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Travel Tips for Seniors

You have worked your entire life, now that you are retired and have some free time, what better way to spend it than to travel!  Below are some tips and planning strategies for you to use when planning your next excursion.

Where to Go?

You first must decide what kind of trip you are looking to take. Are you looking for adventure, relaxation, remote travel or some combination? Wherever you decide, make sure you research the best time to go.

Besides doing some basic research, the best way that I have found is to just ask!  Email your friends and ask them what is the one place they have traveled that they recommend and why?  If they are anything like my friends, they will send you a novel on all the places they went, ranking them along the way!

Accommodations and Getting Around 

Prior to booking your accommodations for your trip, do some research regarding any accessibility issues that there might be.  If you do have a specific circumstance, inquire with the hotel or resort to make sure they can accommodate you.  Also, most places are more than willing to give you a room on the lower level, closer to the entrance if you request.  Finally, it is also good to check to make sure all elevators are working, last thing you want is to get there and find you have to take the stairs!

When looking to go away, check with the concierge at the hotel you are staying at to get the best means of transportation for that area. Also ask if the hotel provides shuttle services to and from the airport, often times this would be included.  It might also be worth getting a bus or subway schedule ahead of time so you can plan out your trip more efficiently.

Discounts

Many places here and abroad offer discounts for seniors, all you have to do is ask!  If you have AAA you should explore what they offer as in many cases you could get a discount on your hotel, rental car or even some events.  Finally, most Americans use credit cards in their everyday life and many offer some sort of reward system.  Be sure to maximize the points you use for travel or events, you might be surprised how quickly your everyday purchases add up!

Travel Insurance

Unfortunately sometimes life happens and like anything else, you need to be prepared.  Travel insurance is the best way to protect you when traveling.

It’s important to find out exactly how your medical insurance works, especially if you are traveling overseas.

One important thing to note is that Medicare may not be valid outside of the US and you should double check your coverage for exclusions.  Most travel insurance will have a rider for evacuation insurance in the event you are unable to fly commercially, make sure you understand all the details.  One final note, check with your credit card company as well, in many cases they offer travel insurance with added benefits if booked using their card.

Medications

When planning your trip, remember you are taking a vacation from your home, not your responsibilities.  Making sure you have adequate medications with you before leaving, is critical.  Depending on where you end up going, it may be very difficult to refill a prescription and supplements that are over the counter here in the U.S. may not be readily available, or even legal, in other parts of the world.

As an added precaution, know and understand both the brand and generic names for all your medications.  You might even go as far as to ask your physician what are the common names for your medications in the region of the world you are going, assuming you are traveling overseas.

Hopefully this was helpful.  For more information, you can visit AARP.com