How about running with the bulls in Spain? Or seeing the Great Wall? How about sitting down with a pint at a local Irish pub? Travel often tops the bucket lists of many retirees and whether you’re looking to keep better in touch with distant family and friends; see places you’ve always dreamed of; or get in some well deserved rest and relaxation, some preparation is needed.
For seniors, it’s never been more accessible to travel, but you need to know where to start and, most importantly, how to keep safe and healthy throughout the process. Before you buy the sunscreen or pack your bag, check out our top travel tips for retirees.
There are countless travel opportunities out there designed specifically for seniors ages 50 and over. Bus tours, cruises and international opportunities call all provide the excitement of seeing new places with the peace of mind that every detail is organized for you. Plus, you’ll have the added social benefit of traveling with people in your stage of life.
Start locally to look for senior-inspired travel opportunities. Your local retirement communities, churches, AAA office, senior centers and more may all organize such trips. Immanuel Explorers is such a travel group offered for Immanuel Communities residents. They organize trips inspired by members and have visited places like Brandon, Missouri.
The internet can also be a useful tool in finding travel opportunities designed for retirees. Be cautious, though, to avoid scams. Fully research any travel club or company before joining or providing financial information or deposits.
Reconnect with Your Interests
Travel is a great time to reconnect with what’s important to you. Love golf? Plan a trip to a PGA caliber golf resort. Love cooking? Try a tour through the French countryside. Why not pick up Spanish and try out your new skill in Barcelona? Interest not only can provide you direction for your your travel plans, they can be an important part of brain health. Physical activity and new challenges are two of the Alzheimer’s Association’s 10 Ways to Love Your Brain. So bring on the traveling and love your brain while you’re at it!
Don’t forget about family and friends when making travel plans. A family trip or all-girls/all-guys trip can be a great way to connect and reconnect with those you love.
If financial or health conditions make distant travel difficult, don’t forget about treasures you may find in your own backyard. Being a tourist in your community can be a lot of fun and take very little effort to organize. There are still resources available to help you plan. Here are our local favorites:
- Visit Nebraska - Online and downloadable guides on things to do in Nebraska.
- Travel Iowa - Trip ideas, places to stay and more in Iowa.
- Nebraska Passport - a stamp collection program across Nebraska where travelers can visit local treasures and earn rewards.
Make safety planning a priority when organizing your trip. Scamming is common with organizations targeting seniors. Ensure the travel group you’re considering is not a scam by asking for references, contacting the Better Business Bureau and exhibiting caution before providing any financial information. To further plan for safety - consider purchasing travel insurance. The extra safeguard may come in handy for unexpected travel changes. And don’t forget to research the specific area you’re visiting for any regional safety measures to take.
Traveling as a senior may include additional challenges like planning for medications and accommodating special diets. Always plan ahead and plan for the unexpected. Ensure you have enough medication packed to cover the dates of your trip plus a few extra for unexpected delays. If your medication requires refrigeration or other specifications, make sure those are covered. For special diets, try packing a few diet-approved snacks to hold you over if certain foods aren’t available.
Coming back from a knee surgery? Want to be able to comfortably walk through sightseeing tours? Health and wellness goals can be the most important trip preparation you make. Building up strength and endurance for your trip can seem difficult, but with the right tools and assistance, is possible.
The experts at Immanuel’s wellness programs - AgeWell and Thrive by Immanuel - are available to help residents and the greater public meet these kinds of goals. Many of these services, from personal training to group fitness are available through public memberships as well as to residents at all Immanuel communities.
If you want to make your dream travel plans a reality but need assistance with your health goals, download our new wellness eBook. Just click HERE. It's free and you can ensure your health goals are on-track. Did we mention it was free??