For many of us retirement is the opportune time to fulfil longstanding travel goals, however traveling abroad at any age can have its potential pitfalls. Pre-trip preparation is the best way to put your mind at rest – so you can make the most of your time away from home.
Find a Great Priced Flight
Before you book your trip use a flight checker to ensure that you get the best deal on the flights you want. Many airlines will have varied prices depending on the agent or site you decide to purchase with. Use a flight price comparison tool such as Kayak, Sky Scanner or the flight checker on Money Saving Expert to get the best price.
Finding the Right Travel Insurance
It’s an unfortunate truth that the older we are, the more we pay for travel insurance. Take the time to research companies with the most comprehensive coverage for your physical needs as well as protection for the items you’ll be traveling with. Ensure to organise travel insurance with pre-existing illness and condition cover if needed. Comparison sites such as medicaltravelcompared.co.uk allow you to declare any pre-existing conditions before searching for insurance providers, saving you time filling in forms on multiple insurers websites. Double check that the coverage you’ve selected is right for the duration of your tip, some providers won’t cover more than 31 days on a single trip policy and you will need a slightly different insurance requirements if you are taking a cruise.
Medication and Health Whilst Abroad
Separate a weeks’ worth of your regular medication in to your hand luggage just in case your cabin baggage should be mislaid or delayed by the airline. Pack more each of medication than necessary, enough to last the entire trip and then some should your tip be extended for any reason. Be sure to leave the medicine in its original containers to make sure they are not flagged as suspicious during airport security checks.
Our top tip - Brand names for drugs will differ across the globe, so having the original labels will also assist foreign pharmacists in identifying your medication from its generic name should you need to fill a prescription during your travels.
Airport and In-Flight Tips
All airports provide a cost-free wheelchair service to assist with travel between terminals for travellers who are disabled or less able to walk the long distances in the airport terminals, you just need to make the airline aware of any special services you may require before flying. If you have a hearing aid it is best to inform the cabin crew that you are hearing impaired in case of emergency.
If you are taking a long haul flight there are a number of steps you can take to prevent DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) which is more common in those aged 50+. Stay hydrated, practise simple calf and leg exercise whilst sitting to decrease the concentration of clotting factors in your blood and if possible, wear compression stockings on the flight to help circulation in your legs.
Senior Travel Discounts
Just like in the UK many sights and visitor attractions will have discounted entry rates for seniors. The Eurostar even has a senior availability calendar of lower priced fares exclusively for the over 60’s! If you are travelling within Europe, most countries in the EU will have a senior card available for purchase to access discounted tickets within their borders, great if you are visiting more than one destination during your trip.
Our top tip - Some hotel chains also offer senior discounts, the Marriot offer 15% off for guests aged 62 or older if you pre-book your trip.