When people get a little older, travelling, especially a long distance or to an unfamiliar climate, may pose some challenges. But as demographic trends reveal, getting older is not what it used to be, with people living and staying active for longer – meaning that travel stays on the agenda and can be just, if not more, as rewarding than it was when they were younger. With just a little extra planning and care, travelling for seniors can remain completely safe and enjoyable.
- Get travel insurance
The first port of call before departure should always be a reputable travel insurer. Check first if you are automatically covered to your satisfaction by your own credit card company or home insurance policy, but if not, it’s essential to organize this, as senior travelers may be more at risk of falling or having other accidents. If travelling from countries with universal health care, it’s important to take into consideration the fact that in many countries, healthcare access is ‘user pays’ only and bills could be unexpectedly steep. Travel insurance will also cover any financial complications resulting from loss of credit cards, booking problems, missed flights and lost belongings, so it’s a priority for peace of mind.
- Consider what to eat
When people get older, they’re often taking more medication and may have a more delicate digestion and can be on restricted diets, so in order to prevent unpleasant repercussions, it may be best to stick to food choices you know from experience are suitable. By all means try the local cuisine and enjoy the experience but if in doubt, stick to your tried and tested favorites. You may also be surprised at just how much more hydration you need when in a hotter climate – drinking plenty of clean cold water is always a good idea.
- Keep someone notified of your movements
Senior travellers should keep others apprised of their daily itinerary, especially solo explorers. Locally, this could include your hotel staff, and it’s also helpful to keep any relatives at home familiar with your plans. Having a mobile phone with a local SIM if your own doesn’t work at your destination is always a good idea and means you’ll always have a way to contact help if the situation demands it.
- Keep a fairly low profile
Everyone wants to look stylish when they’re sightseeing but displaying too many eye-catching items such as expensive jewelry and top-end electronic devices can make you a target for thieves. This applies to cash as well; if you’re surrounded by cash machines (most of which will accept your personal bank cards), there’s no need to have large amounts of cash on you. If you choose a hotel or travel package that provides an ‘all-inclusive’ stay, it may simplify matters.
- Choose a place to stay wisely
Price isn’t always everything – location and reputation can go a very long way towards making your holiday a dream or a disaster. The sheer volume of promotions or deals at your travel agent or online can be overwhelming, but if you stick with well-known international brands with high consumer satisfaction, you’ll avoid trouble.
“There’re so many options these days for senior travellers, making travelling much more attractive. Many of our properties both domestically and internationally make for perfect destinations for young-at-heart seniors”, commented David R.Good, VP of Operations at Centara Hotels & Resorts.
Last but not least, remember that you are on vacation to “Have Fun” so forget about “Age and Figure” for a while. Open your eyes, enjoy yourself and create your own adventurous journey!