Traveling as an Older Adult? Ways to Stay Safe and Enjoy a Hassle-Free Vacation
By Jess Walter
Baby Boomers, who represent 20 percent of the American population, are expected to travel and spend more in 2020. Because of retirement and less restrictive budgets, many older adults are finding ways to keep themselves occupied by hitting the road. More want to spend time with family and friends or turn to travel as a means to relax and rejuvenate. Unfortunately, some of the effects of aging can make it difficult to go on journeys. Finding ways to make your next vacation both enjoyable and safe as possible are challenging tasks, but it's entirely doable with a little planning and organization.
Planning is Key
Preparing travel plans are key to the success of your trip. Make a small plan where you would like to go and the activities that you would like to do. If you are not able to do the travel arrangements yourself, go to an agency and enlist the help of an agent who can plan and book everything for you. You can also ask a family member to help you plan your trip.
The flights you choose should always be non-stop to reduce your overall travel time and the probability of missing connections. In addition, reservations for a wheelchair and ground staff assistance must be made well in advance for those who have mobility issues. Some airlines also offer disability options for passengers at the time of booking or a number is provided to call the airline to request for them. Early or late travel times should be avoided; mid-morning or early afternoon departures are the best options for older adults.
Find a Senior-Friendly Accommodation
Another important aspect of planning a vacation apart from finding a senior-friendly destination is to book a suitable accommodation. If you’re traveling with young children, such as your grandchildren, you should probably search for child-friendly hotels that offer facilities for young guests. In the same way, when reserving your own hotel room, choose one that is senior-friendly. Selecting a room on the ground floor or near the hotel's entrance or exit is key to cutting down on long walks to reach the elevator, lobby or dining facilities.
Hotels that offer rooms or suites with handicap accessibility are also recommended. Some of the features that are senior-friendly may include open layouts, wheel-in showers and grab handles, which can ultimately improve the safety of all guests, no matter their age. Those who have difficulties hearing can even request for visual and tactile ringers, along with televisions that offer Closed-Captioning for visual ease.
Go with a Family Member or Travel Companion
Going with someone when traveling is a sensible option, especially for older adults with health concerns. Your family member or travel companion can arrange for transportation, so you won’t need to rely on others to take care of you as soon as you arrive at the airport or the hotel. Moreover, traveling with a companion is generally more fun! You can do things together, chat with each other, and enjoy a vacation without worrying about safety or comfort since there is another person who can watch out for you. Even paying for a travel companion is all worth it so that you don’t feel so alone or isolated when on a journey.
Traveling as a senior can be challenging, and the main goal is to ensure that it is a safe and stress-free journey. Carefully planning your itinerary, choosing a senior-friendly accommodation, and going with a travel companion can improve your safety and ensure that your trip is comfortable and pleasant.