Never let it be said that travel is for the young! Senior Travel is a HUGE segment of the travel industry! Not surprising! Senior Travel, or retirement travel, is a goal that many people have. The kids are grown and busy with families of their own. It’s time for retirement, which means a whole lot more free time! I can’t think of a better activity than travel, can you?
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Many of you followed my trip to Paris in 2018 on Instagram, catching a glimpse of my darling travel companions….my mother and father and my mother-in-law. I’m not going to reveal specific ages…because it’s right before Christmas, and pending potential gifts and stuff. So we will just say that the age span was between 70 and 85.
All three of them were total troopers to participate in the trip in the first place. And for all three, it had been many years since they last travelled to Europe. I noticed some common challenges they experienced. Truthfully, in retrospect, believe that all of the products I am recommending would have made the trip a bit easier for older travelers, and would make excellent gifts for senior travel!
Retirement Travel: Good Luggage Every single traveler needs a spinner suitcase. Period. They are so EASY to maneuver, no matter how full they are. For older travelers, bearing the weight of a full suitcase titled precariously on one hand while the other hand holds some kind of carry-on is not a good scenario. Yeah. Nightmare. I recently reviewed Chester Suitcases, and they are excellent!
Therefore, Senior Travel will be made a lot easier at baggage claim with brightly colored, and easily identifiable luggage tags are a MUST!
Retirement Travel: Converters I don’t know about you, but my parents hardly throw a single thing away. Ever. So when my travel companions broke out their converter sets circa 1978, I had to suppress an immediate urge to alert the Smithsonian that new artifacts had just been unearthed. Lordy.
And….since the days of the Carter Administration, we all have a LOT more thingys that need to be plugged in. And some of those thingys have USB adaptors. I recommend getting a handful of converters if their senior travel plans include an overseas destination, so there’s enough for everyone!
Remember, there are different converters for different regions. I have linked to converters for Europe and converters for the UK below.
Get Organized: Passport and Document Holders Travel makes everyone feel disorganized. For my senior travel companions, keeping track of passports and boarding passes seemed to be a consistent point of stress. I’d absolutely get a passport organizer for all travelers. Everything is in one place, and easy to find at a moment’s notice. A great gift for travel lovers of any age, really.
Seat near the Engine, or Crying Babies? Headphones!!! If your favorite retirement travelers are flying Coach, they will for sure want to pass the time by watching an in-flight movie or two. And yes, the airline passes out free ear buds. But they are horrible, hard to keep in, can’t be used with hearing aides, and hurt after a while.
Get older travelers a good pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Of course, they will talk loud enough to hear each other while they are wearing the headphones. And everyone seated within a five row radius will be participants in all conversations throughout the flight. You might want to explain that tiny detail before their trip. Everyone else on the plane thanks you ahead of time.
For their health: Good Circulation is Critical! Not very sexy, but compression socks are very important for senior travel. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Compression stockings steadily squeeze your legs, helping your veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. They offer a safe, simple and inexpensive way to keep blood from stagnating.”
If you’re new to putting on compression socks, it takes a little practice. The best way to put them on is to grab the toe and fold the rest of the stock inside out. Place your foot into the toe area and roll the rest of the stocking over your ankle and leg. If they feel too tight or painful, you have the wrong size, causing more harm than good. Therefore, compression socks should feel like your calves are getting a gentle hug, not being squeezed to death.
So many Coins! Help older travelers keep their home country currency and foreign currency separate! Bills are easy because they are different colors and sizes. Coins seemed to be consistently problematic for my senior travel companions! Simple solution: a coin purse specifically for loose change. Also, remember that in America, coins can’t be exchanged for dollars. Only bills. So try to pay with coins as much as possible for inexpensive purchases.
Fully Charged Phones at All Times! Finally, I’d suggest getting your favorite senior travel friends a couple of extra phone charging cords. We ALL have been guilty of forgetting these essential items, and the prospect of being out of town with a dead cell phone will clearly cause huge stress for everyone. And no one wants to waste time looking for a store to buy a new cord while on vacation!
Safe and Happy Travels no matter what your age!!!
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Tags: Adapters | Christmas Gift Ideas | Coin Purse | Compression socks | Gift Guide | Headphones | Luggage Tag | Passport Organizer | Senior Travelers | Spinner Suitcase | Travel Gadgets | Travel Gifts
Mary Ann- there is a fabulous set of converters i found on the Grommet. Check it out- they are brightly colored and fit together like a rubics cube. The tiny box they fit into has a color coded listing on each side listing the countries each color piece works in. Fabulous gift for college graduations- my secret is out! Shannon Wilson Callewart
THIS is great info Shannon! Thank you!!!
these are all really good suggestions! thanks Curious Cowgirl for sharing some hard earn wisdom and information. Will take all of these into consideration when traveling !
Thanks so much Melissa!
Thank you! Things they (and we need) and are great goodies for under your tree!!!!
A folding walking cane! A must for Machu Picchu and other places that do not have conveniences to navigate steep steps without rails and old stone streets.
I love so many things about you Sandra! Only ONE of which is your recommendation for conquering Machu Picchu! You GO girl! And I agree, a folding walking cane is a GREAT suggestion….even for Europe. LOTS of uneven walking surfaces, stairs, etc.