Guest Post by Gemma Collier
Traveling when you’re retired can be a completely different experience to when you were working and restricted to one or two weeks at a time. But as you get older, some aspects of travel become more daunting, so the better you can prepare for a trip, the more smoothly it should go.
Below are some points to bear in mind.
Pick your time to travel wisely
One of the plus points of being retired is that you can take advantage of travelling outside the busiest times of the year. If you avoid school holidays you can benefit from cheaper deals on flights and accommodation. You can also take advantage of not travelling in peak periods of heat. The best months to head to Europe are usually April until June or September and October.
The older you get, the more important it is to have a decent travel insurance policy in place. Pay close attention to what’s covered in the policy and what you’d have to pay for separately. There are some good travel insurance deals for retirees – it’s just a question of going through the small print.
What to take
As with any age traveler, the lighter you can travel the better, and if you can get all you need in a carry-on, you’ll save time at the airport. Work out your wardrobe so that you takemulti-functional items with you.
Take a spare pair of glasses; it may take more room than a prescription, but you don’t want to waste any of your time away getting new glasses made up. Similarly, take the amount of medication that you’ll need with you, and some spare supplies. You can usually replace any items when you’re away, but again, it’s easier not to have to bother.
There are always times when you’ll be at a loose end when you’re travelling. Airports are classic examples of places where you’re stuck but you’ll have nothing to do for a couple of hours. Take an e-book reader or tablet so that you can get online and find entertainment wherever you are. Sites like bgo.com/bingo are great for games on the move – bgo has a number of mobile-friendly games that can be ideal for passing the time when you’ve checked in. Other big names in the online bingo crowd such as Costa Bingo and Ladbrokes also offer mobile gaming opportunities and might be worth a look. Imagine if you won a nice bit of money? Executive suite here we come!
Consider booking assistance at the airport if you have trouble walking long distances – airports can be huge places and depending on which gate you arrive/depart from, you could be in for a long walk at the end of a long flight. Book your seat early in order to get better legroom on the flight – request an aisle seat where possible so it’s easy to move around during the flight. Regardless of age, it’s important to stay hydrated and take a walk every hour on a long flight to reduce any chance of getting a blood clot.
Get the lowdown on the accommodation you are considering booking. If you find stairs hard work, put in a request for a ground floor room, or make sure there’s an elevator. Also check out whether the ‘five minute walk’ to the town is up a steep hill or on flat ground. The more you can find out about the accommodation before you book, the more chance you have of getting it right.
Just as at home, there are usually concession prices for tourist attractions for pensioners in most countries. Even if they’re not advertised, it’s worth asking as there usually will be a reduced rate. This goes for buses and trains as well as museums and sites of interest.