Who would know more about the secrets of successful senior travel than experienced world travelers? The following tips were provided by several avid trip-takers, aged 66-84, who’ve traveled widely with Road Scholar, the non-profit organization that has been creating educational adventure programs for baby boomers and beyond for over 40 years.
- Floss is Boss – Bring an extra container of dental floss to use as a clothesline in your hotel shower.
- Don’t Obsess – Compress – Get up and walk around every two hours when on a long flight. Also – compression socks are great for circulation and now come in funky and fashionable designs.
- Sarah V. (aged 66) of Philadelphia, PA, worked as a retail branch banker for 38 years and now travels the world.
- Pack Black – Pack 2-3 pairs of black pants and tops and 6-7 scarves to add color. It’ll look like you’re wearing a different outfit every day. You can also buy scarfs on your trip as inexpensive mementos.
- “I List Therefore I Exist” – Write short lists to remind yourself not to forget your power cords or anything you’ve locked away in the hotel or room safe.
- Maxine T. (aged 73) worked in marketing and even modeled once for a funeral home advertisement. At age 50 she got her advanced degree and began a career in Mental Health and Non-Profit Management. She currently resides in Walnut Creek, CA.
- Toss Your Dross – Old underwear, pajamas (or any other pieces of clothing you wish) can be left behind throughout your trip, making space for new items.
- Be the Early Bird – Try to arrive at your destination a day before your tour begins so you don’t miss connections. If you’re going on a cruise, best not to miss the boat, so to speak.
- Ona R. (aged 84) of Tiburon, CA, is a retired ESL teacher who went to graduate school in her 50s. She’s been on terrific intergenerational trips with four of her five grandchildren.
- Sound Proofing – Travel with earplugs to block out noise on the plane. The moldable kind work best.
- Practice Mental Flexibility– Be open to new experiences. Plan B can be as interesting as plan A.
- Bobbie O. (aged 73) of Alexandria, VA, is a retired librarian and school administrator.
- Lighten Your Load – Pack two small bags rather than one big bag – especially if you’ll be carrying your bags up flights of stairs by yourself. Easier to take two trips than to lug one heavy suitcase.
- Be Aware and Care – Be considerate of other travelers in a group who may not be as agile as they once were. Hip replacements abound.
- Debbie S., (aged 65) Was a clothing buyer, wallpaper hanger, landscape designer, had a Great Harvest Bakery and worked at a B&B in Chile. She was the project coordinator for an all-volunteer built playground. She currently divides her time between Arlington, TX and Presque Isle, WI.
Road Scholar Tips:
- Not all group travel is created equal. For people who think they would never want to travel as part of a group – there are significant advantages. It’s ideal for travelers who want to relax and enjoy their experience without sweating the details. Make sure you choose a program that allows ample time on your own and multiple options for activities.