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25 Best Travel Tips for Seniors

The 25 Best Travel Tips for Seniors can be an excellent way to plan the travel adventure of your dreams.

For older adults, If everything is organized and planned ahead of time your trip will be much more enjoyable without the chaos of some forgotten items or details.

Use these top travel tips to make a list of your needs, preferences and to-do's and the best way to be prepared!

Choose the items from these tips that apply to you and add them to your travel plans. 


1. Get a Passport for International Travel

When traveling out of the country, you will need a passport. This can take some time.

It is a good idea for senior citizens to apply early. 

NOTE: Routine processing is 8 to 11 weeks and expedite processing (for an additional $60) is 5 to 7 weeks.

You can apply for a passport at the U.S Passport Website

Senior's Passports

2. Get a Medical Exam

Visit your healthcare provider for a medical exam a month ahead of planning your trip as a precaution.

Older travelers will be better able to avoid an unexpected health event.

This can give you greater confidence for a successful trip.

3. Bring Your ID

Make sure you have a valid government approved ID. Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.

Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)

Beginning May 3, 2023, if you plan to use your state-issued ID or license to fly within the U.S., make sure it is REAL ID compliant. If you are not sure if your ID complies with REAL ID, check with your state department of motor vehicles.

Other acceptable ID's by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration):

  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
  • An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized, Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

4. Remember Your Vaccination Card

If required, include your COVID vaccinations card with your important documents.

Restrictions keep changing in regard to Covid, so keep up with the latest.

It’s a good idea to bring a pocket size hand sanitizer to have it available at any time.

In regard to COVID requirements for travel you need to check ahead of time if vaccinations are required with air travel, accommodations, restaurants, and other destinations that you plan to visit such as stores, museums, parks, etc.  

5. Research accommodations

For peace of mind, look into hotel rooms or other accommodations in advance, especially long term stays or vacations since many reservations are required well ahead; sometimes months. 

Additionally, if you make reservations well ahead  there may be more senior discounts available.

Something to consider as senior travelers; we often desire a greater comfort now than when we were younger. 

6. Make Restaurant Reservations Well Ahead  

Research restaurants in the area. The internet makes it easy to find attractive restaurants. Look at the reviews; You can find many online.

As seniors, we sometimes have special dietary needs. We can contact the restaurants to find out if they can accommodate these needs.

Another thing to know is that popular restaurants can be extremely busy. When traveling Jim and I often make our restaurant reservations weeks ahead.

Make your reservations early otherwise you may be out-of-luck getting a reservation at your chosen restaurant.

By allowing enough time ahead, we have a better chance to get a reservation at the restaurant of choice.

7. Purchase Travel Insurance

You may want to purchase travel insurance that allows for cancellation. As an older adult, there is a chance for illness.

If this happens you will need a note from your doctor saying that you can’t travel because of your illness.

This will need to be presented to the insurance company when making a claim to get a full refund.

There are policies with a “Cancel for Any Reason” choice and usually more expensive.

However, beware, they never cover 100% of your cost/reservation.

They usually cover anywhere from 50% to 75%.

Read the fine print on these policies and ASK questions.

Caution; be certain that your travel insurance covers an emergency evacuation.

8. Fill Your Medical Prescriptions Ahead

Fill your medical prescriptions ahead of time when available and bring your insurance card along with over the counter medications.

Some medical prescription insurance policies will not approve prescriptions ahead of time. So check with your insurer.

You can transfer most prescriptions to other pharmacies when traveling in the United States.

Traveling overseas can get more complicated.

When traveling to a foreign country check your options ahead of time.

9. Plan for your Pets

Make plans for your pets. If you plan to bring them check with air travel if flying and check with your accommodations such as the hotel, motel or resort.

If you plan to leave them  make reservations with your pet sitters, kennels or boarding facilities.

10. Make a Packing List

A great way to stay organized is to make a packing list.

Make a packing list since we seniors have a tendency to forget.

Add to the list the most important things first that are absolutely needed.

You may need to shop for some of these necessities.

The list will give you extra time in case you need to shop for some of these necessities.

For instance,  think about comfort on the list such as shoes, if you are going to be walking a lot.

List clothing suitable to the location you will be visiting.

You may want to pack light if you are flying.

Think about how much you want to carry at this time of life.

Will there be help available to help you if you require it?

11. Hold Your Mail

Stop your mail if you are going away for more than 4 days.

This can be done on the internet here or by calling your local post office.

USPS Hold Mail® requests must be for a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 30 days.

The Best Travel Tips for Seniors Should Include

12. Pack Your Medical Prescriptions

Keep your medications close by. 

All-important medications should be stored in your carry- on bag if traveling by airplane in case your luggage is lost or delayed.

It is best to keep your medications nearby no matter what your method of travel.

As a Type 1 diabetic, I learned this valuable lesson a long time ago.

I keep my insulin vial in a small cooler and my insulin pens in my purse, wherever I go.

Have contact information with you in the event of an emergency.

13. Bring Your Medical Supplies/Equipment

Bring a surplus of medical supplies that you absolutely need to use regularly; unless they can be easily obtained otherwise.

Sometimes we are just too busy or distracted on vacation to stop and buy what we need.

When flying, especially on long flights, store what you need in your carry-on luggage in case of lost luggage.

14. Bring Snacks

Pack appropriate snacks if there is a possibility that a meal could be delayed.

You might wait in long lines especially if holiday travel is involved.

Again, as a Type 1 diabetic, I always bring snacks with me.

As senior travelers, the last thing we want is to feel dizzy or uncomfortable. Something as simple as hunger such can be misunderstood as something worse due to our age.

For example, you might have a heart condition and symptoms of hunger  may be misunderstood as something serious.

Remember that you will probably be much more active on vacation and need more to eat.

15. Bring Water

Seniors are  more susceptible to dehydration. Small water bottles are easy to pack and may come in handy. 

It’s possible that you might do some excessive walking during a vacation.

16. Mobility Aids

Do you have any mobility issues?

Elderly travelers are more prone to have issues.

Bring any equipment you need such as a cane or a collapsible walker.

17. Sun Protection

If you will be spending time outdoors pack your sunscreen, sunglasses and possibly a hat.

18. Tote Some Cash

Along with your credit card and debit cards, you should bring some cash.

You may need cash at "Cash Only" shops or other situations such as tipping.

There are special cash wallets to buy for safety.

More Safety Tips.

19. Health Insurance Cards

Bring health insurance cards, since medical insurance is critical for your personal safety.

20. Suitable Clothes

Think about what activities you will be engaging in and pack your clothes according to these.

Pay attention the weather forecasted conditions.

Prep Your House for Vacancy

21. Alarm Your Security System

Check your security system to make sure it is working properly.

If you don't have a security system, contact a neighbor or family members you trust to inform that you will be away and ask them to keep an eye out on your home.

22. Button Up the House

Lock all windows and doors.

23. Safeguard Against Storms

Unplug all appliances in case of a lightning storm.

If you have a drilled well, as most in a rural environment do, don't forget your Water Well breaker.

We have had lighting strike the well head in our lawn which blew the fuse system and required an expensive service call.

24. Protect Your Water System

If you are going on a long trip in the winter and live in a cold climate, drain the water from the water heater and pipes.

You don’t want your pipes to freeze and burst causing severe water damage to your home.

25. Adjust the Thermostat

Turn the heat down if leaving for at least a day. This will save you money.

If you plan in advance and check all the boxes that are relevant, you're opening the door for a safe and enjoyable trip!

Have a Wonderful, Safe and Enjoyable Trip!