Contrary to what some may think, being elderly by no means prohibits one from travelling. In fact, during retirement is one of the best and most practical times to travel. Sure, you may not want to backpack from hostel to hostel like you did when you were 22, but there is a whole industry that caters to traveling seniors. So, if you’re a senior who is thinking of taking a trip, do it! But before you go, here are some travel safety tips for seniors.
Bring your medication!
This is an obvious one, but it is so important that it cannot be stated enough. Bring any and all medications you take. Do not forget them. Figure out how much you will need for the duration of your trip and then pack a little extra. Remember when you went on that trip 30 years ago and you forgot your acetaminophen and that baby was crying next to you the whole flight to Buenos Aires? Well, forgetting your prescribed medication is a thousand times worse. You can buy acetaminophen pretty much everywhere, which is probably not the case for any prescribed medication you take. I suggest putting up multiple sticky notes around your home before you leave reminding you to pack your medication.
Get travel insurance
This travel safety tip is good for everybody, not just seniors; though it is perhaps even more pertinent for seniors. Travelers should always get insurance. Many doctors would recommend to never get a blood transfusion outside of North America and without insurance, that option may not be available to you should a calamity occur. You don’t want to gamble with your health on holiday, so always get insurance.
Be mindful of mobility
Anybody who has used a wheelchair or mobility device for years is always keenly aware of the accessibility (or lack thereof) of places around them. Now, many seniors have no serious mobility issues. However, that doesn’t mean staying in a boutique hotel on the top floor of a six-floor walk-up is a good idea. You don’t want to be huffing and puffing the whole trip, so be mindful of the accessibility of the places you’re thinking about visiting and staying at.
Designed for you
You don’t necessarily have to figure out all these things for yourself. There is a whole industry now that caters just to seniors who want to travel. There are cruises, resorts, and tours that are designed for and marketed towards seniors. Whether you simply want relaxation or something more adventurous, you’d do well to at least peruse your options in this category when thinking about your next trip.
Standard travel safety tips
Then, of course, there are the standard travel safety tips that are good for all travelers, not just seniors. Make sure to draw up an itinerary and tell friends and family at home where you’ll be and when. Check in with family and friends regularly. Don’t carry too much cash on you and if you’re in a region known for its pickpocketing, perhaps purchasing an under-the-clothes money belt would be a good idea.