After a lifetime spent at work and looking after children, each senior hopes that retirement will come with numerous adventures and outdoor trips around the world. And this could be true, especially if you have the money and the health. However, planning the right trip when you’re well into your 60s could prove a bit risky, especially if you are traveling outside the country.
So, before getting a new stamp on your passport or packing your bags, here are some travel tips we would like you to consider for your own safety.
Travel insurance is mandatory for all age categories but, let’s face it – you’re more likely to get injured if your knees are weak or your back hurts. And, while collagen supplements for joints do help, don’t expect them to miraculously give you back your mobility. You don’t need additional insurance if you travel inside the country and you already benefit from a good insurance plan.
However, purchasing a travel insurance is helpful when traveling abroad. It will cost up to several hundred dollars, depending on which type you opt for, but this will keep you and your family at peace.
You don’t even have to choose the most expensive care package either. Usually, a regular travel insurance should cover the costs of minor injuries, fractures, splint ankles, cuts, and small accidents.
Don’t get too excited over local cuisines
Unfortunately, seniors also face digestive problems, especially when traveling. And while constipation within the first days of your vacation could be your body’s natural way of adjusting to the new climate, you should avoid overstuffing with local delights.
Older people should pay more attention to their diets as their digestive systems may not deal well with gluten, spices or certain ingredients. We recommend you avoid eating too spicy, too salty or indulging yourself in too many sweet treats. Cheesy products and heavy meat meals should also be avoided if you don’t want to be stuck in your hotel room more than necessary.
Book direct flights or organized trips
As much as you would consider yourself an adventurous person, perhaps you should avoid going backpacking after a certain age. Remember that there are other ways to keep your spirit young, without putting yourself in dangerous situations.
Cruises and organized trips represent smarter vacation choices because you won’t have too much time to spend on your own, hence lower risks of getting lost or into trouble. Moreover, you can opt for trips specifically designed for your age group, filled with social activities and plenty of events to keep you entertained all day and all night long.
If organized trips are not your cup of tea, perhaps a week spent at a fancy resort somewhere warm will do the trick. Most resorts come with private beaches, cocktail bars, restaurants, and special events for tourists, meaning there’s no need to go outside them on your own.
If you do feel adventurous, there are plenty of day trips you can book with local guides. Just make sure to have a pair of comfortable senior walking shoes on so you won’t get calluses, blisters or put too much pressure on your knees, ankles or back.
Stay away from too crowded places
After a certain age, people tend to look after their own health more and even develop certain habits. For some, this means taking an afternoon nap, while for others it could mean staying away from loud couples and noisy bars.
If you wish to enjoy a relaxing vacation alongside your significant other or your family, you should keep away from extremely popular tourist destinations, at least in high season. Paris seems like a romantic idea, but if you plan on visiting it in August, you should expect endless lines in front of the most important sites and crowded streets with little room for exploring or romantic gestures.
If you’re not keen on listening to club music until 6 a.m., you should also avoid certain cities or touristic islands. Greek islands like Rhodes or Crete are known for being frequented by youngsters, similar to other popular destinations like Ibiza, Miami or Los Angeles. Tokyo and many of the big Asian cities are also crowded, hence not recommended to claustrophobics.
Don’t forget to get your medicines
Before booking your future adventure, it would be best to have all your pills, lotions, and potions ready. If you plan a longer trip, make sure you have enough medication for all your days. Sudden treatment interruptions could cause serious health issues, so you should avoid them at all costs.
Always make sure you have all your prescriptions with you in case someone asks for additional information.
If you travel by plane, it is best to keep your medication in your purse or backpack rather than in your checked luggage. This is extremely important for people who suffer from heart diseases, respiratory problems or other health issues that might be influenced by flights. Diabetes and food allergies fall in the same category – always keep your insulin or an EpiPen close.
Unfortunately, traveling for long hours could lead to deep vein thrombosis, swollen feet or varicose veins. We suggest wearing compression socks and loose clothing. You should avoid smoking or drinking alcohol during your flight. Replace it with still water to prevent swelling and do some leg and foot stretches to promote better blood circulation.
Another thing to take into account is keeping your regular medication dosage and administration time. You shouldn’t forget to bring your daily dose of medication even when you are on vacation, and nothing seems to hurt anymore.
However, it is only natural for your brain and body to completely relax during the vacation, which means you can easily forget to take your pills. Therefore, setting a daily alarm or reminder on your senior cell phone should do the trick.