During the holidays, it's natural to want to travel to visit loved ones far away--and often, it's easier and less expensive for you to travel to your family than it is for them to pack up a houseful of kids, piles of presents, and everything else they need to come see you during the holiday season. Traveling as a senior, however, isn't as simple as it was when you were in your twenties, thirties, and even forties, either. If you're preparing for holiday travel, consider how these important tips can make for a better trip.
Plan Ahead for Medical Needs
There's nothing worse than discovering that you're out of a necessary prescription three days before the end of your trip, with no way to get those medications before you get back home. Plan ahead to be sure that you can access necessary medications while you're gone. If you use a nationwide pharmacy, check to make sure that there's a branch near your destination. If you don't, get a copy of your prescription so that you'll be able to fill it if needed. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to get enough medication to last you through your trip, and make sure that you carry it in a bag that will be with you, not in your checked luggage on a plane, to help prevent the potential for loss. You should also take the time to research local hospitals in your destination so that if you do have serious medical problems, you can quickly get to a safe location.
Ship Gifts Ahead
If you'll be traveling by plane, the last thing you want is to deal with piles of packages. Instead, try shipping gifts to your destination well ahead of time. They'll be sitting there under the tree waiting for you when you arrive: one less thing that you have to worry about in the middle of the holiday chaos.
Check Your Route
During the holiday season, it can be difficult to predict weather. Make sure that you check your route ahead of time. Pay careful attention to potential weather delays. If need be, consider arriving a little earlier or a little later to make for safer travel conditions; or, change your method of arrival so that you won't be stuck driving on slick, icy roads at just the wrong moment.
Know Your Limits
If the idea of transferring to a new bus or having to race to make a connection to a new flight is stressful to you, find ways to avoid those complications. Consider non-stop flights or buses, instead. Consider how long you'll be able to travel comfortably, keeping both your physical health and your stress levels in mind. Will you have an easier time if you break up your trip over a couple of days? If so, make sure you plan your stops ahead of time.
Plan for Convenience and Comfort, Not Discounts
Sure, that airline might offer a great senior discount, but their connecting flight will just barely give you time to get there--if everything happens exactly according to schedule. Maybe that hotel is known for its senior discount rooms, but the last time you stayed there, you woke up with a sore back from an uncomfortable bed. While discounts are great, it's often worth splurging for a little more comfort on your journey so that you arrive well-rested and ready to enjoy all the holiday fun.
Are you planning for a trip this holiday season? Following a few simple travel tips can make it easier to stay comfortable and enjoy your trip, rather than feeling as though it's something that simply must be endured to spend the holidays with your family.