Ask for Senior Discounts
One of the advantages of being a senior citizen is being eligible for extra special discounts. Many airlines offer senior discounts to their flyers above a certain age.
Be sure to call ahead and check with your airlines at the time of booking if they have any special offers. You never know; this travel hack may not only get you some cheaper tickets but also get you some special perks on the flight.
Online check-in has many advantages for everyone, from seniors to young passengers to airlines. Almost all the airlines allow you to check in online nearly 24 hours before your scheduled departure.
Once you check in, a bit of the stress of getting to the airport five hours earlier disappears. Not to mention, you also get to choose your seats while checking in online. Some airports even charge a small fee to check in offline, which can be avoided.
Get Your Luggage Delivered
One of the perks of the world becoming more connected is the ease with which you can send your items from one place to another. An excellent way to travel is to send your luggage ahead, especially during international travel.
This is especially helpful if you’re taking a long trip somewhere far away and want to take a little more than the airline would like you to, including your golf clubs! If your next vacation is a month-long trip to Italy, you should opt for this option.
Don’t Cut Corners
Having gone through over five decades of life offers you some golden nuggets about what you like and what you can’t stand. Hence, when booking a trip, take your time.
Instead of rushing, book what suits you best, according to your taste. This also means you don’t have to opt for the cheapest option. Keep in mind that now every trip is about you and your liking.
Hire a Travel Companion
One of the biggest problems as you age is losing the ease with which you could once pick up a backpack and be on your way. As an older adult, you’ll need a little more assistance and even some good company.
Hiring a travel companion can help you in many ways. Your companion will be a caregiver who will help you in whatever way you need and provide you with a friendly and familiar face everywhere you go.
Beware of Free Wi-Fi
The allure of free Wi-Fi in public spaces is a dangerous thing. These networks may allow you to surf the net free of cost, but they can also easily steal your information.
Avoid the free Wi-Fi your phone automatically connects to while sitting at cafés. Instead, ask the people at your hotel or the café for their Wi-Fi. You might even get lucky, and be provided with a free Wi-Fi password.
Make Copies of Documents
You can never be too careful when traveling, so having an extra layer of protection is always a good idea. Especially when it comes to documents, the safer you are, the better.
So, when traveling abroad, ensure that you have copies of all your documents in case of an emergency. Get a Xerox copy of everything — boarding pass, passport, even your itinerary.
Get Security Done on Time
Being a senior affords you some leeway regarding the security check. You often get priority when standing in line and can quickly pass through it.
If you’re over 75, you’re not even required to remove your shoes and can wear light layering through the check. Always carry medical identification for any liquids or gels you might have on hand. If you have a specific issue, you can inform the staff in advance for a better and easier passage.
Get to the Airport Early
Everybody should get to the airport early. Even if you’ve checked in online, getting there at least two hours before can help, especially if you’ve checked in your baggage.
You might be relaxed if you’ve just got one carry-on baggage left. But people with extra luggage and mobility issues should always keep some buffer time.
Try to Book Direct Flight
One of the biggest hassles while traveling is changing flights when you have a connecting flight. It requires you to have extra patience, time, and care.
Booking a direct flight will help you get from one place to another without going through all the complications of changing a flight. Plus, this way, you’ll get to your destination faster!
Speak to Your Doctor
Traveling can take a toll on your body in more than one way. Especially if you’re going to a brand new location, being cautious is best. Talk to your healthcare provider before you take off.
Your doctor can give you information on which medicine you might require and any additional possible health concerns according to your destination.
Bring a Neck Pillow
This is a universal tip to be followed when traveling, and for good reason. Long flights can take a toll on the body, and you’re more susceptible to discomfort as an older person.
Bringing along a neck pillow can help alleviate neck and shoulder pain and let you squeeze in a few zzzs easily. This handy little addition to your travel luggage can make a ton of difference in your travel experience.
Keep Documents on Your Phone
One of the best things about technology is that it allows you to keep everything necessary on you at all times. You can use your phone to store all your essential information and data — like your documents!
So, before leaving home, get to work (or put your younger family members to work) and snap away photos of all your important documents, especially your passports, tickets, etc. This is an added layer of protection and a handy travel tip.
Buy Travel Insurance
Traveling can be a joy, but it can also be a pain. Older age can lead to an increase in the chances of injury on the go. So having travel insurance is a must.
The insurance will cover you in case of unexpected trip cancellations, if your luggage gets stolen or lost by the airline, or if you injure yourself. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Research Before Going
You can never know too much about a place, but being well-versed in the basics can go a long way. If you’re traveling abroad, ensure that you get on the internet or to the library and check out the things to do in your destination.
It’ll help you get a clear picture of the place, ensure that your planning goes more smoothly, and encompass all the essential points. Plus, it’s a great way to find tips on how to get the best deals everywhere you go.
Take a Smartphone Session
In the age of TikTok and Instagram, almost everybody knows how to operate a smartphone at a basic level. But when traveling, learning how to use certain apps can go a long way.
So, before leaving, get a tech-savvy person to sit with you and teach you what you need to know. Operating apps related to maps, food booking, and translation can be a big help once you reach your destination.
Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you need to pack everything in your house. Instead, opt for efficiency when packing.
You might think you need tons of clothes, but we promise that you won’t. Make a practical and plausible packing list beforehand and review it before packing. Just don’t pack those five extra pairs of pants for a three-day trip.
Carry Extra Medication
If you have a regularly prescribed dose of medication, ensure that you pack extras for your trip. There’s always a chance of losing something or running out. So, fill in the required dosage for your trip and a little extra.
Store and adequately keep them, so your pills are not crushed by the end. Opt for carrying the original containers for ease of custom inspection. Also, always have your medication in your carry-on for ease of access.
Check Back Home Regularly
If you have somebody you can check in with at regular intervals, ensure that you do so. It’ll bring peace of mind to the people back home and to you too!
Drop a text or a photo every day for assurance. It’ll ensure that somebody can keep track of your whereabouts and help you stay connected. You can even switch on your phone location for certain people to access and keep track of.
Don’t Overbook Yourself
When booking your trip, don’t try to overdo it by cramming everything into what should be a week of relaxation. Instead, spread out your itinerary so that you get ample time to hit the right spots and relax.
The good thing about a vacation as an adult is the option to laze around in another country without any guilt. So if you want to leave a day to just hang out at your hanging, it’s all alright.
Opt for Centrally-Located Hotels
This is crucial as it’ll help you get to your destinations and back quickly. When choosing your stay, make sure you opt for a place centrally located for all your plans and easily accessible.
This will help you easily catch all your buses, cabs, and trains. It’ll also help you move around in less time and come back to your base quickly. Who wants a long-duration hassle at the end of a busy day?
Pre-Plan Your Itinerary
One of the most basic and essential points when traveling is to have a rough, if not minute-by-minute, itinerary beforehand. As an older adult, you don’t always have the luxury of making plans on a whim, especially in a foreign land.
Knowing what to expect helps you be prepared beforehand. If you know that you want to head to a waterpark on your trip, you can be ready with all your supplies for maximum fun ahead of time.
Pre-Book All Big Tickets
If you’re heading to Paris and want to go to the Louvre, you might like to save time standing in the ticket line. An easy way out is to book all your tickets online before you leave to avoid line hassles.
Why add to your stress and waste time having to wait everywhere to even just buy a ticket? Booking online might even get you some cashback or discounts.
Carry a Blanket
It’s easier to get chilly when you’re older. Your body feels cold more often, and it can lead to body aches and make a mess of your day.
To avoid this, keeping a small blanket in your carry-on can help. When you’re at the airport or taking a journey on a bus, you can whip out your blanket for a relaxing and cozy time.
Use Packing Cubes and Bottles
A relatively new but seriously effective way of packing is using various cubes and bottles in your suitcase. This will help you optimize your space effectively while also keeping your suitcase neat and clean.
Not to mention, it’ll help you look for things easily. So, when you’re looking for that one blue shirt and those comfy cargo pants, you won’t have to dig through a whole pile of other clothes in your suitcase to find them.
Carry a Universal Charger
This is a significant hack when you’re traveling abroad — carry a universal charger with you. If you don’t, and you suddenly need the correct charging port with you, you’ll have to spend the extra dollars at your travel destination to keep your phone charged.
Buying a universal charger is a one-time investment. It’ll also come in handy on all your future trips because you won’t have to keep loaning a charger from hotels in the future.
Book Senior-Centric Tours
While traveling, having guidance and a group can be a whole lot of help. Not only will it make your trip all the more enjoyable, but you’ll also be able to roam around stress-free, knowing that someone else has taken care of everyhting.
When researching tours, look for senior-centric ones. This will help you have a more relaxed pace while getting to connect with seniors like you. Their activities will also be catered to people of an older age, so it’ll be right up your alley.
Learn the Basic Lingo
Knowing the basic vocabulary of a new place can help. Even though everything is much easier with the help of apps like Google Translate, it can always be good to know a few key phrases in the local language.
Get on the internet or pick a book before your trip. Learn the words for essential items and places like hotels, food, water, and key phrases to make your journey easier. For everything else, there’s always the Google translator.
Travel can make anyone tired, and seniors are all the more susceptible to this. To ensure that you stay energized on the second day of the trip, take little naps and breaks in the middle of the day.
If you’re traveling by bus from one destination to another, quickly squeeze in a 15-minute Power Nap to keep the energy up. This is also the perfect time to use that neck pillow!
Carry a Portable Power Bank
It’s very easy to forget to charge your phone before leaving your hotel to do your sightseeing for the day. So, having a handy portable power bank with you when traveling is very important.
It’ll help you keep your phone charged no matter where you are. However, only depend partially on this product because even its battery can run out after a point. These things are for emergencies or as backups. Also, if you’re using one, ensure that you charge it every few days.
Buy a Transport Pass
If your vacation plans involve moving about a lot in your chosen city, then look up the transport facilities of the place beforehand. Invest in a metro or bus transport pass to save money and time.
You can easily get these passes online or even at stations. This one-time investment can make your entire week easier by many degrees and save you the hassle of standing in lines every time.
Check Your Card for Lounge Access
Airports can be such a bore and an uncomfortable one to boot. If you have layovers or you have to spend a long time in an airport, having access to an airline or credit card lounge can be a serious boon.
Having a credit card that gives you access is a big help. You’ll get a place to put your feet up and recline and complimentary food and beverages to make your wait comfortable. So, check before leaving to see if any of your credit cards or airlines offer you this perk.
Add a Luggage Tag
This is Traveling 101, but just because you’re moving onto the senior-level hacks doesn’t mean you forget the most basic ones. A luggage tag makes it easy to identify your luggage and put pertinent information on it.
Make sure you put one on your check-in luggage and even on the carry-on bag that has to be stowed in the overhead compartment. It helps reduce the chances of misplacement and misidentification while traveling.
Keep a Waterproof Toiletry Bag
Nothing sours a trip faster than opening your suitcase and realizing your shampoos and creams have spilled onto your clothes and made a huge mess. Thankfully, there’s a quick and easy way to keep your toiletries from messing up your clothes.
While packing, pack all your liquid items in portable tubes that seal tightly, then place them in waterproof toiletry bags. This will keep them from spilling outside, and in case they do, limit the damage to the toiletry bag.
Choose a Cruise
There’s a reason why cruises are so popular with seniors. These all-included trips remove the need to move about a lot, giving you everything in just one location.
So, if your main aim during your trip is to get some relaxation, cruises are your best option. You can lounge, swim, mingle, and even get to see a city or two, thanks to the port stops!
Travel During the Off-Seasons
If, for you, vacationing is majorly about getting to enjoy a new place without too much hassle, it’s best to travel during the off-season. Missing the hordes of tourists is a big plus.
The “shoulder season,” the time between the peaks and lows of tourist activity, is the best time to take a trip. This way, you can avoid all the significant crowds while enjoying lovely weather and relaxing activities.
There’s nothing as awful as being unable to keep up with your trip because of feeling tired all the time. One of the key reasons why this happens is because of dehydration.
Always keep a bottle of water at hand and consistently sip on water to keep your body hydrated. You can even get an empty bottle from home and keep filling it during your stops to avoid spending too much money on water bottles.
Download Maps for Offline Use
You might only sometimes get a good Wi-Fi connection when you travel. Even if you’ve purchased a phone plan, there’s always a chance you’ll run out of data. So, keep a google map of the place downloaded on your phone.
This life-saving hack can help you in times of need and make you less dependent on finding an internet connection to get around.
Use AirTags for Luggage
AirTags are highly recommended for people traveling for a long duration, internationally or with layovers. These devices let you track your things and give you peace of mind.
You might use them to track more minor things like keys or your wallet, but one of the best usages is to put them in your check-in luggage. This way, you’ll be able to know where your luggage is.
Save Money by Swapping Houses
If you’re looking for a vacation with less budget, swapping houses can be an excellent way to do it. With websites that allow you to veto and research the people beforehand, you can easily pick a destination you want to go to and have a good time on a smaller budget.
This is an ideal setup if you’re looking to travel for a longer time, allowing you to explore a new place thoroughly!
Carry a Pair of Good Shoes
This is the ultimate hack for having a comfortable trip. A pair of good shoes can make all the difference in your trip. Especially if your trip includes a lot of walking around on tours and in museums, shoes can be a game-changer.
Keep those heels and fancy loafers for dinners, and opt for simple, comfy shoes throughout the day. Love your feet throughout the day, and keep your style for the night!
Get a Health Check-Up
Before getting on that plane for that long-awaited adventure, ensure that your body is up-to-date internally and that your physician clears you to take the trip.
Especially if you’re going for a long trip abroad, getting a clean bill of health from a doctor can put your mind at ease and help you plan properly. It’ll allow you to prepare for activities you might have skipped otherwise.
Don’t Advertise That You’re Leaving
You might be very tempted to post photos of you leaving for a trip on your Facebook account, but stop that temptation in its tracks. Don’t advertise that you will leave your home alone for safety reasons.
You might be on vacation, but your sense of security doesn’t have to be. Thieves often track such things on social media to know which houses to rob. Whenever you’re leaving, engage your house alarm and have somebody trustworthy check on your house occasionally.
Gone are the days when keeping your money and passport in a fanny pack was the safe option. Now, it’s the anti-theft backpacks or purses that will help you keep your valuables safe and close.
These look exactly like regular items, ensuring that you don’t stick out like a sore thumb, but they come with several other cool features. Invest in one of these fabulous bags for an added layer of safety, and ditch those beloved fanny packs.
Most of All, Enjoy
This isn’t a hack or a tip, but something to follow on every vacation. Everything is set, the bookings are made, and the bags are packed, so all you have to do is smile and start on the adventure of your lifetime!
You’ve struggled and toiled, and now it’s time to reap the rewards. So take the vacation, capture lots of photos, and come back with stories.