Hopping on a plane (or a train) and heading off to far-away lands is a joy many cherish. Of course, almost everyone loves traveling, but it is particularly appealing to seniors who now have more time and opportunity to venture out and quench their thirst for adventure.
Traveling allows seniors to break away from their same old routines, enrich their minds, and immerse themselves in new cultures and experiences. However, they may encounter numerous bumps in the road that could sabotage their plans and stop them from seizing the moment.
To ensure your parents’ travel experiences are free of hassle, keep these 8 helpful travel tips for seniors in mind when they get the itch to travel.
8 Helpful Travel Tips for Seniors to Overcome Common Traveling Challenges While Fulfilling Their Lust for Adventure
Top 8 Travel Tips for Seniors
Senior Travel Tip #1: Invest in Travel Insurance
Buying travel insurance is the number one tip for seniors’ traveling endeavors. Since venturing outside involves risks, travel medical insurance is a must, ensuring that your parents receive in-time medical attention when they are far from home.
As the healthcare cost in the U.S. can be a nightmare to deal with, having this extra protection in place can secure your parents physically and financially, knowing that they have a safety net to fall back on if a tragedy strikes.
Consider getting a policy that includes Cancel for Any Reason coverage for extra peace of mind. This insurance rider helps your parents get their deposits and prepaid expenses back for any reason in case they cannot travel.
Senior Travel Tip #2: Prepare Documents & Make Copies
When traveling to foreign countries, losing important documents is terrifying. Making at least three physical and digital backup copies of essential travel and identification documents, such as passports, travel insurance, driver’s licenses, vaccination cards, ID cards, etc, is a good idea.
Secure one set of copies in a zipper bag and put them in your parent’s hand-carry luggage while keeping one set for yourself. In the worst-case scenario, when their belongings are stolen, these copies can become unimaginably valuable in reducing waiting periods for the replacement process at the consulate.
Senior Travel Tip #3: Find Senior Discounts
Although airfare discounts for seniors are not common or widely advertised, a handful of airlines still offer them for seniors seeking to expand their horizons. The most common deal is 10% off on the total price for older adults between 50 and 60. Some airlines that offer a 10% discount to seniors are Air France, British Airways, United Airlines, and Delta.
Even though a 10% discount is more than what you could ask for, keep in mind that there are various ways to find cost-effective tickets. Signing up for newsletters and deal alerts and meticulously checking on departure dates and overall fees before sealing the deal are a few practices you can do to reduce the airfares for your parents.
Senior Travel Tip #4: Consider an International Phone Plan
When your parents land somewhere without any network connection in the U.S., the roaming rates for accessing data and making international phone calls can be astronomical. That’s why opting for an international cell phone plan is strongly recommended.
Help your parents check with their network provider to see if they offer international phone plans. If they do, ask them to activate international roaming. If your parents are iPhone users, switching or renting an unlocked iPhone is another solution.
Senior Travel Tip #5: Apply for a Passport Early
If your parents are yearning to travel overseas, they will need passports. The passport application can take some time, so it is ideal to apply for it at least 2-3 months before departure dates if your parents still need a passport.
Apply for the U.S. passport here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html/
Senior Travel Tip #6: Pack Smart & Travel Light
Not surprisingly, aging can bring a lot of physical challenges for seniors when traveling. That’s why it is always better to pack smart and travel light. Before packing, help your parents stay organized by making a packing list, with the essential things and items staying on top, such as medications, passports, boarding passes, etc.
One of the most excellent travel tips for seniors is to pay attention to the weight when buying luggage and carry-on bags. Lightweight luggage can give your parents extra kilos for essential packing. Carrying less baggage reduces the physical hassle of dragging heavy luggage while moving from transit to transit, saves time unpacking, and reduces the risk of injury.
Rolling clothes, using separate pouches to store miscellaneous and electronic items, and packing mini-size toiletries in anti-leak ziplock bags are practical tips to help your parents save space.
Pack breathable clothes in light colors, comfortable footwear, and water bottles if your parents travel to tropical countries. For winter trips, lean towards warm clothing and more layers, such as gloves, scarves, and non-slip boots, to help your parents stay warm and cozy when the temperature drops. If your parents aim for domestic destinations, remind them to pack even lighter since everything they need should be widely available.
Check the following link for more smart packing tips: https://www.roadscholar.org/senior-travel-tips/packing-tips/
Senior Travel Tip #7: Stock up on Medicines
Stocking medicines and storing them in multiple places can help your parents avoid digging through their luggage. Having plenty of medicines here and there ensures that your parents can keep up with their prescriptions in case their flight is delayed and they have checked in their luggage. Another tip to keep medicines handy is to prepare several or a week’s worth of medication so they can make it through the long flight or delay.
Senior Travel Tip #8: Research Accommodation in Advance
Accommodation is critical in ensuring your parents’ comfort throughout their trip, especially if they plan to stay a long time. A home-like hotel with services beyond your parents’ expectations and matching their specific needs can better accommodate them and allow them to thrive. Much like airplane tickets, early reservations secure a nice place to stay for your parents and offer some opportunities for early-bird discounts and deals. Some hotels cater services and facilities for seniors with mobility issues. Be sure to contact them to explain your requests and check if they assist seniors in particular physical conditions.
If you have questions about travel tips for seniors or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks senior living communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG
Searching for senior living help? At 12 Oaks Senior Living, we would love to learn more about your unique needs and the opportunity we may have to help you meet them. Our blog is one of the valuable resources we provide to inform and encourage seniors to lead fulfilling and thriving lives. Contact us today to schedule a visit.