The 25 Best Travel Tips for Seniors can help with planning your next travel adventure.
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 tips to make a list of your needs, preferences and to-do's! Choose the items from these tips that apply to you and add them to your plans.
When traveling out of the country, you will need a passport. This can take some time. 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
Visit your general practitioner for a medical exam a month ahead of planning your trip as a precaution. You will be better able to avoid an unexpected health event. This can give you greater confidence for a successful trip.
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):
If required remember to bring your COVID vaccinations card.
Restrictions keep changing in regard to Corvid, so keep up with the latest.
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.
Look into possible accommodations in advance, especially long term stays or vacations since many reservations are required well ahead; sometimes months.
Something to consider as senior travelers; we often desire a greater comfort now than when we were younger.
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.
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.
Fill your medical prescriptions ahead of time when available. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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?
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.
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.
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. Do not store them all in one place in the unfortunate event of lost luggage.
Pack appropriate snacks if there is a possibility that a meal could be delayed.
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.
Seniors are more susceptible to dehydration. Small water bottles are easy to pack and may come in handy.
Do you have any mobility issues? Bring any equipment you need such as a cane or a collapsible walker.
If you will be spending time outdoors pack your sunscreen, sunglasses and possibly a hat.
Along with your credit 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.
Bring health insurance cards
Think about what activities you will be engaging in and pack your clothes according to these.
Pay attention the weather forecasted conditions.
Check your security system to make sure it is working properly.
If you don't have a security system, contact a neighbor you trust to inform that you will be away and ask them to keep an eye out on your home.
Lock all windows and doors.
Unplug all appliances in case of a lighting 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.
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.
Turn the heat down if leaving for at least a day. This will save you money.