Although many Americans end up leaving unused vacation days on the table every year, most …
Seniors who are young at heart are hitting the road. Travel is one of the favorite past times for seniors. Whether it’s a flight to an exotic new place or a road trip around the country, travel is inspiring seniors to explore every day.
Travel is different when you’re a senior compared to when you were younger; you will have different priorities and concerns pertaining to what activities you can do and where you want to go. With the average age of retirement being 63, many Americans in their 60s and 70s are looking for ways to make the most of their travel plans.
Check out these six travel tips for seniors to learn about how you can have a great time on your next vacation.
1. Make Time to Relax
It’s tempting to think of travel and vacations as a time when you should be doing everything you possibly can. There’s a temptation to book every tour, see every sight and try out every restaurant.
But relaxation is just as important. You can have a great, fulfilling trip and still build in lots of time to simply kick back with a good book and relax. Don’t be afraid to take some time off while you’re traveling in order to do nothing.
2. Make Sure You Have Your Documents
No matter where you’re traveling, ensure you’re prepared by bringing all appropriate documentation with you. You should have your passport, driver’s license, insurance card, tickets, and itinerary. Keep these in a safe place, either locked in your hotel room or on your person. You may even want to make sure a friend or family member has copies of these documents just in case.
3. Bring All Your Medications
In addition to documentation, you’ll want to remember all your prescriptions and medications as well. It’s important to maintain your regiment if you are on any medications. Just because you are on vacation does not mean that you don’t need to continue taking all your medications.
In the U.S. urgent care centers get about 50 visits every day, or three patients per hour. But you don’t want to be one of those visits while you’re on vacation. Ensure you have enough medication to cover the time you’ll be gone. If you don’t, talk to your doctor about getting a refill on any prescriptions that may run out before you get back home.
4. Try New Things…In Moderation
Speaking of safety, mind what you eat when you’re on vacation or traveling. Foods that you aren’t used to can upset your stomach or even make you ill. It’s fine to try new food on occasion, but it’s important to go about in moderation. See if you can find a list of ingredients before you indulge. This might help you decide if the dish will be potentially dangerous for you to eat.
5. Use Your Phone
Your phone is one of your best tools while you’re traveling. Whether you are jetting off to a country you’ve never visited or going on a road trip, your phone may be your lifeline to family members and emergency services. It can help you find directions if you’re in a bind or even connect you with other travelers. And with about 20% of the U.S. population hitting 65 or older by 2030, there are lots of other senior travelers to connect with. And, in fact, the world’s population of people aged 60 and older is projected to double between 2015 and 2050, from 12% to 22%.
But your phone can do so much more than just call for help. Some apps can help you find cheap gas stations while you’re on the road. Others can recommend the best places to eat based on your current location. And yet others will help you find entertainment when you stop for the night.
With your phone being so important, it’s obviously crucial that it stays charged and connected during your trip. Invest in a portable battery pack to charge your phone when you’re on the go. You should also ensure you’ll have data and cellphone service wherever you plan to go. It might seem like an extraneous expense, but you cannot rely on Wi-Fi when you hit the beach or hike a mountain.
6. Pick Your Destination Carefully
Finally, think carefully about where you intend to go and how you plan to get there. Many airlines offer discounted tickets to seniors, but the dates and times when you can use those discounts may be limited. Check around to see what kinds of deals you can get before you book your trip.
The same goes for places like hotels. You might find that certain areas of the country offer more discounts for seniors. If you’re planning on a road trip, you might be able to tailor your trip around those potential discounts.
But you don’t just need to plan for discounts: it’s important to consider the weather where you are going as well. Bad weather can ruin even the best-planned trip. If you have a flexible schedule, use that to your advantage to plan a trip that has the best chance for good weather. You may also be able to travel during off-seasons when most people can’t go on vacation, giving you a more private, one-of-a-kind experience.
Traveling is fun at any age, but it’s especially important for seniors to be safe while on the road. Consider these tips the next time you’re planning to go somewhere new.