While summer marks a great time for working adults to take a vacation, it is also a great opportunity for senior citizens and retirees to book a holiday. During this time of year, the weather is beautiful, attractions are often open extended hours, and children and grandchildren are usually on vacation from school or work and available to travel.
Whether you are planning on boarding a flight to Europe or renting a holiday house in rural Victoria, here are some travel tips to keep in mind.
Feel like you cannot leave home with that extra pair of pants or a shirt for a fancy dinner?
One of the key tips for packing light is to plan out your trip so that you know what activities you will be participating in and what type of clothing you will need for each activity. Remember, most vacation destinations have laundry facilities so you can take fewer clothes and do laundry if required.
If you pack light, your luggage will be easier to carry, there is less to lose, and you might even save money if you travel with a carry on instead of checking luggage under the plane.
When elderly passengers fly they have an even greater risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) than younger passengers. This condition can be very dangerous and of course more difficult to treat when overseas or interstate.
Some ways to stay safe and healthy on the plane are:
No one wants to be stuck in Thailand searching for a doctor to write a prescription for a medication renewal. A trip for seniors is to make sure that you have enough medication for the duration of your trip plus an extra few days in case of delays. It is also important to bring a copy of your prescriptions in case you need to see a doctor or do unexpectedly run out.
Or, buying or hiring a mobility scooter could be the right decision for senior travel for your upcoming vacation. Travelling, especially through airports, involves a lot of walking and it is important not to overwork yourself. There are a number of mobility scooters such as the ATTO mobility scooter or the Yoga folding mobility scooter that easily folds up into a suitcase and can easily be transported through airports and hotel hallways.
Something else to keep in mind is that showers in hotels do not always have bath mats which could cause a slipping hazard. These shower sandals have grips similar to those of bathmats so that your shower is slip-free.
If you are not bringing your own assisted devices, but need to hire a wheelchair during your journey, make sure to make all of the arrangements before leaving. For example, when elderly passengers fly, Melbourne Airport lists the services available for people with disabilities including the procedures for needing a wheelchair.
During events or concerts, if you are using a wheelchair or mobility scooter, there may be a special entrance to the venue or special arrangements might have to be made for a ramp. While these are often available, arrangements might need to be made prior to arrival.
While staying safe is always important, it is important to be extra vigilant for senior travel especially when in an unfamiliar place. Try to leave most valuables at home and if you do have to bring them along, we recommend carrying them in places that are difficult to steal from. Wearing a money belt or travel pouch can help keep your valuables close and secure.
Another part of staying safe is staying in touch with family or friends. Like with anyone who is travelling, it is important to share your itinerary with someone who you trust like a child or grandchild.
It is also important to make sure that you can safely travel to the destinations you are planning to visit.
Before you leave on your adventure make sure that you:
Many tourist attractions offer discounts for seniors. Make sure that you ask what type of discounts are available before paying general admission prices.
Before you leave, make sure that you have an up to date seniors card. This type of identification will often be required in order to take advantage of these discounts and other special offers.
The most important travel tip for seniors is to be well-rested. The best way of doing that is to sleep on the plane or train en route to your destination. Using a travel pillow or a peanut pillow can provide your neck with additional support and comfort, especially if you are travelling overseas and will be sitting (and trying to fall asleep) for long periods of time.
Don’t forget that it can take longer for older people to recover from jet lag so leave yourself an extra window to adjust to the time difference, especially if it is more than a couple of hours.
While on vacation, it is important to balance sightseeing with downtime to unwind and enjoy the change of environment.