Read these 11 Senior Travel Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Senior tips and hundreds of other topics.
You are traveling by plane, train, or bus, so let's pack light. These are senior citizen travel suggestions for a one-week stay to most anywhere, for two.
If you have to take our shampoos, lotions, tooth paste, mouth wash, etc. either buy the small traveler sizes or, if small bottles avalaible, transfer liquids to these.
Pack only cotton underwear (3) and cotton socks (men 3 pr.- women one pr. panty-hose, one pr. knee-highs one pr. cotton socks), and roll these to save space (they can be placed into shoes). Note: you can wash these items while there.
Pack items of clothing to 'layer', i.e. one light-weight cotton knit cardigan to wear over two or three different cotton knit shirts or blouses (NO bulky sweaters).
No more than TWO pairs of shoes (one pr. comfortable walking and one pr. dress), the comfies will probably be worn in travel.
Two pairs slacks (we'll probably travel in a third) or skirts (if preferred). Choose items that can mix/match with everything packed.
Pack medicines, book/magazine, snack, flat slippers (in case the feet swell) and only other necessary items in the carry-on tote. If there is a necessity for dress clothes, pack these in the fold-up hanging bag, shoes can fit in these, also, along with odd/end items.
Don't carry on board anything but the tote and a jacket/coat (when necessary-but don't pack 'em); leave the 'handling' to others. If going to visit friends/family, and want to take gifts, box them and mail ahead of time; let the postal dept. help! Pack your needs, but pack them wisely! Happy traveling!
Before you go on that senior travel tour, here's a way to get the latest information about airport security measures and what you can and cannot take on board with you. Go to www.tsa.gov and click on "travel and consumers." You will find a list of prohibited and permitted items for checked and carry-on luggage.
If you have an opportunity to go on a senior cruise, or any cruise for that matter, TAKE IT! I've been on two Caribbean cruises and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Assets: no need to change 'hotel/motel rooms', wonderful (and plenty) selections of foods (often 6-offerings a day!), great senior travel 'side-trips' offered (as extras) when in ports, great entertainment aboard (from night-club acts, dancing, table-tennis, sunning/swimming, golf, to relaxing and reading.
Liabilities: huh! the only thing I can think of is there is toooo much food (if you're watching your weight), but that can be overcome by walking the deck or taking the stairs instead of the elevator! Remember to set aside money to give the dining-room waiters and room-steward. This can be done in a one-time tip (in envelope) at the end of the cruise. Have fun! And remember to go top-side when leaving port.
OH! two more things - (1) if you can afford the extra $100 or so, get the outside-cabin (away from the engine room - look for the 'stack' on the ships schematic) with a port-hole...wonderful, wonderful! (2) if you think you might get sea-sick, obtain one of those patches to put behind your ear BEFORE you go on board...I've heard they don't work so well after-the-fact! Be prepared!!
Remember when we were younger and took the kids on vacation? And how crowded places of interest were? We had to make reservations far in advance to get a motel room. I've enjoyed a much slower pace of senior citizen travel and find it not hard to get reservation when traveling in the 'off-season'; that is, when kids are back in school! We'll also be giving families a break by not competing with their 'time'. So try to plan your trips around this time of year (school summer vacations); you'll find your trips more relaxing and easier to make plans.
I actually only have personal knowledge of one Motorcoach Travel agency, but there must be many. When traveling by Motorcoach Tours most meals, tips, all sight-seeing admissions at planned stops, first-class hotels are included in the fare; all luggage handling is taken care of for us; very good tour directors are aboard. Best part is the driving is left up to someone else, and we can 'rubber-neck' at the beautiful and marvelous views all we want! If you've never experienced one of these senior travel tours, check the yellow pages of your phone directory for information on who offers these many tours...all year round!
How many of us are still dragging around those heavy pieces of luggage? Well, it's time for some new pieces! You know, the kind that have the expandable tote-handle and wheels! Ah, what relief for our backs! I found these sizes to be so handy: 21"/22" Carry-on (but don't carry on :o) 27" Upright, then add the 15" Tote (to carry with you containing your medications and other absolute senior travel necessities), and the hang-up/zip-close 'suiter' that has great extra compartments. These latter two MUST have handles, so you can lap these over either the Upright or Carry-on extended handles, and shuffle along your way! Don't throw out the old luggage, tho; use to store old keepsakes, clothing, books, whatever, and place in the attic to one day give to your grandchildren!
Depending on certain factors, there are dictates on how you want to travel. If wyou want to spend more time at your destination, certainly the airplane is the best mode of transportation for senior citizen travel. Plan ahead and get the best fare rates possible. If we want to travel mostly for the scenic aspect, the automobile would be the choice. If there is a group (more than 3 or 4) traveling together, don't overlook the motor-home; if you don't own one, look into rentals. Yes, you can rent these! If you want to leave the driving up to others, go with a tour bus. Wonderful tours are available, especially the 'fall leaves' tours to the New England area. There are even some tours to take by train...check on these, too. The best-laid-plans can go awry if you don't plan ahead, though. So make your choice for your liesure travel, and plan NOW!
Many healthcare organizations do not cover you when you travel abroad. Neither does Medicare. You will need special senior travel insurance. At www.insuremytrip.com you can compare 47 travel insurance plans from 13 companies. You can get similar information at www.quotetravelinsurance.com. Also, feel free to check out our own travel insurance site at Lifetips - TravelInsurance.Lifetips.com.
You're invited to go on vacation with friends; it will be slightly expensive, but you've always wanted to travel to...say...Ireland...or Yosimite National Park...or the Caribbean. Well, what are you waiting for? How often do opportunities for senior travel like this come up for us? If it won't 'break-the-bank', or put you in a 'really-big-squeeze', take all these opportunities you possibly can. You'll not only have the chance to travel with friends, but to visit places you've only heretofore dreamed of seeing. GO!!
Senior citizen travel means being safe. The State Department publishes consular information sheets and travel warnings about crime, terrorist threats and traffic safety. Go to www.travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html for this info. It is always better to be prepared before visiting a foreign country.
Before you pay thousands of dollars to a senior travel tour company, check out its rating with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org Then go to www.astanet.com to find out if the comnpany is a member in good standing with the American Society of Travel Agents. The last thing you want to do is arrive for your tour and be dissapointed with the bus or hotel accomodations. Also look for peer reviews on senior web sites that may host senior travel blogs or message boards!