Oh, the places you’ll go!
Travel is an exciting hobby and now you’ve got the time to do it. However, when you’re 60+, you may have new concerns about comfort and health.
Here are 10 tips for stress free travel, especially if you’re over 60. Use these simple tips to have the best time exploring new destinations, especially in a Post-pandemic world.
Keep it simple. Pare down your wardrobe to a limited number of outfits. Mix and match items that will carry you over several days. Choose easy-care fabrics that can be quickly washed and air-dried if necessary.
Women: accessorize. A scarf and jewelry helps you change your look without stress. Men: pick a few pants and several shirts, to match. A packable jacket to suit the weather of your destination can also be used as a pillow on the plane or while waiting for connections at the airport.
Make plans to arrive well in advance of your flights. Avoid stress from waiting in long check-in lines or security lines. Arriving early will also allow you to grab something to eat before your flight.
You’ll be sitting for long periods, so stay comfy. Bring along a travel pillow. Use a knit shawl as a blanket. Bring your own entertainment and healthy snacks.
Get up and walk through the aisles every hour or so to avoid stiffness and aches. Keep moving during the flight, especially if you have circulation issues. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Keep your prescription medications with you on your flight. You’ll be set just in case your luggage is lost. Be prepared just in case: with writing down each of your medications, dosage, and the prescribing physician's phone number. If you need to replace them, you’ll be ready.
Don’t rely on finding the things you ‘must have.’ Your favorite over-the-counter medications may not be readily available at your destination country. Bring your go-to items with you such as pain relievers, stomach acid pills, allergy medications and anti-diarrheal pills. This can save you time, discomfort, hassle and money.
Comfortable shoes are the way to go. This is not a time to try out new shoes. Test your walking shoes and make sure you’ve got good arch support. Compression socks keep swelling down, for the flight and beyond.
You may even want to bring a lightweight back support to wear under your clothes, which will help to keep you comfortable on long sightseeing treks. It's also a good idea to get your body ready for a bit more activity by working out at the gym, taking long walks, swimming or bicycling.
Travel can be tiring, so rest when you can. Older adults should take every opportunity to conserve their energy while traveling. Instead of wandering through shops, take time to sit down with a cup of tea and do some people watching. Rest at a bench in museums or visiting other attractions. While traveling on a tour bus or in a taxi, take a moment to close your eyes and refresh yourself.
These short breaks can make a big difference in your energy level during your trip.
Nothing spoils an exciting trip to a faraway land like a sudden illness. The close contact with people on airplanes or crowded into popular tourist attractions can make picking up germs more likely.
Before you leave, get you get a flu shot and other recommended vaccinations. Many travelers swear by vitamin C or Echinacea to prime their immune systems. Use common sense and moderation when trying raw or fried foods. Drink bottled water.
When you’re traveling, learn to go with the flow. Chances are you will encounter unavoidable delays, changes in schedule, disruption of your usual habits and imperfect conditions. Make a concerted effort not to allow these differences to upset you.
Experienced travelers know that surprises are a part of every journey, and usually these become the most interesting part of your travel experience. Laugh and be in the present moment. You will find these moments give you the best travel stories to share when you get back home.
Avoid stimulants such as coffee, cola drinks and alcohol after 6 o'clock. If you need an extra pillow or blanket, ask the hotel staff to bring you one. Do a bit of reading before bedtime, to put you in a more relaxed frame of mind. Keep a small, battery-powered flashlight or your ipad on your nightstand.
The #1 Take Away: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.
Simple practices and a bit of preparation can increase your enjoyment while traveling. You’re likely to have more fun and less stress. With these 10 tips, you’ll find it a lot easier to fully enjoy your travel adventure.