No matter how old you are, there’s usually that one place on your travel bucket list that you still haven’t made it to yet. For me, it’s Australia and New Zealand. For my 81-year-old aunt, it’s New Orleans, which is significantly closer but probably feels just as out of reach at her age. But just because you’re moving a little slower and have a few more pills to take each morning doesn’t mean you have to give up on your travel dreams. Not by a long shot!
My stepmom and mom-in-law proved just that last December when we took a Viking River Cruise along the Rhine together. When your wanderlust strikes this spring, here are several travel tricks that I learned from these seasoned travelers that you can try out on your next adventure!
Have cane/seat; will travel. If you have achy joints or stability problems, a cane will help you stay on your feet on uneven ground, but one that opens into a seat will also allow you to get off your feet for a few moments on those walking tours or while roaming the galleries of that museum. Just be careful not to leave it in a restaurant or a shop (this happened to my stepmom more times than I can remember!).
Find elevators. As you age, a lot of steps can take the wind out of your sails pretty quickly and make it hard to get out of bed the next day. Not to mention, you’re likely to encounter slippery steps at cathedrals and museums, an absence of handrails, and sometimes steep, rickety staircases like those we found at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Don’t be a martyr; find the elevator and use it (unfortunately, there wasn’t one at the Anne Frank House)!
Catch a ride. Do you have to change terminals to make your connection but have difficulty walking long distances and especially doing it quickly? When you book your plane tickets, order a wheelchair or cart, and have airport personnel pick you up at your gate and zip you quickly and effortlessly to your new gate. Not only will the assistance save your tired legs, but it will also make navigating the airport so much easier
Take your meds. The older you get, you’ll probably find it difficult to fit all your medications in one of those pretty little pillboxes. (I can’t and I’m in my 50s!) Plus, every day of your trip, you’ll have to remember to refill that pillbox. Here’s a solution: Before you leave, buy a box of these zip-lock pill pouches, fill a bag with your daily dose for each day you’ll be gone, and simply drop one of these tiny bags in your pocket or backpack before you leave your hotel room or ship’s cabin each day. (On the first day, my husband thought this was such a clever idea that his mom shared her used ones with him!)