Senior & Baby Boomer Travel Tips - For Seamless Success
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Any season can be a favorite time to travel, both near and far. But a really successful trip takes a lot of detail and planning – especially senior citizen travel, if you’re ripening in years. (I won’t use the “getting old” phrase). It’s true as we ripen we may soften a bit. Get a little wrinkled. Maybe sometimes feel like we’re ready to fall off the tree.
But don’t let that stop you from traveling! There is fun to be had at any age, no matter what your challenges may be. Retirement traveling is the favorite retirement activity. And there are a ton of ideas to help you plan and organize.
So first ask yourself what your travel goal is. Having an actual goal makes it ever-so-much more exciting. (You do have one, right?) Gourmet cooking perhaps? A winery experience – maybe abroad? A hobby? Historical info? Are you into high adventure? How about metal detecting?
(That, in fact, is a fascinating experience. I know an elderly man who metal detects all over the world on a regular basis. He also brings along groups and teaches them how. One of his favorite spots is the beaches of Mexico. He now has a shoe box of diamond and jeweled jewelry that he hauls out for his extended family a couple times a year at gatherings. And they all get to sift through the shoebox and take home a souvenir. Or two. He and his wife now have so much gold and jewelry of their own now, they don’t want anymore. All from metal detecting).
Even if you’re a last-minute planner, you’ll want to be at least comfortable. And if you’re a senior, you may have many special considerations to think about – do you know them? Especially if you’re going overseas. Do you really know about the food, drink, sanitation, and…er…bathroom facilities? I mean…really? Do you know the areas and restaurants visitors are truly safe in? I can tell you first hand, it is not always what they say in the glossy brochures. And the phrase mid-priced, or 4-star hotel can mean drastically different things in different places. (I remember checking into a so-called 4-star hotel near Disneyland – I will not name it. There were a couple cockroaches the size of my big toe on the wall over the bed. Needless to say, we left.)
As you may know, it’s really tempting to over-pack. Some women just gotta have shoes and a purse for every outfit. But the way you pack will not only quickly get you through those lines, avoid checking in early, ensure cheaper tips, but will also help you immensely if you end up having to walk all over due to delays and connections. There are entire books written on packing light. And what about the all-important Thank-God-I-Brought-That kit? And I’m not just talking about extra underwear, aspirin and a book. Do you know other important items to include?
To plan your trip well, you need to know your goal and what you want to do; who will plan the trip and how; questions to ask your travel agent; if you are senior there may be special concerns; all the details about your mode of travel to and from; then other means of internal travel once you get there; all about accommodations (there are some really unique and comfortable possibilities like castles and monasteries); planning your packing; your emergency kit; what to double check before you go, including in your home; what information to give to a family member or point person before you go.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Schulte is the founder of ElderOneStop, LLC and www.elder-one-stop.com specializing in one-stop resources and information for seniors and baby boomers -- including retirement, health, travel, caregiving, nutrition, activities, housing, and more. A free newsletter and web site subscription are available.