After more than two years of pandemic-induced restriction, we have only to note the crowds at most airports to know that travel is back with a vengeance. But long lines, health concerns, and the physical and mental challenges that come with aging are stopping some seniors from picking up where they left off.
Build Up Your Strength – Start now to slowly build up your walking speed and distance. Try a water aerobics class, or some virtual or in-person yoga or Zumba classes to increase your physical endurance.
Prepare for Travel Chaos – Consider traveling during the off-season. Arrive hours early for flights and be prepared for delays. Apply for a TSA PreCheck for flights leaving the U.S. and Global Entry for returning—and pack plenty of sanitizer so you can clean public surfaces and masks you can use at your discretion.
Deal With Mobility Issues – Do your homework and look for tours and cruises that offer different activity levels. Be sure to travel with a light luggage load as possible—and if you are a bit unsteady on your feet, take a walking stick, a lightweight walker with a seat, perhaps a fold-up, motorized travel scooter.
Take Extra Time – Consider sticking to a single destination, so you can travel at your own pace and rest between sight-seeing trips—or spend enough time at each destination to ward off exhaustion. If traveling with a tour group, consider arriving early or staying later to relax and cope with jet lag.
Mind Your Documents, Phone and Chargers – Have all your documents—passport, tickets, travel insurance, medical insurance and phone numbers—together. Give copies to someone at home or to your travel mate. Be sure your phone can be used overseas and that you’ve packed the right plugs and chargers.
Pack Some Patience – More flights are late these days, and even trains can be delayed. But few delays are insurmountable, and the right attitude can make any travel experience more rewarding.