The children are grown and retirement is not just a dream, it’s a reality. So, if you no longer need to worry about putting in vacation requests, now is the time to explore. Aging has its perks. Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, ship or train, it’s important to know what assistance, discounts and benefits are available to you and what you can expect on your next great getaway.
Cars and RVs
Hitting the open road may be your preferred way to spend a vacation. Plan your route by grabbing a map or use the GPS on your phone. Here are some things to do before hitting the road:
Driving can be tougher as we get older – eyesight and reaction times may not be as good. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Take a class to refresh your driving knowledge and help understand the latest technologies in automobiles. Some courses can reduce insurance premiums.
Tips for Air Travel
Airplanes can make travel quicker but getting to and from the airport can be a lot of trouble. Airports offer cart rides for passengers with disabilities or mobility issues to get you from one area of the terminal to another. Rent a large cart to haul the luggage and make travel easier…or hire a skycap.
Airport security is necessary, but it can take a lot of time. General TSA security requires you to take off your shoes, jackets, belts and empty your pockets before you can go through any screener. So be sure to pack your patience. The TSA says passengers 75 and older can receive, to some degree, expedited screening.
If you have a disability or travel with a medical device or implant, you can apply to receive what’s called a TSA Notification Card that you present to the officers at the airport screening lines.
Pack all medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your checked luggage gets lost or delayed. Bring extra meds in case you encounter delays.
Cruises can be a relatively easy and fun way to see the world. Once you board, most everything is taken care of for you. And there will be plenty of others your age to enjoy the experience with. Cruise lines say people 50 and older make up the largest number of their passengers.
It may be a good idea to try a shorter trip if it’s your first time cruising – just to be sure sea sickness or other issues don’t cause problems. Most cruise lines offer senior discounts, so be sure and ask for it when you book your trip.
For an extra fee, most cruise lines offer a service to get you from the airport to the ship and back again when the cruise is over.
Get to the ship at least two hours early, allowing time for your bags to be processed and taken to your room. If you have limited mobility, many cruise lines provide services to help. Ships have special rooms designed for wheelchair access and most corridors within the ship are wide. There are also plenty of elevators, making it easier to travel.
Once on board, you can basically stash your wallet because most cruise lines require a credit card be on file for whatever you buy on the ship. All the food is included in the cost, but soda and alcohol are extra. Buy a beverage package to make getting a drink hassle-free.
The first couple of hours are planned for you with a review of the evacuation plan. Once the ship leaves port, it becomes like a floating city with many other things to keep you entertained.
Plano Public Library Community Outreach Manager Tammy Korns suggests downloading eBooks and eAudiobooks for the next trip with your Plano Library card.