Updated: May 28
You’ve worked hard throughout your entire career, raised your family, and saved diligently for retirement. Now is your time to take those bucket list vacations and see the sights that were once just a dream.
While many retirees have waited until their later years to have the means to see the world, advanced age and physical limitations have the potential to dampen your vacation in ways that may not have been a consideration in your earlier years. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to protect yourself and your belongings while traveling. Listed below are the top 5 tips senior travelers should follow when checking off those bucket list trips.
Your dream vacation is not without its potential dangers, making travel insurance a necessary expense. Senior travelers are more likely to need to cancel trips at the last minute, or visit a doctor or hospital during the trip due to injury or illness. Work with your travel agent, or do your research to ensure you purchase a comprehensive plan that provides financial compensation if you have to cancel a trip, fall ill or injured during your trip, lose luggage or other valuables, or experience delays that result in loss of time and money.
Depending on your destination, your medications could become a problem during your journey. Some countries may question the medications you are bringing, so planning ahead by securing a doctor’s note will help ensure smooth passage through customs.
It is especially important to keep medications in your carry-on when flying in case of major delays or lost luggage. When in your hotel, secure the bulk of your medicines in your room safe alongside you valuables, then take the dosage you need for the day with you to limit the damage if something is lost or stolen. Most importantly, fill all prescriptions early so that you have enough to last you a few days after your trip is scheduled to end, in case you are delayed for any reason.
Food and Drinks
It’s easy to forget our diets on vacation, believing we have earned the right to splurge. While this may be true, it can also be more of a detriment to forget dietary restrictions or needs as we age, especially in an unfamiliar place. As such, remember to stick to your diet and meal times as much as possible to avoid any sudden or severe illnesses. Lack of proper medical care could accompany an unknown disease which can, at best, ruin part of your vacation. Any concerns ahead of time around unfamiliar food and water sources, and their interaction with your medications, should be discussed with your doctor.
It’s an unfortunate fact that tourists, especially senior travelers, are often targets of scams, theft, and other potential crimes. Most, if not all, of your jewelry should stay home. Whatever you do bring, keep it in your room safe when not using it, alongside your medications, important documents, and excess money.
Never assume that your possessions are safe in your room either, as thieves look for the clean room signs on doors where they know senior travelers are staying. The sign is a clear indication that you are not there, so it’s best not to use them and allow the cleaning staff to reach your room on their own timeline. Do not advertise that you are away on social media, because thieves will also target your home knowing no one is there.
Perhaps most importantly, remember your physical limitations. Like your food and drink intake, it’s easy to want to take full advantage of your time and try to fit everything you want to see and do into a short timetable. Instead you may find yourself burnt out, exhausted, and even sick during your dream vacation. Stick to your normal routine as much as possible to make sure you have the strength and energy to see everything. Wake up and go to bed at your normal times, take breaks throughout the day, and don’t miss your daily nap if this is part of your routine.
Following these few simple guidelines will ensure your dream vacation is exactly that. You’ve worked too hard in your life to allow avoidable challenges to ruin your trip.
Article Submitted by:
Kim Reynolds, Cruise Planners Travel Advisor