How to Travel When You’re a Senior

Travel tips to keep you safe and healthy, wherever your destination may be

For many people, getting older means a chance to travel or explore places they’ve always wanted to but couldn’t while raising a family. However, traveling when you’re older may mean something a little different than it once did. Planning ahead of time can keep you safe and stress-free during your trips. Here are 7 expert tips to help you enjoy your travels to the fullest.

1. Buy Insurance

Experts recommend travel insurance at any age, but for older travelers, it’s a must-have. This is especially true because of an increased risk of health problems that could cause issues during your trip. An extra $100-$200 will ensure you’re covered if you’re injured, sick, or run out of medication during your trip.

2. Don’t Make Your Absence Known

While most hotels are quite safe, they’re easy to get in and out of, especially for thieves. One way to prevent this is to avoid hanging the “clean my room” sign on your door handle. It tells people your room is empty and lets thieves know there may be unattended valuables inside. You can always call the front desk and let them know your room is ready for cleaning.

When you’re inside, be sure to lock your door from the inside for extra protection.

3. Be Careful of What You Eat

The older we get, the more likely we are to have diet restrictions. Make sure you know what does and doesn’t agree with your stomach when you travel—spicy foods and dishes with a lot of cheese and dairy are common irritants. Also know how different foods react with any medication you may be on so you can enjoy your trip and not spend it in your hotel room.

4. Mind Your Medication

A change in schedule can mess up your routine, meaning you should be extra careful about medication. Make sure to bring an extra few days’ worth, just in case something unexpected happens, but don’t pack them in checked luggage, which could get lost. Finally, keep a list of the medications you take in the unlikely event you need to replace them.

5. Leave Expensive Items At Home

Keeping expensive items like jewelry, watches, purses, cameras, and more on you can unfortunately make you a target for thieves. Consider carrying less cash and instead use a debit or credit card, which can be quickly and easily frozen by calling your bank in the case of a stolen card. Always be aware of your surroundings, as many thieves believe older people are less alert and are an easier target.

6. Keep Others Informed

If you’re alone, it’s a good idea to let hotel concierge know your itinerary and when you expect to be back so they’re aware if something is amiss. Keep your phone on you at all times. Let close friends and family know when you’ll be traveling and where, but avoid posting about it before you leave on public social media sites in case some ne’er-do-wells get the wrong idea about your now-empty house.

7. Stay Steady

Never underestimate the power of flat, comfortable shoes. Not only will you be able to walk longer, but you’ll be able to do so without pain. Flat shoes are also much better for keeping you steady, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy your trip and worry less about falling than you would with heeled shoes.

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