Identifying and dealing with the above issues in advance, should allow a senior traveler to have a pleasant, enjoyable and safe vacation as possible. Below are listed the best tips for a senior taking a vacation trip to help make this happen.
Seniors are a major and important group in the travel and tourism sector. As such, almost all facets of vacation travel usually offer some kind of senior discounts, including airlines, hotels and motels, tour groups and so on. However, you may not get these discounts unless you ask for them – so always ask! Consider joining organizations like the AARP, American Seniors Association, or Association of Mature American Citizens, all of which offer travel-related discounts to their members.
In addition to the senior discounts mentioned above, a major way senior vacation travelers to save money is by taking their vacation at what’s called off-peak times, or off-season. Retired seniors have the ability to be very flexible with their travel timing. By going somewhere when it isn’t busy, you will get a lower price. In the US, off-peak times for most places is when it is not vacation time, which is the summer season, or around any holidays such as Memorial Day or Thanksgiving. However, be aware that during these off-peak times, the weather may not be to your liking or local attractions may be closed.
The less luggage you have the better. It will be way less taxing on you physically and there will be less to get lost while traveling. A good way to do this is to wash your lighter clothes in your hotel room sink and then hang them in the shower to dry. But, you must also pack smart. This means bringing along things such as extra medication, written prescriptions, extra eyeglasses, batteries for hearing aids, and so on. Also, you should have a special and secure place to keep all your travel and vacation documents – including passports, itineraries, hotel reservation info and related items. If you are bringing along your cell phone, make sure you take along the charger and an electric plug adaptor for the area you are visiting.
Taking along your medication, plus extra, may not be enough if you get sick while away from home. It is a wise idea to buy travel medical insurance before you leave for this reason. Be aware that Medicare and most other health insurance plans do not apply outside the country. You might also need travel medical coverage if you will be traveling domestically, but outside your approved network of healthcare providers.
Going from place to place and to a bunch of different hotels in one vacation trip can be very tiring for anyone. For most seniors, it is better to take a vacation where you are “based” in one or two centrally located hotels. From there, you can plan and take a bunch of day trips to see the surrounding area.
If you really want to see a bunch of different places, but not at the cost of having to constantly travel and relocate, you should strongly consider a cruise vacation. Plus, for senior singles and couples who are eager to enjoy a wide range of activities and connect with other mature travelers, cruising can be a great option. This is especially true because many cruise lines offer cruises that cater to senior travelers. Some of these are:
– Holland America: This is one of the best cruise lines for mobility-challenged seniors. It has accessible rooms on all ships and special lifts that allow wheelchair-bound guests to transfer to tender boats while still seated. They also offer a special single senior’s travel program and arrangements.
– Oceania: Their cruises feature smaller ships and port-intensive itineraries aimed primarily at active adults over age 55. Plus, Oceania’s rates include airfare, all specialty dining, Wi-Fi, and shuttle service from its ships to the city center in each port of call.
– Royal Caribbean: They offer mega-ships that are packed with a multitude of activities. Royal also offers wheelchair accessible staterooms and shore excursions, along with discounts on select sailings for guests over 55.