Traveling as a senior comes with its own set of adventures. As a senior, you now have the time, money and life experiences to be able to enjoy travel in a new and unique way. Travel is also a great way to keep the body active and stimulate the mind with the learning of new languages, for example. However, traveling as a senior also comes with its own set of risks and limitations.
Whether you’re taking a day trip within your home city, or flying half way across the world, there’s certain things to consider in order to ensure your health and safety.
Get travel Insurance
While you won’t need it if you’re just taking a day trip, travel insurance is vital for all travellers leaving the country, especially seniors. As unfortunate as it is, a lot can go wrong while you’re on holidays. Seniors are at an increased risk of falls, injuries, illness and are more often targeted by thieves than their younger travellers.
Many seniors will also require medication, and if travel plans are delayed, or medication is lost, a new prescription, in a foreign country can be quite costly without insurance.
While nobody wants these things to happen while they’re on holidays, travel insurance provides you with peace of mind so you can enjoy your time away.
Don’t advertise your absence
While you should definitely let your close family or friends know your itinerary, it’s important that you don’t broadcast that you will be away.
This goes for day trips out of your house or larger trips in another country. If you’re staying at a hotel, you can keep the hotel concierge up to date with your itinerary, or if you’re talking a trip out of your aged care facility it’s best to let reception know your plans.
However, making it clear to all that you are away provides an ample opportunity for thieves to strike.
Many people assume that hotels are secure and safe, and while they should have security measures, anyone can come and go from most hotels quite freely. This allows thieves to come in and target rooms with the “clean my room” signs, which generally indicate that the occupants have left for the day.
While things like this are uncommon, it’s best to take some preventative measures. Rather than using the sign, let the front desk know on your way out that your room can be tidied. It’s also wise to ask for a room away from ground level with window access and for a room near an elevator where there will be more foot traffic to deter thieves.
Watch your diet
A holiday is often used as an excuse to relax eating habits and enjoy the foods we normally avoid. Seniors would be wise however, to try and stick to their usual diet. As we age, stomachs can become increasingly sensitive which will restrict diet. Often, a senior’s diet will be created with this in mind.
Certain foods may interact with certain medicines in a negative way, so it’s best to seek advice from your doctor beforehand.
Take care of your medication
While you might have to avoid certain foods to ensure your medication works, you should take extra care of any medication while you’re away. Medication can be difficult to acquire overseas and even if you can find it and have a prescription, it can be very expensive.
Because of this, you should pack medicines in your carry-on luggage, keeping it somewhere safe and accessible. Get your doctor to print off a list of each medication you take, along with their brand names, generic names and the names in the language of your holiday destination.
Bring quality shoes
Another tip for short or long trips is to invest in comfortable and safe shoes. Shoes are important whether you’re going down the road or going on a tour of Venice. This is especially true for seniors, with 30% of people over 65 experiencing a fall each year.
With falls being one of the largest health issues to seniors, it’s important that holidaying seniors have flat, sturdy and comfortable shoes for any type of outing.
Keep expensive jewellery at home
While you’re away on holiday it can be tempting to show off your luxurious jewellery, or even buy a new set of diamond earrings, but this isn’t always the best idea.
Seniors are often targeted by thieves as they are known to have spare cash and often have things like gold necklaces, watches and other expensive jewellery or gadgets can be common.
For this reason, paired with thieves believing older travellers are less aware of their surroundings and are unsteady on their feet, makes seniors a huge target for the likes of pick pockets.
When walking foreign streets, keep expensive jewellery and gadgets to a minimum, keep your items close to you and remain vigilante.
Traveling in your senior years can be an enriching experience. While it can be exciting to visit new parts of the world, it’s essential that you take precautions to protecting your health and safety while on holiday.