Travel Tips for Seniors
Summer is the time for travel all across the United States. Retired or not, seniors join the crowds on the highways, rails or in the skies. Whether you are putting things in the car for a road trip or putting your three-ounce bottles of liquid into a one-quart plastic zip-lock bag for the airport, here are some tips to make your journey more enjoyable.
Coordinate your travel clothes with one or two colors that go well together and some neutral tones that go with anything. That way you can mix and match. Skirts and slacks can be matched with blouses for more varied outfits. Gentlemen, the same sport shirt can go with trousers and Bermuda shorts. Tops usually need to be washed more frequently in warm weather, whereas pants and shorts can be worn several times before laundering.
It’s a good idea to put in one outfit that is dressy. Bring at least one pair of slacks that is not jeans. Even if you are going for a cruise or hitting the beaches at a resort, you might need to dress up one evening. Ladies, one dressy blouse to go with dress slacks or skirt will be enough. Gents, one dress shirt to go with your Dockers and one tie is plenty.
Remember that whatever you put in your suitcase, there will be times when you will have to carry it. The best rule of thumb is to take half as many clothes as you think necessary and twice as much money (or credit/debit card). When you are traveling, the people you meet each day will be different – they won’t know that you wore the same outfit yesterday. Leave the family-size bottle of shampoo and tube of toothpaste at home. Liquids and gels weigh a lot. Put the amount you need into smaller bottles or buy a travel size. This is especially important if you are flying. Three ounces is usually plenty of shampoo, toothpaste, or shaving cream to last you 4-5 days. If you need more, you can buy it at your destination. Hotels often provide toiletries and items you may have forgotten to pack.
Put a few healthy snacks into your carry on luggage. Dried fruit, nuts and granola bars or protein bars will carry your through between meals. Don’t forget to pack an adequate supply of your prescription medicines with 2-3 extra days’ worth of supplies just in case you encounter delays in returning. If you do run out of a prescription, your pharmacy may be able to send a copy of your prescription to an alternate pharmacy in the area. Some prescriptions take longer than others to fill, though, so don’t count on using this method on those harder to get prescriptions.
Consider the weather at your destination. While it may be quite warm where you are, it may be a lot cooler at your destination. Don’t forget that it often cools off after sundown. It is a good idea to put in a sweater or light jacket in case you need it. An air conditioned restaurant will be more pleasant if you are not shivering while you eat. Try to put in a lightweight wrap in a neutral tone that will go with your travel wardrobe.
Pack your camera and your smiles! Have fun. You will be seeing new places, meeting new people. Be adventurous; try a local dish that you have never heard of. Keep safe – don’t leave your common sense at home. Be on the lookout for petty thieves who are looking for easy targets. Blend in with the locals as much as you can!