Senior travel is a growing segment of the travel industry that caters specifically to seniors.
While the idea of traveling abroad is appealing to many seniors, they are often worried about the logistics of planning and executing an international trip. It is especially true if it’s the first time these seniors have left the country. But if it’s not, travel abroad can be a great way to continue to live an active life while experiencing new cultures and meeting new people.
One of the primary reasons for this is that seniors are unique in their attachment to their families. A good deal of travel abroad is done with family members or friends, meaning they have a solid emotional connection.
Seniors also tend to want time off to be with their families more often than younger adults because they don’t work as much, and they have fewer obligations once their families are older and retired. In many cases, however, seniors have made a career out of their families.
They may be economically better off than many others in their age group. They can use this to travel outside their country on an international trip with more freedom and less concern about money than younger adults.
The travel industry is becoming more global, allowing older adults to tailor their trips by choosing various destinations. It, too, helps make the trip affordable, as you can take care of your travel needs from one country to another, so you aren’t taking on expenses that you would have to pay back.
Many seniors enjoy traveling with their families and friends because they can learn about their culture in a non-intrusive way. By traveling internationally with a group, they can see how their own life, customs, and beliefs compare to the people and culture of another country. It can be a great learning experience for everyone involved.
Seniors also have greater freedom of choice when it comes to when and where they travel. Many seniors don’t want to commit to any specific trip or itinerary because they want the freedom to decide on a whim instead of being tied down by a set schedule.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, nearly 90% of trips by seniors travel was arranged, and only 3% of those trips were planned and booked in advance. So if you have the flexibility to make as many decisions as you want, this isn’t something that will be a problem for you.
Senior travel: Benefits
The benefits of traveling as a senior citizen are as follows:
- Traveling is good for the mind and body and improves physical and mental health.
- Traveling as a senior reduces stress that may have been coming to you from illness or job.
- Traveling is linked to a longer life
- Traveling is a great way to explore and learn about the world.
- Senior travel gives you more financial freedom than traveling as a youth.
- You also get many senior citizen discounts.
- Senior travel is an excellent way to meet other like-minded people.
- You get to try mouth-watering delicacies of different places.
- Eliminates boredom and reduces depression.
Senior travel: Things you should know
If you’re interested in exploring overseas travel with your family or friends, some things will help make your trip a success such as:
1. Safety first
Be sure to focus on safety first and foremost. You don’t want to spend your trip dealing with incidents that you could have avoided, and you want everyone traveling together to be safe.
It means planning and preparing as much of the trip beforehand as possible. It includes picking a country where the group will be staying, deciding on a place to tour during their stay (perhaps a theme park or museum), and what else they might like to do while they’re traveling.
2. Ask about the ticket fee, its inclusion, and offers
Before booking any tickets, check with the airline to see what baggage allowances they offer. Make sure you have the correct amount of luggage, as you don’t want to have it so full that it becomes a liability.
Whether flying or traveling by car, you should pack these items in such a way as to maintain their structure and not become a risk for children or elderly travelers. It’s also essential to make sure they can move around more easily during their trip.
If the trip involves driving, for example, take it slow on all roads and be sure to assess any potential hazards. In some countries, such as Switzerland, there are toll roads that you must pay a fee to use. If you don’t pay the fee up front when you purchase your tickets, it won’t be included in their ticket cost. Again, this is something that you want to make sure to ask about before purchasing your tickets.
3. Get a reliable travel agent
Another way to make sure the trip will go smoothly is to get the recommendation of a travel agent.
A travel agent is someone who has experience with traveling abroad and can help you with everything from booking your flights and hotels to touring on your own once you arrive. This person also works for the best interest of the entire group, which means they can provide input that could help plan an itinerary or even suggesting different destinations.
They also are available to answer any questions that might arise. Finding the right travel agent is essential, but you shouldn’t assume that all travel agents are the same.
An outstanding agent will have experience with various destinations, including places where the group would like to travel. They can advise on how much your trip will cost, and whether or not your budget is appropriate for the various types of tickets you might purchase, as well as suggest alternative prices if your original price is outside of what you were hoping for.
An agent should tell you how much time it will take to settle into the country you’re visiting and how easy it will be to communicate with residents once there. It’s a good idea for them to advise on which carriers have the best amenities (such as Wi-Fi), whether or not you should purchase insurance, and other safety tips as well.
It is also crucial that the travel agent is familiar with each member of your travel group. This way, they can help you book hotels that have been previously recommended by other travelers and offer suggestions on other activities that the group might enjoy while in the country.
However, this doesn’t mean you just let anyone who is offering travel advice do anything or identify themselves as a travel agent. Getting recommendations from friends or family members is an excellent start to finding someone who you can trust to help you make better choices, but you want to make sure they are truly qualified to give you advice on your trip.
Most countries have travel agencies who can help you with your trip. However, it’s still essential to find a reputable agency or travel agent who has experience in recommending the correct destination for your group.
To find one, ask around and talk to people you know who have traveled abroad before. Many groups even hire a travel consultant to help with their trip.
4. Do a general checkup
Before traveling, it is essential to meet the doctor and do a general check-up. It includes a medical history, physical exam, electrocardiogram, and chest x-ray.
5. Take your medications with you
It would help if you also considered certain types of medication before traveling. If you have heart disease, you should bring their nitroglycerin tablets or any prescribed medicines with you. If you have a pacemaker, bring your battery charger.
If you have diabetes, bring your insulin. Commonly prescribed drugs include birth control pills, cholesterol-lowering medications, and anti-depressants.
Most importantly, inform about your health condition to your travel agent beforehand so they can plan the trip accordingly.
6. Travelers with hearing loss
Those with hearing loss should determine if they can operate their hearing aids during the flight. They should also note the flight number, seat numbers, takeoff and landing times, and any other information related to ease of communication throughout the flight.
Those with hearing loss should speak up. In noisy situations, when a flight attendant has not said something, they should ask for it. If they are asked to speak up, it may be because the noise level is very high, and passengers with hearing loss may have difficulty following conversations in the desired setting.
There are a few items that those with hearing loss should bring to flights. They include headphones and a small portable battery-operated radio.
If passengers with hearing loss feel uncomfortable on the plane, they may want to consider flying at another time.
7. Get immunized
Get immunized before traveling to prevent contracting an illness in a new country. You should check with your doctor to ensure that you are fully protected from diseases, especially if you visit a region where they are familiar.
Some vaccinations are required by the country you will be visiting and can be administered at your doctor’s office or through the Center for Disease Control. Ensure that your vaccinations are up to date before traveling.
Some vaccinations are recommended at age 65 or older. They include influenza, pneumonia, tetanus-diphtheria, shingles, and hepatitis B.
8. Get insurance before traveling
Travelers should always buy travel insurance before they set out on their travels. You never know what will happen when you’re abroad, and if you lose your luggage or passport, it can be a nightmare to deal with. Having travel insurance can help you out in this sort of situation.
Whether across the state or to another country, you should always purchase travel insurance whenever you travel. Taking this step can save you a lot of trouble in the case of an emergency.
You never know what will happen when you’re traveling and if there is a fire or flood in your area, for example, you could lose your valuables or worse.
9. Traveling with a pet
If you are thinking about traveling with a pet, make sure to check your destination’s regulations on pet travel before you arrive. Every country has different rules regarding pets, and you must ensure your pet’s comfort and safety while traveling.
10. Check your passport before leaving
Before leaving for your trip, make sure that your passport is up-to-date, and all of the pages are intact. If you discover it is expired, you will have to apply for a new one and pay a certain fee. You can avoid all of this trouble by updating your passport yourself before you leave. It also ensures that your photo looks good on the page.
11. Prepare everything you need to travel
You may find that there are some things that you forgot to pack when planning your trip. You should make sure that everything is packed and ready before taking off on your own. You don’t want to be searching for your driver’s license or passport when you are in a hurry to leave, and everything is packed up.
Thus, traveling does not limit to age. Senior travel has its own perks and you should make the most out of it.
Hope this article was of help to you. If you have any more tips or experiences you would like to share, comment down below.