Travel Tips for Over 65s

Senior man being carried away with a bunch of brightly coloured balloons

Travel can be an incredibly fulfilling and exciting experience and offers you a chance to explore new places, meet new people, and create lasting memories. However, as we age, travel can also present some unique challenges. If you’re over 65, you may need to consider factors like comfort, health, and safety more carefully.

Whether you’re planning a relaxing getaway or a more adventurous excursion, here are our top 10 travel tips to help you make the most of your journeys.

1. Choose Age-Friendly Destinations

Selecting the right destination is fundamental to a successful trip. Look for places that offer convenient transportation, accessible attractions, and comfortable accommodations. Cities with good public transport systems, flat terrain, and a wealth of cultural or scenic sites can be great choices. Consider destinations that are not too remote and offer a range of activities suited to your interests and physical abilities.

2. Plan for Comfort and Accessibility

When booking accommodation, prioritise comfort and accessibility. Look for hotels with elevators, accessible rooms, and amenities like grab bars in bathrooms. If you’re renting a vacation home, ensure it’s on the ground floor or has an elevator.

When flying, if you can afford to, consider business or premium economy class for longer flights as these typically offer more legroom and comfort. At the time of booking your flights, you can request to have assistance getting through the airport and onto the plane. Make sure you arrange this before you get to the airport to ensure there is a staff member available to help you.

3. Keep Health in Mind

Travelling can expose you to new environments and sometimes unexpected health risks. Before you leave, consult your doctor to ensure you’re fit for travel and discuss any vaccinations or medications you might need. Keep a list of your medications, along with a copy of your prescriptions, in case you need a refill while abroad. Make sure to carry your health insurance information, and consider purchasing travel insurance that includes medical coverage.

4. Pack Smart

Packing efficiently can make travel easier. Opt for lightweight luggage with wheels, and consider a smaller carry-on bag for essentials. Pack comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for walking, and consider the climate of your destination. Don’t forget a travel pillow, a compact blanket, and noise-canceling headphones for long flights or train rides. If you use any mobility aids like canes or walkers, make sure they are sturdy and easy to transport.

5. Stay Active but Pace Yourself

While it’s great to stay active during your travels, remember to pace yourself. Plan your itinerary with ample breaks and downtime, allowing for flexibility in case you need to rest. Many attractions offer senior discounts or priority access, so take advantage of these benefits. Consider activities that suit your energy levels, such as guided tours, museum visits, or leisurely walks through scenic areas.

6. Embrace Technology

Technology can be a great ally when travelling. Use travel apps to manage bookings, navigate unfamiliar areas, and stay connected with family and friends. If you’re not tech-savvy, ask someone to help you set up your smartphone with essential apps, like maps and translation tools. Don’t forget to bring a portable charger to keep your devices powered.

Ensuring you are able to use your technology in the areas you visit is also important. Before you travel, work out whether you will have access to WIFI at the accommodation you’ve chosen and/or if you will need to purchase a travel SIM card to ensure you’re able to contact family and friends wherever you go.

7. Maintain a Healthy Diet

It’s easy to indulge while travelling, but maintaining a balanced diet can help you feel your best. Seek out restaurants that offer healthy options, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated (especially if you are on a long-haul flight). Carry some healthy snacks, like nuts or fruit, for when you’re on the go.

8. Travel with Companions

Travelling with friends or family can enhance the experience and provide added support. If you’re travelling alone, consider joining a group tour designed for seniors. This way, you’ll meet new people with similar interests and you’ll have the security and ease of travelling with a group.

If your situation allows it, you may choose to travel with a carer. In most cases, travelling with a carer will need to be funded privately. Speak to us about privately funded care for more information.

9. Prioritise Safety

Safety should be a top priority. Keep your valuables secure, and use a money belt or neck pouch for important documents. Avoid risky areas and follow local advice for safe travel. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded places, and trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right.

10. Enjoy the Journey

Finally, remember that travel is as much about the journey as the destination. Take your time, savour the experiences and enjoy every moment. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and create unforgettable memories. Travel is an opportunity to embrace new adventures and enrich your life.

With these tips in mind, you’re well-equipped to embark on your next travel adventure with confidence and excitement. Bon voyage!