You may have entered the autumn of your life, but that does not mean adventure and excitement has to end. If anything, travel amongst senior citizens is growing in popularity and why not? In fact, once you have retired and have a lot more time on your hands, you could argue it is the perfect time to explore the world a bit more.
Travelling is a wonderful, life-affirming experience for people of all ages. Here are seven tips aimed at those aged 70 and over to help them get the most from it.
Take your time
People live life in such a rush nowadays. But one of the great things about reaching retirement age is, you don’t have to. With no annual leave allowance to worry about and no school holidays to fit your plans around, you have the luxury of stretching out your trips for as long as you like. And the gentler the pace you set, the more you will find you fit in, and the more relaxing and enjoyable the whole experience will be.
Make the most of senior discounts
There is plenty of money to be saved the world over when you reach retirement age, which will help you get that little bit more out of your trip. Look for special travel discounts, especially on rail services, and also out-of-season packages put together especially for older travellers. When you reach your destination, carrying your passport or ID can get you all sorts of special offers for key attractions.
Do it yourself to save money
Another way to save money is to plan your trip yourself. Going through an agent or a package operator can be convenient, but you often pay a premium for it. So if budget is a concern, get yourself online and look to book flights and accommodation directly. Alternatively, keep an eye out for last minute package discounts.
Consider alternatives to flying
We have already mentioned that rail travel in many countries offers great discounts for older travellers. But that is not the only reason not to fly. Travelling by rail, road or sea can be part of the adventure in itself – just think of a cruise, for example. And compared to the rush and bustle of flying, the alternatives can often be more relaxing.
Find some company
One thing which puts many older people off travelling is lack of company. There are two responses to this. One is that, in itself, solo travel can be a very rewarding experience. But if that is not for you, you don’t have to give up on your dreams of seeing the world. Many tour operators specialise in group travel for senior citizens, where you will meet plenty of other friendly faces in the same boat as you.
Think about your health
The truth is, when you reach a certain age, your health does become more and more of a factor in the decisions you make. This applies to travel, for obvious reasons. Long journeys, new climates, new food can all take their toll on you, and it is not worth taking a risk if you are not in great health. The advice is always to consult with your doctor, talk in advance to your airline or tour operator about any specific needs you have, and plan things like the medication you might need to take carefully.
Get the right insurance
The final point is to make sure you get the right kind of cover for your trip. Many general travel insurance policies make exceptions in the small print based on the age of the policy holder, so you could find you are not covered should you need to make a claim. This is amplified even further if you have a pre-existing medical condition, as general policies will not cover you should you need treatment. It is therefore imperative that you look for a policy designed for travellers of your age, and if you do have a medical condition, take out the correct bespoke insurance for it.
Avanti Travel Insurance specialises in bespoke policies for the over-50s, and for people travelling with a pre-existing medical condition. For more information, please visit our website www.avantitravelinsurance.co.uk.