Many times we hear about the negatives associated with being a senior citizen. For example, many seniors suffer from social isolation that can make it more likely they are victims of elder abuse.
While your older years may include challenges you didn’t face when you were younger, that doesn’t mean this shouldn’t be one of the best periods of your life. There are a lot of things to relish about being a senior including retirement, which can offer more freedom and flexibility to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.
One of those things might be travel. Being engaged and doing things like traveling can provide you with social interaction and keep you sharper than if you were to stay home all the time and avoid traveling.
The following are some of the things you should know if you’re a senior citizen and you’d like to travel more.
Briefly touched on were some of the benefits of traveling in your golden years.
A few general benefits of traveling include:
• Research shows that if you’re a man and you take an annual vacation, you are 32% less likely to die from heart disease, and women who travel at least twice a year are less likely to experience depression.
• Even a three-day vacation can significantly lower your stress levels.
• Traveling, particularly abroad, can help you be more emotionally stable and open-minded.
• When you travel, it gets you not only out and about but also moving, and that’s important for your physical health at any time in your life
• Traveling increases your confidence because it pushes you outside of your comfort zone and helps you better understand what you’re capable of.
• A study from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found 86% of people say travel improves their general mood and outlook on life.
• When you are meeting new people and engaging in things that are outside of your normal routines, it challenges and stimulates your brain and can help reduce cognitive decline.
Tours and Cruises for Seniors
There are ways you can travel alone and avoid the double occupancy charges and also meet people.
For example, there are a growing number of tour companies geared towards solo travelers, including seniors.
There are also cruises geared toward the same objectives.
One of the many options is called Singles Travel International, which is a company offering cruises and trips for all age ranges, including singles aged 50 and above. You might create lifelong friendships if you take one of these guided trips for singles.
Another option you might want to explore is joining a senior travel club. A travel club will usually charge a fee, but they’ll provide you with member-only access to content, discounts, and information.
When you join a travel club, they can help you find group trips, and some travel clubs exist solely to help organize group trips for members.
There are also social gatherings outside of travel that is part of membership. For example, you might attend monthly meetings. Some travel clubs are geared toward specific interests or demographics, like a women’s only group or a group interested primarily in discount travel.
Do be aware of scams parading as travel clubs, though. Some travel scams will try to entice you to come on a trip where you’re required to attend a travel seminar, and the terms and conditions can be so restrictive you never actually get to go on your trip.
General Travel Tips for Seniors
Of course, as with any age group, when you’re a senior, and you’re traveling you want to be mindful about safety and make it as smooth and stress-free as possible. That’s one of the big benefits of traveling as part of a tour group—the operators should take care of all the logistics, including any security and safety issues, so you can just relax and enjoy your time away.
Other travel tips include:
• Try to keep things simple as far as your air travel, and plan as much as you can ahead of time, even if you aren’t going on a tour-based trip. If you can get a direct flight to your destination, that’s often best because it adds fewer unknown variables to your trip.
• Choose a hotel that’s in a safe, central location. If it’s within walking distance to most of the things you want to do, even better.
• If you’re going abroad, it can be tempting to try and fit several destinations into your itinerary, but this may include rail and car travel and a lot of packing and unpacking. This can be exhausting and stressful, so it may be better to focus on one location.
• If you have special needs, don’t be afraid to talk to your hotel because they’re often willing to make accommodations for travelers of all ages.
• Don’t let people on social media know that you’re away or the dates you’ll be gone. It can make your home a target.
• Don’t push yourself too far—this is a rule that can apply to all of us when we travel. It’s easy to overdo it in an attempt to see everything, but that can cause problems later in your trip.
• If you take any medications, make sure you pack them all with some extras in your carry-on in case anything happens to your luggage. Before leaving, ask your doctor for a list of equivalent prescription drugs wherever you’ll be going in case you have to visit the pharmacy.
• Make sure your family or friends know the details of your trip and when they can expect to hear from you before you leave.
Traveling is a wonderful adventure, no matter your age. If you’re a senior who’s thinking about planning a trip, take advantage of this unique time in your life and hit the road.
We are happy to present this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.