Vacation Tips for Older Travelers

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As you get older, your travel needs are apt to change. Even if you were a backpacking globe trotter in your youth and middle age, at some point your body will start asking you to do things a little differently. If you’re an older traveler, consider the following tips to make your vacation as easy and comfortable as possible.

– Take advantage of your flexibility. If you’re retired, you have travel flexibility that a lot of other people don’t. Use it to avoid traveling during peak seasons, and try to hit your destinations during the “shoulder” periods of April through June and September through October. Doing so allows you to dodge crowds and keep out of the summer heat.

– Pack light. Traveling with large luggage is no picnic at any age, but it can be especially difficult when you’re older. Try to bring fewer clothes and plan on doing laundry more often so that you can save space in your bag. Aim to bring just one rolling suitcase.

– Bring extras. Make sure you have enough medication, in its original packaging, to get you through your trip, and carry a spare pair of eyeglasses if you use them. It’s also a good idea to bring extra hearing aid batteries.

– Make airline requests ahead of time. If someone in your party will need a wheelchair at the airport or special considerations for meals, boarding, or seat assignment, make sure to let your airline know when you book your tickets. Waiting until the last minute to ask for extras makes you less likely to get them.

– Give yourself plenty of time. Tight connections can be harder to make when you’re older, particularly if you’re not able to move quickly through the airport. Make sure to leave plenty of time between connecting flights so that you can wait for the initial crush of passengers to leave before getting off the plane and finding your way to the next gate. In addition, make sure to arrive at the airport well in advance of your flight.

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