Not everyone is lucky enough to travel and see the world during their youth. In the Indian middle-class context, often, people save to build a house, educate their kids, and by the time they settle everything, they are about to retire! However, it is not too late. Let us look at the typical problems seniors face if they must travel. The kids may not have time to accompany them, and they may not be confident to travel alone. There is the question of safety in a new place. The typical questions that trouble people are, what if something goes wrong? Who will take care in an emergency? If travelling abroad, documentation for a few tourist destinations can be complex.
Some must-do travel tips are to keep your near and dear ones posted about your travel plans. Also, if possible, check in once daily with at least one person to ensure you are well and fine. Another important pre-travel tip is to know the emergency services and contacts at your destination and update your loved ones also about it. You must also provide your emergency contact to the people at the destination (hotel, tour operator).
Safe travel for seniors is not easy, but not impossible either, with a few tips mentioned below. We can also help you make it happen!
- Do your homework
Wherever you want to travel, please do your homework about the place, its culture, climate, tourist attractions, etc. Even if you are going on a guided tour, make sure you have done the homework. Some tourist attractions may not have the accessibility you need. We were not surprised to note that 77.3% of seniors wanted more accessibility for more enriching travel. You may have issues with heights, water bodies, etc., and want to avoid the same, or the time of the year may not suit your health. For example, even if it is mild winter in Europe, it is still much more than our winter cold. If you have respiratory or arthritis issues, allergies, etc., it could be an issue. Therefore, when you plan trips, the onus to choose the right destination is on you. Also, you would need to carry suitable clothes, medicines, and so on.
- Safeguard your personal belongings
Whether travelling within India or outside, theft of belongings is not uncommon. Even a few celebrities have mentioned their loss of luggage on foreign travels. People act as though they want to help you and then make do with your luggage. If you are on an overnight train journey in India, it is better to lock the baggage with chains. A good idea to ensure you don’t miss out on any luggage is to count every time you board or disembark. Watch out for your mobiles and chargers, as these get missed or flicked easily. It is better to travel minus any gold jewellery to avoid any crime happening to flick the gold. If you must, please take special care not to flaunt it. If you are travelling abroad, the same goes for currency and documents. Carry these on your person always in a separate pouch.
- Watch out for popular scams
Search for some YouTube videos on popular tourist scams in your destination, and you will find videos describing how people get scammed there. Not necessary that every destination will have tourist scams, but, as they say, forewarned is forearmed. People might think that seniors are easy targets and approach you. These people may look decent and groomed, and you can’t make out they are crooks. They outsmart you through ingenious ways to start a conversation with you and then pick up from there. Be wary and keep vigil. Also, while travelling, you must avoid drinking, as if you lose your senses, it is easier for people to thieve you. If you are drinking, drink responsibly and safely, under the watch of someone.
- Ensure proper documentation
Some places need special documentation. Even otherwise, you must have digital copies of your important documents. You can explore options like DigiLocker or a shared drive with your kids. If travelling abroad, ensure the travel insurance is in place, and share the copies with emergency contacts. This access helps them take necessary action in the worst case of any untoward incident. A best practice is to have a travel checklist and keep updating it when you travel to different places. Some items may not apply to a few places. However, the travel checklist ensures you don’t miss out on anything essential.
- Pack appropriately
One of the unspoken rules of travel is to pack light to enjoy maximum. Packing more clothes, accessories, and unwanted items can only hamper you, even if you are not carrying them around. Focus on what is needed. Watch a few how-to-pack videos that showcase innovative packing ideas to help you put more into the suitcase. Also, if you are flying, check the baggage allowances and pack a little less to ensure you don’t have check-in weight issues. Choose sturdy baggage with proper lock, preferably trolley bags. It will ensure that you don’t have to carry it around. Also, if you have to change travel plans unexpectedly, lighter luggage is easier to accommodate in alternate travel modes.
Indeed, travelling can be highly beneficial. However, it is not easy for seniors, and they prefer to travel with someone who can manage all nitty-gritty so they can be at ease and enjoy themselves. We fully understand that. That is why we have Samarth Tours. It is no less than travelling with your family.