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From the Neighborhood Press

Traveling: tips for seniors

Do you love to travel? It’s the time of year when many seniors begin to plan fun spring and summer get aways. Or maybe even a longer trip overseas. There are so many ideas you might have. Visiting family. Or escaping the heat and trying something up north or in the mountains. With Covid-19 restrictions loosening up, many are hitting the road these days. Here are some tips to help keep you safe and healthy as you dream up those big vacation plans!

Vacations are so fun to plan for and experience. As a senior, your list of priorities looks a little different than when you were in college. Now, it’s important to consider transportation options, location of your lodging, accessibility and proximity of closest hospital should you ever need it. But these things shouldn’t stop you. In fact, there are many great places to explore around the globe offering seniors the opportunity to travel with ease.

Destinations. Planning is lots of fun. To get inspiration, you might consider investing in subscribing to a travel magazine. Throughout the year, you’ll learn about places around the country and maybe even some more distant destinations that you may have never considered. There are also travel forums on the internet, where you can tap into real reviews and experiences of travelers to various places. You may discover that a resort or town is more senior friendly than its neighbor. Accessibility, noise level and location can make all the difference on your next vacation.

Travel Clubs

If you live in a retirement community, you may have the opportunity to connect with other seniors who enjoy similar activities. Find out if your community has a travel interest group. You can exchange ideas, expert travel tips or even plan local day trips. You might even find a travel companion! 55 Plus communities offer the benefit of having neighbors who are enjoying their retirement just like you and may have shared interests.

Do some preplanning. You can make the most out of your vacation if you just put in a little time and effort. Plus its exciting to learn more about the place you are going! If you live in a senior community and are part of a travel group or will be traveling with a neighbor, consider having a themed lunch or dinner together. Or have a little planning session all on your own! If the beach in Mexico is your destination, make some easy nachos and margaritas (or order them in) and look for some history and traveling videos to enjoy. YouTube is a great place to start. Just type in your destination with a keyword or two and see what informative videos are available to watch. It’s free and you can often find reviews or more advanced trip planning guide videos. If you’re traveling to Paris, you can watch videos explaining the history of each attraction you are planning to visit.

Staying healthy. As you plan for your trip, you may wonder how safe traveling is these days. Covid-19 is still making the rounds, though restrictions are being increasingly lifted. Be prepared for changing guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and your local health department. Even if masks are no longer required, you may consider always having one handy. Being exposed to large crowds or sitting in close proximity to others on a plane still comes with a risk. Although masks may be optional, consider wearing one anyway. And before you venture out, find out what Covid-19 booster vaccinations you may be eligible for. Schedule an appointment with your doctor and discuss your travel plans. If you or a loved one live in an assisted living or nursing home, you may need extra accommodations or assistance when out and about. Discuss these factors with your doctor and plan accordingly.

Staying organized. Packing can be overwhelming. There are so many things to think of. If you are in the middle of the desert in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, it’s easy to forget those beach items. But don’t stress. Try putting your bags and travel supplies in one spot for easy overview. It may even be beneficial to put out your luggage several weeks early and add items as you think of them throughout the days leading up to the trip. If you don’t want the extra clutter, you could start a travel list. As you think of items you’d like to bring along, add it to the list. Then as you are packing, you’ll have your list to refer to.

Bringing along the essentials. It’s a good idea to have a plan for your most essential items such as medications and documents. If you are checking a bag, its possible that your luggage will be delayed in getting to you at your final destination, so remember to keep important documents with you and pack important medications in your carry-on luggage. It’s also a good idea to bring along a list of all your medications and important medical information in case you ever need to be hospitalized while away.

Planning a trip can be exciting. Especially when involving friends or family. The possibilities are endless. Stay active and enjoy the anticipation this year as you live out your dreams!

2 responses to “Traveling: tips for seniors

  1. One of the best things about independent living is that you have a community to do things like travel with. It always so fun to travel with good friends and you have those practically built-in when you live in an independent living community!

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