There are no dubious hostels, stringent budgets or full-time jobs nagging for your return. Seniors are free to enjoy world travel just as much as – if not more than – travellers many years younger.
Sure, as a senior traveller you may face certain limitations: you’re not as mobile as used to be, for example. But this means only that you travel differently as a senior; it in no way means you don’t travel at all!
From seniors travel insurance to mobility and more, we’ve put together our top travel tips for 55 plus adults. Because what are your retirement years for if not a little (more) global discovery?
While we all love to plan for and anticipate the best holiday possible, and we should, we can’t risk not being prepared in the event that something does go wrong.
If you’re travelling without adequate travel insurance cover and require medical assistance abroad, for example, a visit to the hospital can end up costing you thousands. Not only can travel insurance protect you from a hefty medical bill, it can also protect you from costs relating to lost or stolen luggage, cancellations and more, depending on the cover you choose.
As a senior traveller, it’s important that you consider all of your personal needs when choosing cover, including your pre-existing medical conditions. It’s best that you purchase your travel insurance as soon as you book your trip too, so you’re covered in the case that you have to cancel or postpone it.
At insure4less, we can provide travel insurance for seniors up to the age of 90, as well as cover for most pre-existing conditions. Learn more about seniors travel insurance with insure4less.
Just as you’ll leave the dubious hostels to the younger, budget travellers, so too should you leave the last-minute planning.
Now, we’re not saying that you can’t enjoy any spontaneity on your holiday, however (and depending on your personal needs) you’ll want to have most of your holiday set in stone, most importantly accommodation and transportation. The flavour of gelato you choose to sample in Florence? That you can leave up to the moment…
Do your research, or call on family, friends or a trusted travel agent to help with preparations. You may want to consider a packaged tour or even a cruise holiday, as many of these cater to senior travellers and take care of almost everything. You’ll often skip the queues and enjoy in-depth discoveries with knowledgeable tour guides, too.
Though if you prefer to travel on your own, ensure you organise your transfers to and from the airport and between your accommodation, whether taxi or shuttle bus services, look for those that offer assistance with luggage. You’ll also want to ensure you’re staying in centrally located hotels with amenities to suit your needs – check for elevators – and be aware of the medical facilities available in the area.
No matter how you’re travelling, you’ll want to be familiar with the culture and climate of your holiday destination, so again ensure to do your research. It pays to be equipped with a pocket travel guide to help with foreign phrases, local customs and more.
Get to the doctors before you set off
Always a good idea no matter your age or where you’re travelling, a check-up with your trusted GP (as well as any other healthcare providers you see regularly) can ensure your health is in check before you set off overseas.
You’ll receive all that you need to help you stay safe and healthy while on holiday: vaccinations, medications and prescriptions, as well as advice relating to your personal health and any special precautions you may like to take, such as being mindful of changes to your eating habits.
Ensure to get a signed note from your doctor detailing any prescription medication you’re taking with you, and be prepared with a few extra days’ worth of your regular medication in the event that you experience travel delays and find yourself in need. Don’t forget to pack all your medication in your carry-on luggage so it’s with you at all times during travel!
When you call Australia home, making for another country is generally no small endeavour.
Usually, you’re looking at one (sometimes two) stopovers on the journey to your destination, and up to 20 hours or more of solid travel – exhausting, right?!
This is why it’s worth looking into extending your stopovers to get more rest along the way. Places like Dubai and Singapore, popular stops en route to Europe, are actually fascinating destinations with plenty of things to do – or at least with plenty of hotels in which to get some much-needed shuteye if only for a night!
During your flights, ensure you stay hydrated and to stretch and move about the cabin regularly when it is safe to do so. There is research to suggest that the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) increases on long-haul flights, so you may also want to consider compression stockings to increase blood flow in your lower legs. This would be something to discuss with your doctor during your pre-holiday check-up.
If you’ll require assistance throughout the airport and on the plane, be sure to get in touch with the airline you’re travelling with to arrange this before you leave. This way, you’ll be taken care of at departure and upon arrival at your destination.
Unfortunately, senior travellers can be a prime target for thieves and pickpockets. So when you’re adorned in Tiffany’s finest? You’ll look plenty fine, sure, but particularly so in the eyes of thieves…
Avoid wearing a lot of jewellery and expensive items when you’re out and about, and take only what you need in a secure travel belt around your waist. Try not to travel too much at night, and always carry emergency contact details with you, including those of the nearest Australian Embassy.
It’s handy also to leave a copy of your important travel documents with a family member or trusted friend at home, just in case.
Travelling is one of the best ways to truly cherish and make the most of your senior years; you’ve sure earned it after all. By taking care to prepare yourself and travelling more carefully and thoughtfully than you might have perhaps thirty or forty years ago, the world is yours to discover without worry.
For even more tips on preparing for and making the most of your next dream holiday, check out our Travel Checklist.