Nothing compares to the adventure of vacationing overseas. The culture is different, the food is different, and the seasons may even be different! It’s well-worth your time and money to travel to another country, but the farther you travel from home, the more challenging it can be.
That’s especially the case if you’re traveling during your golden years.
Don’t let the challenge of traveling far away keep you at home! You can travel anywhere in the world with confidence when you follow these tips.
Get Your Insurance in Order
The first thing you should think about is also the same thing younger travelers don’t think about at all—insurance. You need to make sure you have the same insurance abroad that you do at home.
First, dig into your car insurance policy. Car insurance policies for seniors are generally very affordable, but they may not be if you’re traveling overseas. Ask your provider if you’re covered, if there’s an additional fee to be covered, or if they don’t cover you at all. If they don’t, you may have to purchase insurance through the rental company.
Health insurance is an important consideration too, especially if you have a pre-existing condition. Speak with your insurance provider about coverage at your destination, and consider traveler’s medical insurance if they won’t cover you.
Figure out How You’re Going to Get Around
Once you’ve figured out your destination and you know you can get your insurance to work, you should think about how you’re going to get around. You don’t want to make it to the hotel only to discover you’re stuck there throughout the duration of your trip!
Renting a car will provide you with the most freedom, but you should call the rental company you expect to rent from directly. Some offices have an age limit for seniors.
Driving a car in another country can be scary, no matter what your age. You can save a lot of money and prevent stress by figuring out train schedules, purchasing bus passes, and listing the numbers of cab companies ahead of time.
Call Ahead for Accommodations
Picking out a hotel is fun. Finding out it was a bad choice when you get there is not. Make sure the hotel you choose can accommodate you by calling ahead and discussing the things you’ll need for your stay.
There are a lot of things a hotel can provide that you might not know about! A few examples include:
• Additional pillows and blankets
• Free rentals, like bicycles
• Special orders for breakfast
• Shuttle service from the airport
• Valet service for rental cars
It also includes making requests that will make your stay more enjoyable. For example, you may want to request a room on the first floor near the front desk, or you may want to request a room that is right next to the elevator.
Traveling With Your Medication
Most seniors have at least one medication they have to take on a regular basis. The last thing you want to do when you get to your destination is make a panicked stop at a pharmacy in a foreign country to try and fill your prescription!
You should travel with all the medication you will need for your trip. That may require an appointment with your doctor or pharmacist to increase the dosage of your prescription.
Traveling with medication also includes making sure all your meds, even the liquids, are packed in your carry on so they don’t accidentally get lost in your luggage. It also includes traveling with a complete list of your medications just in case there’s an emergency.
There are many health benefits of taking a vacation, including reduced stress. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a reduction in stress is guaranteed. Vacations can cause stress too.
There is a lot of stress associated with traveling because dealing with rental cars and airplanes is difficult. Make your trip more relaxing by staying longer at your destination.
Spending hours on an airplane, only to do it again a few days later is a recipe for a grumpy mood. Even if you’re traveling to multiple countries during your trip, you should plan to stay at least a week at each destination to cut down on your time spent in planes, trains, and automobiles.
There’s so much to do and see in a new place, especially when that place is in a different country! Although you may be excited to do and see as much as you can, you should really slow down.
Not only will planning too many things to do make you tired, but it can also be frustrating if you’re trying to keep to a tight schedule. Slow down and leave the majority of your days open so you have plenty of time to rest, relax, and make plans on a whim.
Feel bad about taking a nap or spending the day in the hotel? Don’t! You deserve to rest and relax on your vacation. Plus, a day of rest may rejuvenate you enough to explore more tomorrow.
Take Advantage of Senior Discounts
Don’t forget to take advantage of senior discounts! There are many travel discounts you may not know about that could save you lots of money.
You may be able to find discounts on airline tickets, hotel stays, and rental cars. When you get to your destination, you may be able to find discounts at restaurants, for concert tickets, and more. Get into the habit of asking everyone if they offer senior discounts when you’re making reservations. The worst thing they can do is say no!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you shouldn’t travel large distances because you’re out of your prime. It’s true you can’t just drop everything and hop on a plane on a whim like you might have been able to do when you were younger, but with a little planning, you can travel comfortably and safely nearly anywhere in the world.
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