We all need a break from our routine every now and then. Some seniors shy away from going on vacation as they age, but just because you get older doesn’t mean you have to stop going on vacation. In fact, there are many great benefits of going on vacations as an older adult, including new opportunities to learn, stress relief, and more. But when traveling as a senior, it’s important to take some additional considerations into account when planning. We will outline some of the details to consider if you are traveling as a senior or traveling with an older adult.
Think about the Vacation Destination
Some vacation destinations may be more senior friendly than others. For example, some cities are easier to navigate with a car and other might require a great deal of walking. Seniors with limited mobility should avoid walking cities or plan to arrange a cab or Uber to help them get around.
The time of year can also affect whether a location would be a good fit. Many seniors are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so being in a cold city during the winter might not be the best idea. Of course, you can always choose a destination and pack your suitcase and arrange activities according to the weather.
If you’re looking for great summer vacation spots, check out this blog post.
Book Accommodations that Meet Your Needs
As you age, you might need different accommodations than you did when you were younger. For example, you might prefer to stay on the first floor or sleep in a king-sized bed. You might need grab bars in the shower or the extra space of a handicapped bathroom. When booking hotels or other places to stay, make sure you find something that meets your unique needs.
Tailor Your Travel
Wherever you are going, you’ll need to arrange travel — car, train, plane, cruise, etc. Some seniors may feel more comfortable with some methods of transportation than others. The type of transportation can also limit the amount of luggage you can take with you. You may also want to find seats with more space or that are closer to the restrooms for easier toileting.
When you are planning your travel arrangements, try to limit the number of times you have to change flights or catch another form of transportation. For example, if you have to get on the metro and then take a bus with your luggage.
Don’t Forget Medications
Seniors usually have a few prescription medications to help manage chronic conditions or other health complications. Before a senior goes on vacation, they should think about their medications and make sure they will have enough available for their trip.
Some medications may need to be refrigerated, too. Seniors should think about how they can transport those medications and keep them stored at a safe temperature throughout their vacation.
Plan Activities in Advance
As you age, it can be more challenging to be spontaneous on vacation. There are medication schedules, rest breaks, and other things to consider. That's why we recommend planning out activities in advance. This can help you figure out the most efficient way to spend your time. Plus, you can research activities in advance to find what sounds fun and meets your level of comfort.
While planning in advance may not seem very fun, it is a great way to help you avoid potential problems — like going to a museum that is sold out of tickets or getting to an excursion only to find out that it’s not a good fit for you because of a bad back. You can also minimize travel distance between activities and make sure that you are always near needed amenities. If planning isn’t your thing, you might benefit more from an all-inclusive vacation that takes care of the details for you.
Look for Senior Discounts
When you are planning your trip, look for senior discounts. Many companies worldwide offer discount services to seniors. Some even offer discounts for adults ages 50 and older. Small discounts can add up to significantly reduce the cost of a trip for a senior. This can be especially impactful for seniors living on a fixed income.
Check out some of the places you can get senior discounts — from restaurants to hotels — in our senior discount guide.
Expect the Unknown
Regardless of how much planning you put in your trip, there will always be things that go awry. You could miss your flight, get delayed to a reserved activity, or any number of things. Be prepared for things to deviate from your planning.
It’s also a good idea to have some extra supplies on hand, like extra clothes or medication. You might also want to pack a small first aid kit in case something happens.
Consider Extra Help
When planning a vacation, you should consider going with other family members or friends who can assist you if you need it. Plus, it’s a great way to build memories together. You could also look into senior traveling groups, which are designed to cater to the needs of seniors.
If you require more assistance than loved ones can provide, you can always arrange for a caregiver to come and help with personal care, transportation, and other needs. If you’re looking for assistance, our quality caregivers can help. Reach out to our team today.