By: Richard Wright
Just because you’re in your golden years doesn’t mean you have to stay rooted to one spot. Retirement offers wonderful opportunities for seniors from all walks of life to get out there and experience the world. Here are five useful travel tips for seniors to help you pack your bags, book your flight, and discover something new.
- To Drive or To Fly?
After coming up with your dream destination, you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I get there?” A quick internet search will probably list out a few options on how to get from point A to point B, along with the time to get there and the number of miles covered. And you may wonder whether driving or flying is the best option. Aging doesn’t compromise your ability to drive, but trips over 600 miles can be exhausting for even young drivers. Keep in mind your limitations when deciding whether to drive, and try not to push yourself too hard on the road.
- If You Plan on Driving:
If you’re settled on driving for an extended period, you’ll want to schedule breaks for resting in addition to your breaks for gas and food. Sitting down at the wheel for more than three hours at a time can be overly taxing on your body, so be sure to stop to stretch and walk around. For trips exceeding 600 miles, your best bet will be to drive with one or two other people who can help share the driving time, allowing for everyone to have periods of rest while on the road.
Be sure to utilize a GPS system, such as SmartSole. Gone are the days of having to rely on road atlases. A GPS system will ensure you’re never in danger of getting lost.
- If You Plan on Flying:
When your desired destination means you need to fly, there are tons of options online to find the best flight deals. Pick one that fits your budget and ideal travel times. Some flights may depart very early or late in the day, and you’ll want to arrive at the airport two hours before departure to give yourself enough time to check-in, find your terminal, and make it through TSA screening. Make a game plan for when to arrive at the airport and how you’ll get around. Some airports are massive, and getting around can be challenging. If you need a walker to get around, or feel like you might need some assistance, call ahead and reserve a terminal shuttle or motorized scooter to help you get you to your gate in time.
- What to Pack
Whether you’re driving or flying, you’ll want to be smart about your packing. Make sure to keep a small piece of luggage with all of your medications readily at hand. If you’re flying, this would count as your carry-on luggage to keep with you in the cabin. You will also want to keep important health papers, identification, sunglasses and any other necessities in your carry-on. When packing your clothes, remember you’ll want to wear your comfiest clothing for the trip itself. Dress in layers in case you feel too hot or too cold, and wear comfortable slip-on shoes to speed you through airport security.
- Before You Leave
The last thing anyone wants when traveling is to worry about their home. Before you leave, keep in mind the things you need to do to secure your home. First, find someone to check on the house when you’re away. They can pick up mail and check on any pets you might have. Another option is to set up a home monitoring system. There are plenty of inexpensive solutions that allow you to monitor your home from anywhere on your phone or tablet. Before heading out the door, you’ll also want to check that all your appliances are unplugged, your water heater is turned off, and your HVAC system at a conservative setting.
Traveling is often the ultimate dream once you retire and have the extra time. Keep your adventures running smooth with these helpful tips and you’re sure to have the time of your life. Bon voyage!