Few demographics have the free time and the financial capacity to travel as much as retirees. Now that children have flown the coop and retirement papers have been filed, the world is many seniors’ oyster.
According to a 2017 survey from AARP, travel is a top goal for more than 80 percent of Baby Boomers. Children may find that encouraging their aging parents to travel can promote more independence and help them live fulfilling lives in retirement.
These tips can make travel easier for any senior ready to see the world.
1. Seek the most direct route. Traveling may be a bit easier to endure when the route is as short and direct as possible. It may cost a little more to book nonstop flights or travel during peak hours, but that investment may be worth it.
2. Choose senior-friendly travel services. Working with a trusted travel advisor is often easier than booking your travel yourself. Travel agents often have inside information and may be privy to perks and discounts. Plus they can streamline the process, ensuring all you need to do is go along for the fun.
3. Senior discounts are waning. Most airlines have done away with senior discounts. In 2013, the price comparison resource Fare Compare looked at senior discounts of various airlines and found most of them were unreliable.
4. Inquire about accessibility. If mobility is an issue or if there are any disabilities, contact your carrier and hotel or tour company and be sure that there will be accessibility arrangements, such as wheelchair access or ground-level accommodations.
5. Pack light. Don’t get bogged down by excess luggage. Pack only what you need, including medications, in a carry-on bag.
6. Consider a cruise. Cruises combine food, entertainment and comfortable rooms in one convenient package.
7. Manage medications. If prescription medications are needed, be sure to consult with the doctor and pharmacy about getting a supply that will last the course of the trip.
8. Bring along a companion. You may feel more comfortable bringing along one of your children, another young relative or a close friend, especially if you are traveling internationally. This extra person can help navigate and ensure all your needs are met.
In a normal year, many seniors have the opportunity to travel. These tips can make such travel easier in various ways.