Make the Most Out of Your Trip with a Little Preparation
Many seniors often feel that traveling is too risky or difficult, but with a little preparation and research, you can plan accessible trips and make memories to last a lifetime! Join our care team as we review the top 7 travel tips for seniors and get inspired for your next vacation!
Tip #1 – Talk to Your Healthcare Provider
Reach out to your primary care provider before you pack your bags. Be sure to explain your travel plans and discuss any travel precautions you should take to keep yourself safe. Your provider might want you to get a quick physical before you leave to make sure you’re up for long flights and more physical activity. Plan early and enjoy later! (HealthyAging.org)
Tip #2 – Pick the Right Time
Rick Steves, world-famous travel journalist, explains that senior travelers should aim to travel during a shoulder season (April through mid-May, or late September through October). These timeframes border busy seasons and can help you avoid the major crowds and the full heat of summer. (Savvy Senior Travelers)
Tip #3 – Pack Smart
Be sure to take a full supply of any medications you may be on and leave them in their original containers. If you’re flying, use your carry-on luggage for medications and your insurance card so they are easily accessible as you travel. By keeping your medications in your carry-on, you also avoid missing any doses if your checked bag doesn’t make it to your destination right away. If you can, bring an extra pair of glasses or dentures to avoid any headaches should either break while you’re gone. For the ultimate packing list, check out The Road Scholar’s Packing List for Seniors.
Tip #4 – Bring Snacks for Longer Travel Times
Don’t run the risk of low blood sugar, fatigue, or dehydration. Make sure you pack easy snacks like nutrition bars, nuts, trail mix, or crackers. If you’re flying, leave the fruit and beverages at home and purchase them once you’re inside the airport. To stay hydrated, bring a reusable bottle and fill it once you are past airport security. If you’re driving, be sure to keep snacks and extra water in your car to stay fueled for your trip! (RoadScholar.org)
Tip #5 – Find a Hotel That Meets Your Needs
If you have mobility limitations, it’s best to call hotels ahead of time to ensure they can accommodate your mobility aids. If you don’t have mobility aids, but still experience fatigue with activity, request a room on the first floor or close to the elevators to limit how much you have to walk. (National Council on Aging)
Tip #6 – Plan Your Days to Make Them as Accessible as Possible
Try going to major sightseeing areas later in the day when there are fewer crowds. This will help you get around easier and limit your exposure to illness. Look for accessible points of interest like museums. These attractions are more likely to have elevators to help you explore more easily. Consider taking a motorized tour! Rick Steves explains in his article Savvy Senior Travelers, that bus tours and boat tours are great for overviews of any city’s highlights. Don’t forget to plan breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge so you can make the most out of each day.
Tip #7 – Don’t Forget the Senior Discounts!
Many tourist destinations and sightseeing attractions offer discounts for senior travelers. Don’t be afraid to ask about discounts, even if you don’t see it posted. You’re likely to receive discounts from many local attractions including tours and transportation and even at restaurants and cafes. Take the discount, you deserve it!
Planning for Your Own Trip?
A quick Google search of “Tips for Senior Travelers” will give you all the information you need to plan well and enjoy your trip! We recommend checking out RickSteves.com, aarp.org, and roadscholar.org for the best information. If you or your family work with an in-home caregiver, they can help you make a packing list and get your belongings together to ensure you have everything you need for a wonderful trip!