You’re officially a senior but your heart is still young. Pause a moment and listen to it. It’s whispering for you to go out into the world to explore its fascinating cities and sceneries, walking cane be damned. So follow what it is saying and pack a suitcase knowing that travel takes on a special significance when you’re older. Plus, if not for seeing new destinations, what did you work decades for?
Indeed, the world is your oyster, but you know the shell will take some prodding to open wide. This is so because, being older, you may have restricted mobility. So how do you stay safe while getting to see the world?
Here are three tips for staying safe while doing just so:
1. Be Sure to Get Insurance
It’s smart for people of all ages to acquire travel insurance, but extremely critical for seniors, who are most at risk of falling and hurting their bodies, falling ill, and needing prescriptions filled during transportation delays or emergencies. Such nightmare situations are especially dire when traveling abroad, as opposed to closer to home. Insurance costs an extra $100 to $200 for seniors; pay the extra so long as the policy covers accidents, transportation delay problems, and any other problem that may arise.
2. Don’t Advertise Your Travel Plans
Criminals in your local neighborhood may be scoping residences to see which ones are seemingly shuttered for long periods of time – ideal targets for thieves looking to steal belongings, medications, cash, etc. Make sure to have a friend or hired person house sit your property while you are away. If this can’t be done, at least have someone check in on the house from time to time, to do things like collect the mail, water the garden, check your home fire detectors, and talk to the neighbors.
Thieves and people with bad intentions can find you in hotels as well. Because hotel staff sometimes work as internal members of a criminal ring, be sure to not hang the “clean my room” sign on your hotel door. Savvy staff members may know how to break into the complementary safety deposit box so commonly found in hotel rooms. Stay safe by being prudent and not signaling to the world that you plan to be absent from your room.
If you want the room cleaned, simply let the front desk know on the way out that you are leaving, having stashed your cash and valuables in a very safe place.
Other safety tips include using the security chain on your door when in your room, staying in a room near the elevator where more people loiter and deter thieves, and abstaining from staying in ground-floor rooms where strangers can enter through the window.
3. Be Careful with your Diet
When out and about in other parts of the world, you may be tantalized by the exotic food fare you find in restaurants and eateries. Resist the urge. Older people famously have more sensitive digestive systems than the young and are typically supposed to follow a diet. You might be tempted to break your dietary rules while away from home, but doing so could invite illness and debilitation. Do as the doctor ordered, and be sure to stick to your diet. Exercise restraint and food wariness.
These three tips are a start to getting your mind rolling on what to do to stay safe while traveling in your golden years. But think positively from time to time, too. The world is full of kind, loving, and gentle people who would be happy to help you as you seek to discover new places, sensations and experiences abroad. It’s likely you’ll be helped much more often than you’ll be picked on. Still, the world being what is, remaining wary and prudent is not only intelligent, but wise – a virtue you surely lord over those much younger than yourself.
Happy and safe travels!