Regardless of age, travelers should always plan their journeys to ensure a safe and comfortable trip. Age shouldn’t stop someone from traveling. In fact, vacationing can be very beneficial for seniors, but intricate planning is even more important to the senior traveler. Here are 7 tips to travel comfortably and safely as a senior.
1. Plan a Travel Itinerary
The most important thing you can do to make your travels smoother is to plan a travel itinerary. You want to limit the amount of time you’re on your feet and negate any potential stressful scenarios. When planning your trip itinerary, consider the following:
- Choose a hotel or accommodation that is close to all your plans. This will limit unnecessary travel times.
- Designate your plans for particular days at particular times. Do not play it by ear. Doing this will allow you to plan your commutes in advance, saving you time traveling.
- Plan your trip from the airport to your accommodation and back in advance. You will want your transport ready to bring you to the airport as soon as you land and drop you in perfect time for your flight.
2. Book Non-Stop Flights
Long flights with layovers can be punishing on your energy. Try to book direct flights to and from your destination to save long waits in airports and keep you from potentially missing connections. This will lessen the amount of planning required for your journey and streamline your trip.
However, for longer distances, direct flights may not always be possible. In this case, it’s recommended to actually extend the period of time between your connecting flights. If you leave a 24-hour or more period between each flight, you will have ample time to book a hotel and get a proper rest. While this does extend the trip’s time and may cost more, it can make your trip much more comfortable and less stressful.
3. Let the Airline Know in Advance if Assistance Is Required
When booking your flights, let your airline know of any assistance that may be required. Assistance can include expedited screening, a wheelchair or drive by cart to your gate, and help with movement and baggage upon arrival at your destination. Depending on the airline, sometimes you can request assistance during the booking process. Other airlines may require you to phone ahead. It’s recommended to let the airline know that you will be flying with them prior to traveling and let them know of any requirements you need well in advance. Letting your requirements be known and planned well in advance will make your trip smoother.
4. Travel with a Companion
It’s recommended to travel with a family member, friend, or caregiver to help you through the process. If you have any conditions or struggle with physical tasks, a companion can help you with your trip. This includes planning your trip itinerary, booking travel and hotel arrangements, and assisting with baggage, boarding, and any medications you take.
5. Travel between Mid-Morning & Mid-Afternoon
Travel during the day as opposed to early in the morning or late at night. This can allow you to get a proper night's rest prior to your travels and to rest properly upon your arrival at your destination. Traveling overnight can cause some breathing difficulties. If you have any prior breathing issues, consult your doctor before your travels.
6. Bring Medications in Your Carry-On
Bring any important medications with you in your hand luggage. Do not put them in checked luggage in case your bag could be mishandled or lost. There are some qualifiers that should be noted when traveling with medications as listed on TSA’s website. It’s always an good to bring a list of your medications and their dosages in case you lose anything and need to visit a doctor.
7. Look into Travel Insurance
Many seniors should consider travel insurance. Knowing that you’re insured on your trip allows you to travel stress-free. Many younger generations can travel without insurance. However, these insurance policies are put in place, so if you get hurt, sick, or have an emergency, you can get a refund for your trip.
One option is to look into the cost of trip insurance for your travels. If you travel often, some travel focused credit cards cover automatic trip cancellation insurance as long as you buy the plane ticket on the card. Make sure you fully understand how credit works and to follow good financial habits.
When planning a trip as a senior, follow these guidelines. With proper planning and organization, seniors can make their travels much smoother, and overall a safer, more comfortable experience. For more information on how to travel safely, contact a Caring team near you! Our knowledgeable staff can provide guidance and even accompany you on your trip if needed.