Making a Summer Escape?
Tips for Planning the Perfect Senior Getaway!
Summer travel season is in full swing. Many of our neighbors here at Priya Living have been busy racking up the travel miles. And why not? While “home is where the heart is” – and our hearts are definitely living it up here at Priya – sometimes adventure calls, and you just have to answer!
Whether you’re traveling to the other side of the world to visit family and friends or just traveling for fun, you need to be prepared. For some of us older adults, preparation involves more than just booking a ticket and jetting off.
Here are some of our tried, tested, and true travel tips to help your trip be as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
Know where you’re going
Are you planning a solo trip, a romantic getaway, a girls’ trip, or a trip with the family? Know what you want out of this trip and reflect on who’s coming with you. This will help narrow down locations and sightseeing excursions.
If you or your party require special accommodations for seating or wheelchair assistance, call your airline, hotel, or cruise line ahead of time to ensure that they can meet your needs.
Request an aisle seat. This will allow you to stand up and stretch your legs during a long flight. Given that older adults are at a much higher risk for developing blood clots, stretching periodically is important to increase blood flow.
Keep your itinerary senior-friendly. Of course, you want to soak in as much fun and culture as you can, but make sure to include time to recover from jet lag and plenty of breaks throughout your day.
Know how you’re going to get there
Review your travel documents. Make sure that your passport is valid. Make sure you know and have met any of the visa requirements prior to booking your trip.
Be airport savvy. Wear loose-fitting clothing and shoes that are comfortable enough for your flight but also easy to take off and put back on. While TSA regulations allow passengers 75 years of age or older to keep shoes and light jackets on while going through security, if an alarm is set off for whatever reason you will be asked to remove them.
If you or anyone in your party has a hip implant, pacemaker, or another medical device that could potentially trigger an alarm, let the TSA agent know. Bring documentation from your physician. Consult the TSA website for additional guidelines for senior travelers.
Fly direct. While stopovers are an effective way to save money on travel, extending your travel time may create unnecessary complications for older adults. Not to mention the stress of changing planes and rushing from one gate to the next so that you don’t miss your flight! Choosing the most direct travel option helps eliminate such issues.
Must do’s before you leave
Go for a check-up. It’s important for seniors to check in with doctors before leaving on adventures, whether local or international. If you need any vaccinations for the country you’re visiting, schedule your visit at least one or two months before you leave.
Get any forms or documentation from your physician that you may need for insurance or security purposes. These can include a list of your current medications or information about your preexisting conditions.
Take time zone changes into consideration. Time zones may affect when you take your prescriptions. Speak with your physician about any potential adjustments to your medication schedule.
Pack copies of your ID’s, insurance information, travel documents, and prescriptions – and also leave copies of these at home.
Share your itinerary and lodging information with friends and family so that someone always knows where you are.
Keep your documents and prescriptions in a clear Ziploc bag and pack them in your carry-on, especially if you take them daily. You don’t want to run the risk of losing them in transit.
Pack smart. Overpacking makes traveling difficult. Having to lug around heavy bags and suitcases is never fun. Pack clothing that can be mixed and matched. Call ahead to check with your hotel about laundry services.
Own your age!
Let people know your age so that you can reap the rewards! Ask about discounts on attractions, meals, events, and hotels before you travel and continue to ask during your trip. In Europe, for example, most rail passes are about 10 percent cheaper for seniors age 60 and up.
Just in case
Always keep a list of your emergency contacts and medications in your purse or wallet.
Purchase comprehensive travel insurance. It’s important for everyone – especially seniors – to protect themselves in the event of a medical emergency. Insurance also provides reimbursement for trip interruptions or theft. Look around ahead of time to see which company and plan works for you.
Research local medical centers. While you hope a trip to the hospital isn’t on your vacation itinerary, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Wishing you happy (and safe) travels!
Are you an adventurous spirit? Contact us to find out about Priya Living’s multi-generational co-living communities!