Whether you’re a lifelong traveler or want to dive into a new adventure during your senior years, retirement is a great time to see the world. It’s important to plan ahead when traveling, and this is especially true for older adults. From a short road trip to an overseas adventure, making plans in advance can save you a lot of inconveniences later. It also allows you to focus less on the details – and more on making memories – once you arrive at your destination. Here are a few senior travel tips to keep in mind for a smooth trip.
Creating an itinerary is one of the best ways to prepare for your trip. Document where you’re going, where you’ll be staying, flight information and the sights you plan to visit. If you are traveling alone, ensure you have ways to communicate with your loved ones back home, including a cell phone, chargers, and any adaptors you’ll need if traveling internationally. Even if you’re traveling with a partner or group, it’s wise to give someone back home a copy of your itinerary for safety reasons.
Your packing list might include comfortable clothes, travel snacks and leaving plenty of room for souvenirs – but there are a few other key things you’ll want to take, too. It’s important to bring enough medication for the duration of your stay, including any potential travel delays. It’s also good to travel with paper (or electronic) copies of your medical records, just in case you need care while you are away from your regular heath care provider.
The CDC has provided specific travel guidelines for older adults that include checking in with a health care provider one month before leaving. Discuss where you’ll be going, what you plan to do and any medications you’re currently taking. They can check whether you’re up to date on your routine vaccines to protect yourself from infectious diseases. You can also discuss any health issues that could impact you while on your trip, including chronic conditions such as hypertension.
There are simple things you can do to stay safe and healthy while traveling at any age. Wash your hands often, and carry hand sanitizer with you. Do not participate in strenuous or new-to-you activities if you have not discussed doing so with your doctor. It’s also smart to bring a first aid kit with antibacterial ointment, bandages, aloe for sunburns, a digital thermometer and tweezers. (If flying, be sure to check regulations on what you are allowed to pack.)
Most importantly, don’t push yourself too hard on your trip. If you want to visit a particular site or do an activity but are worried about your physical ability to do so, it’s always worth asking about accommodations. Many places can provide assistance or devices to help you do things your way. Stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes and remember to put on sunscreen.
Traveling is a great way to experience new places at any age. With a little preparation and these travel tips for seniors, the sky’s the limit for the things you can see and do. Advent Christian Village is a faith-based community of older adults who want to live life to the fullest during retirement. We plan exciting trips, outings and events for residents of all interests and activity levels.