The interest in new experiences doesn’t cease with age. Older travellers remain curious and semi-adventurous. Wanting to discover more about the world doesn’t stop when you get older. It just means you may need to travel differently.
While many aspects of flying remain the same regardless of age, older adults may face additional challenges and considerations when travelling by air. Planning, communicating with airline personnel, and seeking out accommodations and resources as needed can help make flying a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for travellers of all ages.
Overall, it’s essential for older adults to carefully consider their unique needs and limitations when planning a trip and to take steps to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience. Research and preparation for your trip in advance can help travel go smoothly.
There are several differences between travelling in your 30s versus your 70s.
Here are a few examples:
- Physical health: As we age, our bodies naturally become less agile and more susceptible to a range of health conditions. In our 60s, we may be more likely to experience joint pain, stiffness, or other mobility issues, making navigating the airport and sitting for extended periods on a plane more challenging.
- Stamina: Older adults may also experience decreased stamina, which can make travelling more tiring and require more frequent rest breaks or accommodations during travel.
- Comfort: As we age, we may become more sensitive to changes in temperature or humidity, which can make it harder to stay comfortable during a flight. Additionally, older travellers may require more space or specific seating arrangements to accommodate medical conditions or mobility issues.
- Security screenings: Older travellers may be more likely to have medical devices or other items that require additional screening or clearance, making the security screening process more time-consuming or stressful.
- Travel preferences: As we age, our travel preferences may also change. For example, older adults may prefer to travel more leisurely, take more time to explore their destination, or opt for more upscale accommodations or dining experiences.
To help overcome these challenges, you might consider booking direct flights whenever possible and requesting special accommodations such as wheelchair assistance or priority boarding. Be sure to inform airline personnel of any special needs or medical conditions and bring any necessary documentation or medications. Additionally, wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are easy to slip on and off during security screenings.
Older Travellers – Before You Start Planning
However, there may be travel restrictions for senior citizens who could face particular barriers and risks when they travel outside their own country.
As a Canadian, I recommend checking out this page from the Canadian Government.
US residents may want to check out this page and be sure their u.s. passport for senior citizens is in place.
The Health In Aging has this checklist to download.
More than others, you must adequately establish your means of staying connected in an emergency. This article will assist Staying Connected Via Your Smartphone, Your New Best Friend. It contains a few senior travel tips you will find on this website.
Need some ideas? Each year Frommer’s updates its list of Best Vacation Ideas and Destinations for Seniors. This is a good place to start thinking about where you might want to go if travelling as an older person is newer to you. It is also an excellent place to learn about your ideal destination.
You may also consider tours for seniors travelling alone or senior travel groups.
While travelling when you’re older may come with some unique challenges, it can also be a rewarding and fulfilling experience that allows you to see the world in a new light. By being aware of these challenges and taking steps to manage them, you can continue to enjoy travel and its benefits throughout your life.