Travel Tips for Active Adults — You're Never Too Old to Explore and Discover
Now that your time is more your own than it’s ever been, this stage of life can be an exciting journey, both figuratively and literally! That bucket list of destinations is just waiting to be checked off.
Hey, if not now, when?
Your next trip will require your usual curiosity and enthusiasm but you’ll also need to pack that wisdom you’ve earned by experience. The seasoned traveler can safely and happily celebrate the wonders of the world by acknowledging personal limitations, taking a few precautions and following some basic travel tips.
Before You Leave:
Inform Close Family and Friends About Your Travels.
Make sure your group of friends and family knows about your plans. Provide them with the best way to contact you, your destinations and where you’ll be staying. This will come in handy in case of an emergency.
Call Your Bank or Credit Card Company.
Be sure to inform your bank that you’ll be traveling and that any purchases on selected dates will reflect that. It’s no fun when your card is declined for suspicious activity when you’re paying for dinner or while you’re shopping – even if it is in your best security interest.
Call Your Cell Provider.
If you are planning to leave the country, be sure to arrange for international cell service before you leave. Your cell phone is a valuable safety feature when traveling.
Everyone benefits from some form of traveler’s insurance. Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance can give you peace of mind in the event life interferes with your ability to take a prepaid trip. It is also important to be covered for accidents, injuries and other possible issues that can occur while on vacation.
Pack Like a Pro
Protect Your Identity.
Never pack essential documents like driver’s license and passport in checked luggage. If your bags get lost, your dream vacation could become a nightmare.
Pack Familiar Items.
If practical and possible, pack a few items that are part of your everyday life. Your usual blankets, pillows and clothes can make new environments feel homey and more comfortable.
Whether enjoying the view from the back seat or relaxing on a flight, it’s easy to stay entertained. An Ipad with movies and music, a deck of cards, and a few travel-sized board games will make the hours fly by, so to speak.
Mind Your Meds.
Active adults need to take as much care with their medications as they do with their money and passports. If you’re flying, don’t pack them in checked luggage and avoid stowing them overhead where they will be inaccessible during the flight. If driving, keep them in the car with you instead of the trunk. Always make sure you have enough of each medicine to last an extra day or two in case you get stranded by any delays.
Prescription drugs should be kept in their original containers and include any medical information and documentation. It’s not a bad idea to keep a paper listing any essential meds and their dosages so you can replace them if it becomes necessary. If you take a brand name, write down the generic name too. Better yet, try to find the name of the medication in the language of your destination.
Easy on the Bling.
Unfortunately, older travelers can become prime targets for thieves looking for what they think is an easy mark. Avoid the flashy jewelry and expensive cameras that can make you stand out as a target
Your Solid Foundation.
Your trip should be about the thrill of the sights, not the agony of your feet. Pack your most comfortable walking shoes so you won’t miss a thing as you explore the streets of the city. Stick to flats to maintain balance and avoid a fall or sprained ankle that can be trip wreckers. They don’t have to be orthopedic specials, just flats.
Once You Get There
Stick to Your Schedule.
Although it’s fun to step out of your comfort zone, it’s best to keep up with your daily routine as much as you can even while exploring cities. Plan to eat, rest and relax around the same time you typically do. This lessens the stress of travel and prevents you from falling off your medication schedule.
Don’t Advertise Your Absence.
Avoid hanging the “clean my room” sign outside your hotel room door. This is an open invitation to anyone who might want to take advantage of your absence and separate you from your belongings. Thieves know that travelers leave important documents and valuables in their rooms. Instead of advertising that you’re out, call the front desk and ask them to send housekeeping.
Watch What You Eat.
Experiencing the food of different cultures can be fun and exciting, but a moment of fun can lead to a night of misery. Pay attention to what you are eating. If in doubt, don’t. Different types of food can affect different medications. Speak to a doctor, physician or dietician about what you should avoid while expanding your taste buds.
Keep Others in the Loop.
If you’re going to be traveling solo, AARP recommends that you share your daily itinerary with your innkeeper or hotel concierge. Tell them where you’re going and when you expect to be back and always keep your cell phone handy.
Know Your Limits.
The most important travel tip is to know yourself and your limits. Participate as much as you can but respect your body and be kind to it. Your experience is not about those few things you might have missed. It’s about all the wonderful memories of the things you did.