The Why’s and How’s of Traveling with Seniors

Many people cannot afford to travel while still young because of their jobs or financial constraints. However, some are fortunate enough to afford to travel after retirement.

Traveling is an excellent hobby that many people find comfort and delight in—it keeps people healthy, open-minded, and happy. Travel also promotes exercise, one of many leisure activities for seniors who finally have enough time and money on their hands to explore the wonders of the world. 

Nevertheless, traveling should be carefully planned, especially when people of the golden age are involved. Thorough preparation of the trip is needed to make sure that they are comfortable and safe throughout. This article will give you the necessary details to keep in mind for seniors who want to travel—may it be with someone else or by themselves.

senior travelers with luggage in front of beachPhoto by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

What’s the Importance of Traveling for Seniors?

There are many things to gain from this activity, and the following are a few reasons why seniors should engage in traveling:

It works as a Mood Booster.

People who have upcoming trips tend to feel excited about the future. There are positive feelings associated with the thought of experiencing something new and visiting places or countries they have always wanted to visit. Just thinking about traveling and planned activities help boost the overall mood, filling travelers with enthusiasm and happiness. 

It Spices Up Their Life.

For years, people might have worked the same job, lived in the same city, and done the same things every day. Most seniors want a change from their routines, which will bring more excitement to their life. Travel provides exposure to new places, food, and cultures, helping them escape dull 9-5 routines.

It Enhances Both The Body And Mind.

Part of the secret of looking younger includes happiness and being active—both of which travel will give to anyone. Seniors can remain active without undergoing extreme exercise programs. Walking while exploring places is already a form of activity, and they will not even think of it as exercise.

Senior adults will enrich their minds through stories and facts they will discover from different places. Through traveling, seniors can engage in physical and mental activities that will surely make them happy and healthy in their mind, body, and soul.

Yoga SunsetPhoto by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Tips When Traveling With Seniors

As mentioned earlier, traveling with seniors comes with a few challenges, but nothing that can’t be worked with. There might be a couple of adjustments needed to ensure that everything they need is available and they’ll remain comfortable throughout the journey.

Here are several tips that’ll help improve the experience of traveling with seniors:

Go over their Bucket List.

When traveling with seniors, you have to consider what they want instead of enforcing what you wish for them to do or visit. Have a friendly talk about traveling and the places they want to go to make sure they are interested in the itinerary.

Ask them if they’re going to travel alone or if they would prefer company. Make their needs and wants a priority—this time, you will be the one to fulfill their dreams.

Find Appropriate Travel Services.

Maybe the destination is incredible, but the journey matters a whole lot as well. You need to consider the means of transport, be it air or land transportation, to get the most direct and shortest travel time.

Make Sure Elderly Accommodation Is Available.

It is no secret that plane seats can be uncomfortable. For seniors who might need help, you need to request airline assistance in advance. 

If the senior needs a wheelchair, make sure to ask for it. For meal services onboard, don’t forget to inform the airline of any dietary needs. If the senior is traveling alone, ensure that they will have assistance from the check-in counter, through security, gate, embarking, and disembarking.

Secure Important Documents.

Aside from passports and plane tickets, confirm that you have enough copies of prescriptions and statements of medical conditions from physicians or medical centers.

Medicare and other insurance cards, itineraries, boarding passes, and medication names should be part of the document package. If you can, allow the companion (if there’s one) and someone at home to keep copies of the essential documents.

Ensure Efficient Packing.

Avoid packing too much that it ends up being a struggle to carry or transport luggage, especially if the person is traveling alone. Prioritize ergonomic backpacks and luggage that are lightweight and easy to travel with.

PackingPhoto by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

Safety Precautions When Traveling with Seniors

Safety should always be at the top of the list when talking about senior travel. Seniors can be more prone to accidents and hospital stays. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when traveling:

Utilize Medical Alert Systems

Personal emergency response systems or medical alert systems are a quick and easy way for people to ask for help during an emergency. 

Medical alert systems are designed to signal an emergency to call urgent attention for medical personnel. This tool is very beneficial and almost imperative when the senior is traveling independently. The device will help the wearer call for help or assistance quickly without having to remember a phone number or have a phone nearby.

Medical alert systems providers offer a wide range of devices, features, options, and service plans to guarantee ease of use for seniors. All your senior family member or friend needs to do is press a button to contact the medical alert provider’s call center, and trained operators will respond 24/7, ready to send assistance as soon as possible.

Some medical alert systems have additional features, including fall detection sensors, GPS, caregiver tools, and environmental monitoring to ensure that the seniors are safe and sound wherever they are.

Get Travel Insurance.

Insurance is something everyone, regardless of age, should consider investing in. To read more about Travel Insurance for Seniors, click here

Track Eating Habits and Medication.

With traveling comes new experiences, and that includes food. With the variety of dishes and specialties available worldwide, it will not be surprising when travelers wish to taste every food on sight.

However, the older we get, the slower the digestion and the more sensitive a stomach can get. Seniors and companions must not forget about the diet restrictions they need to follow when traveling to ensure that they will not obtain undesirable events. 

Beware of heavy, spicy, or fatty dishes and food that could interact with medications. Consult with a doctor before going on a trip to be more informed about what food is and isn’t recommended. 

Final Thoughts

Remember the important things and stay safe throughout the whole trip, but do not forget to enjoy it to the fullest. Seniors should have the time of their lives going out of their comfort zones and relishing in the numerous beautiful offers of the world.

This article was written by a guest contributor.