Traveling as an older adult can be a daunting experience. However, if you take the right safety precautions and plan ahead, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. This blog post will explore how to travel safely as an older adult. It’ll discuss topics such as choosing the right accommodation and transport, staying healthy while on the road, preparing for emergencies, and more. By following this guide, you can make sure that your travels are safe and enjoyable.
Choose the Right Accommodation:
When choosing accommodation for your travels, safety should be the top priority. For example, if you choose to stay in a hotel or similar accommodation, ensure that it has good security features such as CCTV, secure entry, interior entry doors, and a well-lit parking area close to the entrance.
You may want to look into accommodations with staff who can assist you during your stay or make a request for a handicapped room which often includes an emergency call button, ample space for walking around with ease, and hand grips and bars in the bathroom. handicapped accessible rooms are also often located closer to the front desk and the parking area which cuts down on having to carry your luggage up and down stairs.
And if possible, try to choose accommodation within walking distance of attractions or amenities like restaurants, pharmacies, and shops so that you don’t have to rely on public transport or deal with the headache of driving in an unfamiliar place or navigating parking rules and regulations that can sometimes result in your car getting towed.
Choose the Right Transport:
If you’re going on a longer trip, it is essential to choose the right transport. If you are driving make sure your car is in top shape before the trip and that you have an emergency kit in your trunk. If you are not a fan of long car journeys because you find them tiring and uncomfortable, opt for flying with Jet Companion. Jet Companion is a service for older adults which provides assistance and companionship during the journey.
You can also make use of public transportation such as trains or buses. Trains are one of my favorite ways to travel. You get to see the country without having to drive and the seats are much more comfortable than any airline seat with lots of leg room and full reclining.
Make sure to do research ahead of time on which transportation options are available in the area you’re visiting, including which ones are easily accessible from the location you are staying, and which ones are safest for older adults.
Stay Healthy While Traveling:
When traveling as an older adult, it is important to ensure that you stay healthy throughout your trip. This means eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough rest. If you are not in top shape, try to avoid strenuous activities like hiking or cycling and instead opt for more leisurely activities such as walking, sightseeing, or shopping.
Additionally, if you plan on traveling abroad, ensure you have the correct vaccinations before going. Health risks can vary depending on which country you’re traveling to, so it is essential to do your research and consult a doctor before traveling.
Prepare for Emergencies:
It is important to be prepared in case of an emergency while traveling as an older adult. Make sure that you always have access to a first aid kit and any relevant medications. If possible, try to keep your phone charged at all times and carry around a spare battery pack or charger with you in case your phone runs out of charge.
Make sure that if you are on medication you pack enough to last your entire trip including some extra in case of emergency or travel delays. You don’t want to be stranded at the airport due to inclement weather and run out of vital medication such as insulin or heart medication.
Keep a small notebook with any emergency contact information including a list of your medications, allergies, and family members, as well as your medical and travel insurance details. Also include the contact details for emergency services such as doctors, hospitals, and pharmacists in the locations you are traveling to. Doing your research and setting this up prior to traveling will save you time in the event of an emergency.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings:
It is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times when traveling as an older adult. Be alert and aware of your personal safety, and always be mindful of your belongings. For example, avoid carrying large amounts of cash on you or displaying expensive items such as jewelry or cameras.
Also, keep a close eye on your luggage, especially in public places like airports, train stations, and markets.
Pack for All the Seasons:
As an older adult, it is essential to be prepared for all weather conditions. Pack clothes that are suitable for both hot and cold climates, as the weather can change unexpectedly. It is also wise to bring multiple layers of clothing, as this will help you stay comfortable in any situation.
If you plan on walking around a lot during your trip, make sure to wear comfortable and supportive shoes such as trainers or walking boots. This will help you avoid any unnecessary pain or fatigue while traveling.
Travel with a Companion:
If possible, try to travel with a companion such as a family member or friend. Having someone else with you can provide an extra level of safety and security and be more enjoyable for both parties involved.
However, if you decide to travel alone, make sure to tell somebody where you are going and when they should expect you back so that they can check up on your progress.
Here is a handy checklist created by the US State Department for older travelers.
You can download a printable pdf version here.
By following this guide, elderly travelers can ensure that their travels are safe and enjoyable. With careful planning and preparation, traveling as an older adult can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.