Traveling Tips for Older Adventurers
Close your eyes, and picture the average adventure traveler. Are you thinking of a mid-twenties guy, backpack slung over his shoulders, maybe a bandana holding back his dreadlocks? Well, you might be shocked to find that the average globetrotter is actually a 47-year-old woman. More and more middle-aged and retired people are opting for added travel as they get older, and the largest growing group is retired women. It makes sense; kids have left the nest, work obligations are a thing of the past, and, in many sad cases, a beloved spouse’s passing has left an absence. Whatever the reason, you too may be thinking of going on your own journey. If you are, here are some things you might want to know beforehand.
Preparing For the Trip
Nearly every expert traveler would advise you to pack conservatively. Boomeropia recommends going about this in more ways than one. Not only should you avoid over-packing your suitcase with a bunch of clothes and items you won’t need, you should also avoid over-packing your itinerary with a bunch of planned events that leave you exhausted and unfulfilled. If this is your first time traveling alone, try to focus on the basics. Just bring a few changes of clothes (laundry machines do exist in other countries), medicine, toiletries, maybe a book or two, and try not to plan too much. Once you’re immersed in another culture, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for unplanned adventures, not to mention chances to rest.
Staying Safe Abroad
Traveling alone can be a wonderful, liberating experience, but it’s not one devoid of any dangers. The world out there certainly isn’t a terrible place out to get you, but always make sure you know the safety index of a country before visiting, and try to opt for more stable regions. Experienced solo travelers say that the key to staying safe is by being aware and responsible. Stick to public places with lots of people around, and never drink to excess in an unfamiliar environment. Above all, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t seem right, it might not be, so steer clear of anything that makes you uncomfortable.
Many older travelers have medical concerns when it comes to going abroad. Research to see if there are any resources to locate English-speaking doctors in the country you are visiting. It’s also a good idea to check in with your own doctor before going on such a trip and listening closely to any advice your doctor might have. Depending on your medical status, there may be extra steps you need to take before traveling abroad.
Going for an extended trip means leaving your home unguarded, but that shouldn’t discourage you! Anything you can do to bump up security, whether it’s lights on timers or leaving a radio playing by the back door, will make burglars more reluctant to risk a break in. In addition, cameras installed around your home can connect to your smartphone to give you peace of mind while traveling, as will asking a friend or neighbor to regularly check in on our your house so that mail and newspapers don’t pile up (a clear indication to burglars that nobody is home).
If you were already planning on taking a trip, then take these tips to heart as you venture out. There’s no better way to spend your well-earned years of rest than encountering new cultures, people, and experiences. Countless retirees just like you are seeing the world, and any worries you might have can be assuaged with proper planning and awareness. Now go explore the world!
Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. firstname.lastname@example.org