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Travelling as a Senior: 5 Things to Know When Planning Your Next Trip

It may be a while until we can all travel freely again (thanks to COVID-19), but there is plenty of time to plan and research for your next big trip! Travelling as a senior is a great way to stay active, create a new sense of adventure, and meet new people you might not otherwise meet. Travel can involve faraway destinations or local adventures. As a retiree, you might be thinking about your future and all the things you want to accomplish during your golden years. Leaving routines behind and trying something new will keep you young at heart. You’ll learn so much, experience new cultures, and create some amazing memories. As a senior, planning travel itineraries can feel like a daunting task – from choosing the right destination, staying within budget, to finding something that is accessible for your activity and energy level. This week I have put together 5 things to know and consider when planning your next trip.

1. Make sure you have travel insurance (and understand the details).

If you are travelling out of the country, having travel insurance is incredibly important. Running into health issues abroad can be very expensive, and you want to be prepared. If you travel often, you might want to consider year-round travel insurance. If not, a fixed-term policy for a particular trip will work just fine! Whether you’re purchasing a new travel insurance plan or planning to use an existing annual policy, it’s important to review the details of your policy thoroughly, so you know exactly what you’re covered for. If you are travelling during COVID-19, you definitely need to ensure you're covered under the policy for pandemic related complications!

2. Book your trip using a senior discount.

One of the greatest perks of being a senior is enjoying the discounts that come along with it! Travel is no different – many companies offer senior discounts when booking hotels, flights, or excursions. In fact, within Canada you can book incredible deals with ViaRail, Fairmont Hotels, Choice Hotels, Sandman, Marriot, and Intercontinental. If you want to learn more about senior discounts in Canada, you can download a PDF copy of a helpful discount guide for seniors in Canada here.

3. Pick a destination that is senior friendly.

Choosing the right destination can make or break your trip! There’s lots to consider: safety, transportation, availability of guided tours, cost, weather and more. We all have different preferences, so making sure you chose the right destination will require lots of research. If you don’t want to go it alone, speaking to a travel agent first can help you narrow own your options. There are travel agents that specialize in senior travel that might be helpful if you aren’t sure where or when you’d like to travel. They will get you on the right track and inform you of different options out there for seniors!

4. Create a set budget in advance.

Having a set budget will help you plan your trip without breaking the bank. Being on a fixed income means most of us have to be a bit more conscious on spending. Creating a set budget for your trip will ensure you can easily plan and avoid overspending. Did you know there are certain days of the week that make it cheaper to book flights? Recent research has revealed the cheapest day to book flights is Thursday. A set budget is a great way to keep your trip stress free, as you know it’s something you can afford, and you haven’t overspent!

5. Be flexible with your itinerary.

Being retired means we have a bit more flexibility with our schedules. And as seniors, we can definitely use this to our advantage when travelling! If you want to save money, visiting a destination during the off-peak and shoulder season can save you thousands! Additionally, travelling mid-week, as opposed to a Friday or Saturday, can also be a very wise choice to get the best deals for both hotels and flights. A bit of flexibility can go a long way when it comes to travelling.

According to a report in USA Today, travel can actually help senior citizens live longer! The renewed sense of adventure, along with the physical and mental health benefits, are all great reasons for retirees to travel more often as they enter their senior years. There are many benefits to keeping active and exploring the beautiful planet, so I hope these 5 tips help when planning your next trip.

What are your thoughts – will you be planning a trip anytime soon? Leave a comment in the section below or check out my other blog posts here. Thanks for stopping by!

- Don

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