Travel may be difficult for certain age groups. Many seniors didn’t travel much during their working years, as they saved their money for the golden years. The golden years have tarnished a bit, but now is the time to pack your bags and hit the road! My 11 common sense travel tips for seniors are lessons I have learned that make my travels easier!
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #1
Make a plan. Oh wouldn’t it be nice to just throw some things into a suitcase, hop in the car and go where the road leads you? Nice, but not practical. Make a plan, put it in writing. If you want to go to Orlando, Florida how will you get there? If you will fly, then you need to make plane reservations. If you plan to drive, then you need a map or GPS. What tourist spots do you want to see? How many days will you be away? How much do you want to spend? By making a plan you have an opportunity to get the most for your money and for your time.
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #2
Speaking of GPS, I suggest you always take maps with you even if you have a GPS. Many travelers have found out their GPS isn’t always accurate. If you solely rely on your GPS, you may find yourself many miles away from where you should be. You can buy a road atlas in such places as Wal-Mart or drug stores. Pick one up and keep it in your car. I have one that is getting a little rough around the edges, but it is still a good reference.
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #3
When you book a motel room, use the inter-net to check prices. First go to the website of the hotel or motel you prefer. Check their listed rates for seniors, AARP, whatever classification they use. If you only save a few dollars, it’s still a few dollars in your pocket. You can call the motel chain directly and ask for the lowest rate possible. They may be having a special that isn’t listed on their website. Always get your money’s worth, and don’t be afraid to ask.
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #4
If you plan to travel by car, get your vehicle tuned up before your trip. Have the oil changed if it is time. Make sure your tires have the right amount of air. Make sure the fluids for your windshield washer is full.
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #5
Car travel can be safe and fun, but you still need to plan for the potential of ‘bad’ things, such as a snow storm or an ice storm. Make sure to have a warm blanket, flashlights, water and some snacks just in case you get stranded. At least you can try to stay warm and hydrated if you have some supplies with you.
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #6
If you plan to use toll roads, be sure to keep some change where you can reach it easily. Besides roads, there are many bridges that charge tolls. You should plan those expenses into your travel budget also. My husband and I used to travel back and forth from Tennessee to New Jersey via toll roads and bridges. Those tolls added up to over $30 each way, and that was 8 years ago, so I’m sure the costs are more now. We then switched to a different route and the tolls, round trip, cost us $1. That’s a big savings!
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #7
If you are going to travel by plane, make sure to have identification on the outside and inside of your luggage. Keep an eye on your luggage at all times and don’t leave it unattended.
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #8
As common as this sounds, it needs repeating. Do not pick up hitch-hikers. Keep your car doors locked at all times. Make sure to avoid the known “bad areas” of town. At the motel or hotel, don’t open your door to strangers claiming to be there to fix the faucet. Call the front desk to verify that they sent someone. Safety first!
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #9
Make a list of all of your medications. Write down all the information contained on the labels of each medication. This is a good thing to keep in your wallet at all times in case you wind up in the emergency room. Things get confused in those situations, so if you have a list with you it will make things a little easier. Since I began taking medications I have always had a list in my wallet, which I update as necessary. Keep a few ’emergency’ dollars tucked away in that wallet also.
Common sense travel tips for seniors – Tip #10
Tell someone where you are going, such as your friend, neighbor or relative. Give someone your full schedule. If something were to happen to you while traveling, at least someone would have a clue as to where you were last and where you were headed.
Common Sense travel tips for seniors – Tip – #11
If you own a GM vehicle and have OnStar, be sure to use it when and if it is necessary. It has come in handy on several occasions during our travels.
Travel can be fun. Follow the above tips and hopefully you can avoid turning your trip into a travel disaster. Have a safe journey!