Travel is definitely not just for the young. Seniors more than ever are getting out and seeing the world and businesses have begun providing accommodations to meet the needs of seniors. So with a bit of planning and attention to your unique requirements, there are few places you can’t go. Here are the top five travel tips for seniors to help you plan for and enjoy your trip.First: Have a Backup PlanWhen you were 22 years old and backpacking across Europe, it was OK if your hostel was full and you had nowhere to sleep. You could just sleep on a rooftop or spend the night on a train. But not today. The unique health, comfort and security concerns of senior travelers require careful planning. But even the best plans can go awry. Maybe your hotel is full, or your flight was overbooked, or the local medical clinic you read about has closed for the season. The number one travel tip for seniors is to make sure you have a backup plan and backup resources available in your travel area to meet your health, comfort and security needs if your original plan hits a snag.Second: Pre-Determine Accessibility and Physical Capability Needs for AttractionsLet’s say you have a beautiful cruise of Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca planned for the third day of your trip. Sounds great, but not if you discover upon arrival that you have to climb down a steep slope to get to the dock and practically jump from the dock to the boat. Or if the art museum you hoped to visit is actually at the top of 50 steep steps with no other entrance. Not all attractions are accessible by those with mobility or other health issues. So ask about the accessibility and physicality required for the sites and activities you plan to enjoy.Third: Pay Attention to Travel SecurityGetting off the beaten path is great at any age. But senior travelers can sometimes seem easy targets for pickpockets and scam artists. Traveling in groups, whether in tours or with friends, is the best way to ward of potential problems. But for those seniors who enjoy getting way off the beaten path, we recommend a few travel security items, such as money belts to hide your cash, credit cards and passport; travel locks to keep your day pack zippers secured in crowded areas and RFID-protected wallets to stop identity theft. It’s also a good idea to carry a little disposable cash and a false wallet to satisfy a robber if you do encounter troubles. Travelers of any age can travel safely as long as they take a few precautions.Fourth: Carry Senior Friendly LuggageMost travelers are concerned only if their luggage will hold everything they need to bring. And when all goes well – the driver is there to meet you or there’s a bell hop – you don’t have to think much beyond the size of your luggage. But often you’ll end up lugging your luggage through winding lines or walking some distance to the nearest bus, train or taxi station. It’s then that you want luggage that is ultra-light, wheeled and easy to carry and manage. In additional to wheels and ultra-light weight, you should also look for luggage that offers multiple carrying options – side handles, top handles and a shoulder strap for tight or unique situations.Fifth: Don’t Be Shy About Arranging for Your Unique NeedsThe boomer and senior travel markets are large and growing every day. Airlines, hotels, tour companies and other travel-related outlets want and need your business. And many have already begun providing unique accommodations for the growing senior population. So if you need an extra-firm mattress, assistance through the airport, a first-floor room, a seat to place in the shower or anything else to make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable, make sure to demand it. You’ll be surprised how accommodating businesses will be if you ask. And if they can’t provide it, another business will.Travel is one of life’s greatest joys at any age. And regardless of any special needs you have, with a little planning, a little attention to detail and just a few small adjustments you can continue to see the world.
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