Few things are exactly the same as when you were 25, but when traveling, just about all of the rules have changed. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling! If wanderlust strikes you this spring or summer, the advice below may save you some time, money and even a little anxiety.
The stuff you’ve probably already figured out.
Spend one night in a lousy hotel bed and you could pay for it for days. Likewise, planning flight connections that are too tight (or too many connections) leave you not only breathless but also stressed out when you’re supposed to be chilling out. Pack light (save your back) and do laundry while you’re there. And for goodness sake, don’t cram so much into your itinerary that you go home exhausted!
“Shoulder seasons” save you bucks.
Now that the kids are gone, you’re not locked into vacations only in the summer or around holidays. You have the flexibility to book your trip in the “shoulder seasons” (between peak and off-peak) when the prices are best. Plan an east coast beach vacation in the fall or a Mediterranean cruise in April. In addition to low prices, you’ll encounter fewer crowds. To save even more bucks, ask for senior discounts everywhere, even if they’re not promoted.
Pick your accommodations strategically.
Choosing a hotel that’s near the train station is convenient at the start and end of your trip; however, staying right in the heart of the city means you’ll only be a short walk (or cab ride) away from the attractions each day. It also gives you an escape route for a nap, change of shoes or just some alone time.
Getting around once you’re there.
If you don’t have a car to get from point A to B, be sure there’s adequate public transportation, like buses, trolleys and cabs (subways often require a lot of walking). Prefer a rental car? Be aware that some countries have upper age restrictions on rentals, so when you reserve, be sure to mention your age.
Insure to ensure a good trip.
Breaking a bone can be as easy as walking down an unfamiliar city street. Because Medicare generally isn’t valid outside the U.S., it’s important to purchase travel insurance and be sure it includes an evacuation benefit to get you to the proper medical facility. Travel insurance will also cover any costs you’ve incurred should sickness or other hardships cause you to cancel.
Make it meaningful.
Consider going on an educational tour such as those run by Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel). Lasting one to four weeks, you can learn Latin dancing, meet members of Congress, visit the Sistine Chapel with an art historian, watch sea turtles lay their eggs, and more.
Have any travel tips you use? Share your travel tips in the comments section, below!