Travel was once a key component of the picture working professionals created of their ideal retirements. While the COVID-19 pandemic put many retirement travel plans on hold in recent years, jetting off to distant locales is once again on retirees’ radars.
A 2022 survey from AARP found that individuals 50 and over were poised to not only get back on the road, but also spend significantly more money on travel. Prior to the pandemic, Americans 50 and over spent $7,314 annually on travel, according to data from AARP. By spring 2022, individuals in that same age bracket indicated a readiness to spend $8,369 on travel.
Eagerness to get back on the road, in the air or on the high seas could make it easy to overlook some principles of safe travel. However, such an oversight could lead to complications that could make it hard to enjoy time away from home. The following tips can reduce the likelihood that seniors encounter trouble while traveling.
Determine if any health issues are affecting your desired destinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a website devoted to travel vaccines (cdc.gov/travel/page/travel-vaccines), and that page can be an invaluable resource for individuals planning a vacation. What’s more, the CDC even provides a specific list of destinations and the latest travel health notices for each of those nations. That list, accessible at cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list can help seniors determine if there are any health-related safety issues in countries they hope to visit.
Speak to your physician. A pre-trip consultation with a physician can uncover any issues that might arise while you’re away. Such issues may be easily managed for domestic travelers who are not planning to visit any especially remote locations, but they will not necessarily be as easily navigated when traveling overseas. Physicians can recommend certain vaccinations or measures to ensure your health while away. In addition, a pre-trip doctor visit is a great time to refill prescriptions that you will need while you’re away.
Take financial precautions as well. Of course, not all travel-related concerns are medical. Finances also require some pre-trip attention. Inflation has caused a sharp spike in the price of various commodities since the start of 2022, so travelers should study up on the cost of food and attractions at their destination to ensure they have enough money to enjoy themselves. Baggage costs have risen significantly in recent years, so seniors traveling on a budget may want to pack less and do laundry while traveling in an effort to save money. In addition, the unpredictable nature of travel since the onset of the pandemic has underscored the utility of travel insurance. Seniors can look into travel insurance that could reimburse them in the case of delays or cancellations.
Privately share your itinerary. Prior to departing, share your itinerary with friends and family. Avoid sharing the itinerary on social media platforms, which can make you a target for criminals at home and at your destination. The itinerary should include where you’re staying, the dates you’re visiting certain locations and the dates of activities you’ll be engaging in on your trip.