As the warm breeze sweeps across the horizon and nature springs to life, summer beckons us to embark on new adventures and explore the world around us. For older adults, this vibrant season offers a unique opportunity to break free from the routine and indulge in the pleasures of travel. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil beach getaway, a cultural expedition, or an exhilarating outdoor escapade, the summer months hold a multitude of possibilities. However, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey, it’s essential to consider a few key aspects that cater specifically to the needs and preferences of older travellers. Let’s embark on this journey together, discovering the secrets to a fulfilling and rejuvenating summer travel adventure for the young at heart. (Also read: Ageless adventures: 5 fun and memorable travel ideas for senior citizens )
Summer travel tips for older adults
Deval Delivala, Co-Founder, GetSetUp, shares with HT Lifestyle, some unique considerations that are more prevalent for older adults looking to enjoy their retirement and ways to overcome them.
1. Health concerns
One of the biggest concerns for older adults when travelling is their health. Many older adults may have underlying health concerns that can affect their travel plans. They may need to consider factors such as mobility, medication, and medical care availability at their destination.
It is important to speak with a healthcare provider prior to travelling to ensure that any health concerns are addressed and to bring necessary medications and medical documents with you on your trip. International traveller’s insurance can be a great way to help assure you have the health coverage you need in the event any health concerns arrive when you travel.
2. Limited mobility
Another common problem that older adults may face while travelling is limited mobility. Age-related conditions such as arthritis or joint problems can make it challenging to navigate airports, public transportation, and tourist attractions. It is important to research the accessibility of tourist destinations ahead of time and to make necessary arrangements such as renting a wheelchair or booking an accessible hotel room. Personalised travel plans from local experts can help assure you have wheelchair access, accessible transportation, and an itinerary that meets your needs.
3. Financial constraints
Older adults may also have limited financial resources for travel. They may need to carefully budget and plan their trip to stay within their means. Some tips for budget-friendly travel include travelling during off-peak seasons, booking accommodations in advance, and looking for discounts and deals on travel packages. Travelling in groups can help assure discounts, and researching about discounts for seniors in other countries that you can take advantage of are also great ways to help assure a strict budget.
4. Safety concerns
Safety is another important concern for older adults when travelling. They may have safety concerns while travelling, particularly if they are travelling alone. It is important to research your destination and take steps to ensure your safety such as avoiding high-crime areas, staying in well-lit areas, and not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables. If your budget can afford it travelling with a tour agency or tour guide can often help mitigate some safety concerns, as usually a local is aware of common scams and can avoid risk factor zones.
5. Language barriers
Language barriers can also be a challenge for older adults when travelling to destinations where they do not speak the local language. This can make it challenging to navigate, communicate with locals, and get help in case of an emergency. It is important to bring a phrasebook or translation app with you on your trip and to learn some basic phrases in the local language such as “hello” and “thank you”. Google Translate has the option to speak in a voice that can be a great resource to carry on conversations.
6. Fear of the unknown
Lastly, older adults may be hesitant to travel to unfamiliar destinations or try new activities. This can be due to a fear of the unknown, a lack of familiarity with the local culture, or concerns about their ability to cope with unexpected situations. One way to address these concerns is to plan your trip carefully and research your destination ahead of time. This can help you feel more prepared and confident while travelling. You can look to connect with locals in the area that may be friends of friends, from your nationality, or part of a community you enjoy like a religious group or a sports community.
7. Limited travel companions
Older adults may also have limited travel companions, which can make it challenging to plan and execute a trip as well as add additional expenses. They may need to consider options such as group tours or travelling with a companion or family member. Group tours can offer the opportunity to meet other travellers and make new friends while travelling with a companion or family member can provide additional support and companionship.
Travelling can be a wonderful way for older adults to experience new cultures, make new friends, and create memories that last a lifetime. However, it is important to address any concerns and plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. By taking these tips into consideration, older adults can travel the world with confidence and ease.