Senior travel tips
Baby boomers are on the roll. They no longer want to stay local and are now wanting to see the world and experience things different. They are impatient to move and some of them even want to write about their adventures and encounters while traveling. The internet has further added to their zeal by disseminating more detailed information on the destinations. Ensconced in the comfort of their home they can at leisure plan and chalk out their itinerary and take off at the decided hour. However, still they need to avoid pitfalls and be aware of certain issues that are essential for making their travel a pleasant and a successful one.
When to travel: the first and foremost act, if you are a senior, should be your choice of the season you are traveling in. Ideally, you should travel before fall and after spring when it’s relatively cool and not too hot. This shoulder season is good as the rush for flights also is not too much and the destinations too are generally not so crowded. Along with this is the time you have on hand for your travel. It should be within your comfort zone and you should not feel rushed into visiting all the places you want to.
Cheap or discounted fare: once you have decide on the destination you need to know how much it’ll cost you. For seniors discounted and cheap fares are available, domestic or international. For popular destinations, special packages are often offered for individuals and groups. Options for certain individuals of similar tastes and interests to be clubbed together for a special group fare are sometimes also there.
Insurance: it is risky to travel without travel insurance and it is practically a must to have one. The cost factor may be a bit higher considering the age but it compensates for the health related problems you might incur for some reason or the other.
Preparation: pre-trip planning is a must:
- You need to take photocopies of your passport, visa, health, insurance, medical prescriptions, etc. And hand over a set to a friend or family member and keep another set with yourself away from the originals.
- Obtain a telephone calling card and jot down all the important numbers that may be required in case of an emergency. Carry only one or two credit cards with you and keep the rest away in a safe place. Along with the telephone numbers you can also note down the credit card numbers.
- Pack clothes suitable to the destination and travel light. Secure your credit cards and money in a money belt or in a pouch placed in the inner recesses of your clothes and display a dummy wallet on the outside. Also pack your medicines and a few extra snacks for the journey.
Airport and In-flight: arrive early as per the requisite time of the airline.
- If required request for a wheelchair to take you through security and to the boarding gate.
- Once in the aircraft the flight attendant would assist you in placing your hand bag in the overhead bin.
- Make sure your medicines and snacks are not in that bag.
- During the flight keep moving around here to reduce the risk of DVT and keep drinking water to avoid dehydration.
- An inflatable pillow, slippers and an eye mask are good options to have brought along.
Destination: to enjoy your vacation you must see to the following:
- Relax for the first couple of days to get over the jet lag and acclimatize yourself with the surroundings.
- Utilize this relaxation time to make enquiries on the tourist spots and other attractions of the city you have come to.
- You can also familiarize yourself with the transportation system that you might require for your commuting.
- Wear clothes suitable to the environment and do not exert yourself.
- Keep a low profile and try and not stand out alone in a crowd- rather mingle with them.
- Carry with you all the time your senior card, your medicines and a bottle of water.
- If it’s a hot place you have come to then always wear a hat to avoid a sunstroke.
Keep regularly in touch with a friend or family at home.