts. Many places including museums, churches, train tickets and other attractions have discounted ticket prices for seniors and carrying around your passport or any ID card would enable you to claim them. Although some places do not display the discounted prices, it wouldn’t hurt to ask the staff and check! (Source: Rinita, BonAppetour)
9. Take Breaks
Wear flat shoes that cover the entire foot, bring trekking pole and use it when walking through city streets as well ruins
and consolidate your belongings so it all fits in one comfortable bag and is easily accessible. Schedule time for rest during the day. (Source: Adios Adventure Travel)
10. Use Anti-Theft Bags
Consider an anti-theft handbag or fanny pack designed to cover, protect, conceal and discourage pickpockets.
11. Get International Cell Phone Plan
Some mobile phones don’t have a network connection outside of the U.S., but for those that do, you’re likely to be charged roaming fees for accessing data and making calls while abroad. Check with your provider to see if your current plan allows for international calling, and if they don’t, see if you can activate international calling, rent an international phone, or purchase an unlocked phone (with an international SIM card) for use on your trip. (Source: Go Ahead, a division of EF Education First that provides adult tours.)
12. Find a Destination that’s Aligned with Your Interests
Choosing a destination that’s aligned with your interests is going to ensure that you’re engaged and interested during your travels. A nature lover might consider a safari in Tanzania or a Galapagos cruise, while someone with a love of fine wines would be thrilled with a French river cruise along the Rhine. If you have multiple interests, see if you can find one destination that highlights two or more of them. If you’re a nature lover who happens to also love fine wines, for example, you can easily experience both in South Africa. (Source: Jeremy Palmer, Senior Vice President, Tauck Land Journeys)
13. Travel Off Season
If you are retired, and can choose to travel at any time, choose the off-peak season. Shoulder seasons (ex. Apr-mid June or Sep-Oct) would be allow you to avoid the massive tourist crowds, long lines, and the heat of
the summer. (Source: BonAppetour)
14. Pack Medications
Take full supply of prescription medication and nonprescription medications, like viatmins and supplements. It may be difficult to find a pharmacy out of the country. (Source: RickSteves.com)
15. Request Ground-Floor Room
Stairs a problem? Request a first floor room. Also, consider what easy transportation options are available nearby when choosing a hotel. (Source: RickSteves.com)
16. Choose The Right Disability Option
Some airlines, like SouthWest, enable travelers to select disability options when booking a flight. For example, requesting assistance to and from the gate. (Source: ThePointsGuy)
17. Be Comfortable
There are a slew of clothes and accessories to help seniors travel easier. Compression socks, walking shoes, fanny packs and more. (Source: Senior Travel Store)
18. Pack Light
19. Consider Vacation Rental
Going on a trip with the grandkids? About 40% of U.S. leisure travelers surveyed by Preferrred Hotels in 2011 said they had taken a multi-generational trip within the past year. (Source: Senior Living Magazine)
20. Compare Travel Insurance
Travel insurance can provide coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel delay, baggage, emergency medical care and emergency evacuation.
Do you have a travel tips? Share it in the comments section below.