Senior Travel

 

Trip Planning

globe-icon.jpg

You may not be as young as you once were, but that certainly doesn’t mean you are too old to see the world. Now that you are retired and have some money saved, this could be the best time to get out and finally see some of the places you have always dreamed of visiting!

According to AARP, 96% of surveyed baby boomers said they anticipated taking at least one domestic trip in 2018, while 51% said they planned to travel internationally.

Planning a trip can be complicated, but there are plenty of resources out there to help simplify the process:

  • With travel comparison sites like Skyscanner or Kayak, you can easily find great deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars.
  • Package tours are also an option. You can even look into ones that specifically cater to seniors, such as Seniortours or ElderTreks.

Do Your Researchcomputer-icon

Research your destination ahead of time so that you are as prepared as possible for any challenges you may face once you arrive. You don’t want to be caught off guard!

On the U.S. Department of State website, you can look up any country in the world and read important information about its:

  • Embassies and Consulates
  • Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws & Special Circumstances
  • Health
  • Travel and Transportation

Additionally, the "Quick Facts" section at the top addresses the country’s policies about:

  • Passport Validity
  • Tourist Visa Requirements
  • Vaccinations
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry
  • Currency Restrictions for Exit

PRO TIP: If you have a disability and are concerned about accommodations and accessibility, you can find information for mobility-impaired travelers under each country’s Special Laws & Circumstances section. 

Air Traveltransportation icon.png

Make sure you know exactly what travel documentation you will need for the countries you’re visiting. Do you need a visa? If so, what type?

It’s also a good idea to make front-and-back copies of all your documents in case anything is lost or stolen. Make sure to keep them separate from the originals.

If you’re worried about accessibility issues while traveling, remember that airlines will make accommodations for you if you have a disability.

There is a helpful resource on cheapflights.com that has information about disability accommodations and policies for 23 of the world’s major airlines.  It’s a good idea to let your airline know ahead of time about any accommodations you may require.

The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 made it a requirement for all U.S.-based airlines to offer disabled passengers wheelchair transportation to and from their gates.

You can read about how to request airport wheelchair assistance here.


learn about travel health coverage 

Staying Healthysafety-icon.png

No one wants to get sick or deal with unexpected health issues while trying to enjoy themselves on vacation, so it’s important to take preemptive measures before you leave.

Visit your doctor beforehand to discuss any health concerns you may have and to make sure you are healthy enough to travel.  

If you’re traveling somewhere where infectious diseases, such as yellow fever or polio, are present, then it would be a good idea to get vaccinated before you leave. Some countries even require proof of vaccination for certain diseases. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises getting vaccinated at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip.

If you take medications, make sure you keep these tips in mind:

  • Pack your medication in your carry-on – not your checked luggage.
  • Take enough medication to last you an extra day or two.
  • Write down the generic names of your brand name medications so you can try to replace them if necessary.

Protecting Your Belongings suitcase

Because of your age, thieves may see you as an easier target. Here are some tips for avoiding theft while abroad:

  • Don’t advertise your absence from your hotel room. When you leave for the day, don’t hang the “please clean my room” sign on the door. This tells potential thieves that the room is empty.
  • Avoid dressing or acting like tourist. Try not to pull out maps or guidebooks while in public.
  • Leave any fancy jewelry or handbags at home. Avoid any blatant displays of wealth.
  • Wear clothes with zippered pockets and keep your bags close at all times. Don’t keep all your cash and credit cards in one place.
  • Be vigilant while using ATMs. Try to avoid ATMs that aren’t located at banks. Shield the keypad while entering your pin.

Discountsmoney-icon

One of the perks of getting older is the senior discounts, so be sure to keep a lookout for any opportunities that will help lessen the cost of your trip!

You can check out these sites for lists of travel discounts for seniors:

Remember that oftentimes you won’t get senior discounts unless you ask for them. It doesn’t hurt to simply inquire, “Do you offer a senior discount?”

If you belong to AARP, make sure you take advantage of any discounts that are offered to members.

You may want to consider booking your hotels, flights, rental cars, cruises, and/or vacation packages on the AARP Travel Center page, which combines AARP member discounts with the best rates from Expedia.

learn about travel health coverage

Recent Blog Posts