9 of the Best Travel Tips for the Elderly

More than 65% of seniors in the United States are planning to travel the globe this year. 

Retirement provides the best chance to discover new areas, but if you don’t prepare, you’ll regret the whole trip. 

If you want to be prepared and make the most of your vacations, there are a few tips to follow. 

Continue reading to discover the best travel tips for seniors that still want to explore the world! 

1. Dress Comfortably

One of the best travel tips that you can’t overlook is to dress comfortably. 

No matter what your mode of transportation is, you don’t want to have a belt buckle piercing into your stomach for the entire ride. Wear stretchy and comfortable clothing that won’t be restrictive. It helps to dress in layers while traveling since you may experience different climates. 

Pack your favorite clothes that you feel comfortable and confident in. Sitting in the car and getting on the plane shouldn’t involve formal attire. 

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Many people make the mistake of getting dehydrated while taking a trip.

It’s easy to overlook your water intake when you’ve been in the same seat all day, driving through the same states. Use a timer or special water bottle to notify you when you need to hydrate. Getting dehydrated can increase feelings of nausea and ruin the rest of your trip. 

If you are flying to your destination, water is also important for dealing with different altitudes. Seniors are often at risk for dehydration in higher altitudes as their body tries to adapt to their surroundings. 

Keep an empty water bottle with you so that it can easily get refilled. Paying for water bottles during your travels can become expensive and contribute to more waste. 

3. Plan for Frequent Stops 

Elderly individuals need rest stops more frequently than most for a few reasons.

Not only is it good for you to stretch your legs and get a fresh breath of air, but you can also use the restroom. Long car rides can be daunting if you get nauseous, and frequent stops can prevent discomfort and keep you happy the entire ride. At each stop, spend a couple of moments stretching your back, legs, and arms.

A small walk can ease tension in your body and prevent aches and pains in the coming days. Take a look at your map and try to identify the best areas to get gas, stretch, and use the restroom. Having a plan ahead of the trip will keep you on schedule and help with organizing other details. 

Try to make the most of each stop. Each rest stop provides an opportunity to discover something new and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. 

4. Coordinate Medications

Taking a vacation can get you away from your normal life, but you’ll still need to take your meds.

Don’t make the mistake of forgetting this step and running out of medications on or just before your trip. Check the dates of your trips and compare them with your prescriptions. You can schedule appointments ahead of time to ensure that you’ll have refills and enough to get through. 

Make sure you bring more medications with you than you plan on needing. Plane delays and unexpected events can pop up, and you don’t want to go without meds because of a trip extension. 

You should have each medication in its original bottle, especially if you are traveling by plane. Certain prescriptions can be dangerous and you may need to prove that you can carry them on your person. 

5. Consider Mobility

Sitting in the car or on a plane is only one hurdle with mobility.

If you need help moving around, you’ll need to have a plan. Personal wheelchairs often get stored at the bottom of the planes, so you must find an attendant at the airport to get one. If you are driving, you’ll need to ensure there is enough storage room for your chair and that it will be easy to get in and out. 

Walkers and travel canes are recommended if you don’t require a wheelchair. These devices are much smaller and easier to travel with. Although it can be a hassle to coordinate mobility details, you don’t want to strain yourself on the trip trying to walk independently. 

6. Look for Senior Discounts

As the prices of traveling increase, you need to make adjustments and do your research.

Many airlines, restaurants, and stores are willing to accommodate seniors and give them discounts. Since most elderly Americans are on a fixed income for retirement, prices can’t increase too much. Ask each place you visit for senior discounts or look them up online ahead of time. 

You can save hundreds of dollars on your vacation by asking this simple question. If you want to save even more and were in the armed forces, you may qualify for additional discounts! 

Take note of the savings you qualify for on each trip. This information can help you plan future vacations, which will increase if you can get more for your money.

7. Make a Packing List

Whether your trip is a week or 2 months, you should always make a list of the items you need to pack. 

It’s easy to overlook important items while packing when all of your belongings are thrown around the house. Brainstorming and creating a list will ensure that you don’t forget anything and have something to refer to before you leave.

Check off each item as you put it into the bag. Avoid checking off items that you’ve gathered, but not yet put in the bag. Adding specific items to your checklist will save time when pulling everything together. 

It helps to start writing this list a few days or weeks in advance. If you need help, there are many packing guides you can find online. 

8. Prepare for the Airport

There are many benefits of traveling via plane as an elderly individual.

Although there are a few details to coordinate, flying is a great way to travel alone or with a group. At the airport, some attendants can assist you with moving around and finding your gate. Before you leave for the airport, make sure you have your tickets printed or easily accessible online. 

Aside from packing a properly sized carry-on bag, you’ll also need to consider the steps that come after. Before getting to your gate you’ll have to go through security and get your luggage checked by the TSA. Make sure you don’t have liquids in your carry-on bags and share any surgeries that could set off the metal detectors. 

Knee implant and hip surgeries often involve hardware that can set the machines off. It helps to get a note from your doctor so you don’t have to spend hours in security and risk missing your flight. 

Find someone to drive you to the airport, otherwise, book a parking spot at the airport for the length of your trip. 

9. Help Your Body Adapt 

Driving through the mountains and flying high in the sky can take a toll on your body, especially if you are older and have health conditions.

To better prepare yourself for the trip, you should buy motion sickness medications to prevent feelings of nausea. If your ears easily pop from changing altitudes, pack some gum or something else to chew on.

Some flights and drives will take you into new time zones, and it’s difficult for your body to notice the changes. Packing a sleeping mask and earplugs can help if you’re worried about jet lag or not getting enough rest. 

Outside of clothing, think about the things that will make the trip easier on your body. Some people, for example, deal with swelling after sitting for long periods. Put an ice pack in your cooler or bag to help you stay comfortable and relaxed. 

These Are the Best Travel Tips for Seniors 

Most people wait until retirement to start seeing the world and are unprepared for the long drives and jet lag. 

Following the best travel tips for seniors can help you get to your destination without letting aches slow you down. With enough planning and rest stops, you can keep your body free of pain and prevent missing out on any exciting days. As a senior, you can still explore but you’ll have to consider comfort and hydration. 

Don’t underestimate the time it takes to navigate airports either, especially if you have a wheelchair. 

Be sure to check out our blog for more information about ways to travel and how to make the most of your vacation!


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