Traveling as a senior is rewarding in so many ways. While some people think of college-age backpackers when speaking of world travelers, most traveling is actually done in 50's, 60's and 70's. In fact, countries like Thailand and European destinations such as France, the U.K. and Spain are filled with seniors backpacking, traveling long-term and those who are seeking some enjoyment and adventure on their shorter, pre-retirement vacations
With that said, traveling as a senior also has its challenges. If you have health or mobility problems, it may affect your enjoyment. Many destinations do cater toward younger travelers, and you could find yourself surrounded by the rowdy and rambunctious if you just try to wing-it. For this reason, it's a good idea to plan ahead a bit and make sure you are able to get the most out of your destination. Here are seven tips to help you enjoy your trip even more:
1. It's All About Timing
When planning travel, aim for off or "shoulder" season to avoid huge crowds and heat. For example, you might not want to head to Europe when school has just let out. If you have the freedom to choose your travel dates without being tied-down by responsibility of a work or school routine, take advantage. Added boneus, with the crowds being less intense this means your travel bucks are a hot commodity you will have the power of bargain deals on places to stay ,eat or visit. Supply and demand baby.
2. Purchase Travel Insurance
While travel insurance can be expensive as a senior, it's not as expensive as not having it! There are several agencies that offer worldwide traveler's health insurance. Don't assume that your own health insurance will cover you in Europe should you become sick or injured.
It's also a good idea to find out what your costs will be when it comes to any prescription drugs you may need. Of course, you'll bring enough of your medication (if you take any) on your trip, but if it gets lost during travel, you'll need to replace it.
3. Research Your Accommodations
When traveling abroad, it's important to research your hotel or guest house. Be sure the location will have all the amenities you'll need, be sure there's an elevator or ask for a room on the bottom floor, and find out if there is someone to help you with your luggage. Also, how far is your hotel from main attractions and transportation?
Read reviews to find out whether hotels are senior-friendly or more of a flop house for college kids backpacking around Europe.
4. Take Advantage Of Discounts For Seniors!
You've earned it, so don't forget to find out if you can nab some senior discounts to make your voyage less expensive. Many public transportation services offer discounted rates on trains and busses, albeit some are reserved for European citizens it never hurts to ask at the window.
5. Purchase Passes To Popular Attractions Ahead Of Time
Paris museums are a perfect example. You can purchase passes for attractions such as the famous Louvre. One issue that people complain about when it comes to visiting Paris's amazing museums is the long lines. Avoid this by purchasing passes.
6. Travel Slowly
Long-term travel is one of the best ways to truly experience other countries and cultures. One week or even two in a location is often just too rushed to really get a feel for your destination. Consider staying three or more weeks in your European city of choice in order to immerse yourself in daily life and culture. Many seasoned travelers do this by simply choosing a few strategically placed "home base" locations which allows them to do day trips from those bases for a few weeks and then move on to the next. This is also very efficient on many levels including having a place to keep your luggage while you are out an about.
7. Rent A Vehicle
While walking and public transportation are viable ways to get around, you are limited. Public transportation means you are on someone else's schedule, and walking means you only have so many options and the lack of familiarty of your surroundings can be exausting much quicker.
When you are able to drive around you open up far more possibilities. You can take longer day trips, discover new spots that aren't on the tourist map and come and go as you please. Also, Auto France has no age limit on it's program!
AutoFrance can help you get set up with a long-term car rental throughout France and other European destinations. Contact AutoFrance to learn more and start planning your trip.
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