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Travel Checklist for Senior Travelers: 10 Steps to a Great Vacation

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Senior couple hiking the Brenta Dolomites Trentino, Italy

Senior couple hiking the Brenta Dolomites Trentino, Italy

A travel checklist for senior travelers can help you simplify what you need before and during your trip, and these ten steps ensure that you cover every base.

Traveling is not only about giving yourself new insight into the world but also ensuring you have the best time possible while exploring a familiar destination or someplace entirely new.

The best way to ensure your trip brings maximum enjoyment is by preparing well. Every traveler is different, but our recommendations can help you travel safely, actively, and enjoyably for a perfect trip.

1. Know Your Limits

Senior woman at Greek amphitheater ruins

No matter where in the world you choose to travel, you want to feel comfortable to enjoy the overall experience. How you travel is entirely your preference, but understanding your goals and your needs is paramount to ensure the overall quality of your time away from home. When planning your trip, you should think about what brings you the most joy and what can give you the most comfort. You can also define what makes you uncomfortable, be it stifling heat, a stiff bed, or too much time spent driving between destinations.

“We make the impossible possible,” says Jason, a Peru travel specialist. “Don't always believe what you may read online, as we take each trip on its own merits and work out from there. With the right attention to details, guides, and route planning, ninety percent of destinations are accessible even to those of lesser mobility.”

Every trip you take is about how you can best experience the world around you, but that can be different for everyone. While you may enjoy walking around an ancient ruin from sunup to sundown, a friend may prefer to sit in a seaside cafe and listen to the waves. You must be honest about your likes, dislikes, and concerns to ensure you and your travel specialist cover every base and eliminate every hurdle.

2. Choose the Right Destination

Senior couple at Lake Como, Italy

“Travel opens the world, and one should always strive to go to the places of their dreams when they can,” says Marcus, a Turkey travel specialist. Consider what you have always wanted to see and do, and connect with a travel specialist to learn more about what is possible. The right destination for you is entirely subjective, but the goal of your trip should dictate where you travel more than any other factor.

You may need to consider those you are traveling with, perhaps your extended family, friends, spouse, or partner. Who you travel with, the time of year you travel, the comfort of your traveling party, and the ultimate goals of your trip will be the most significant factors in what destination you should choose.

You are not limited in where you can or should travel. Instead, the world can easily open up to you and your travel preferences as long as you understand what is essential to you. By focusing on the right reasons for traveling to a specific destination, you can avoid many of the pitfalls other travelers may face during their trips to ensure that your trip always meets, and even exceeds, your expectations.

3. Find the Best Time to Go

Group of senior friends having a drink outside ski cabin in Italy

The key to finding the best time to go is understanding what you want, how you want to experience your destination, and what factors you feel are important.  A travel specialist with expert knowledge of their destination will assist you in planning the best trip according to your preferences, goals, and needs. Their local experience can also help ensure you visit during the “best time” for you, instead of on a generic timeline.

The different times of year to visit specific destinations will vary and do not always divide strictly into a “best time to visit” versus other times to travel. If you are not limited to a specific time of year, you could experience the diversity of a destination based on the time of year that you do visit. For example, a Serengeti safari may sound appealing during the peak of the Great Migration between June to August, but it also brings lots of crowds and high prices. If you prefer smaller crowds, you may enjoy the experience more in January or February.

4. Plan Ahead

Senior couple dining outside in Spain

You may have decades of travel experience and understand what you love about specific destinations, the adventure of a new place, or the type of exploration you prefer, but no matter how long you’ve been traveling, the earlier you plan, the smoother your logistics. Whether an expert traveler or a novice, planning ahead is key to ensuring you have a quality and comfortable trip no matter where you decide to visit.

The benefits of working with a Zicasso travel specialist include their ability to help you plan, reserve, and book your preferred trip to destinations around the world. "[A travel specialist] can offer the best transportation, reservations at the best restaurants where you can have your meal with no waiting, assistance twenty-four-seven, hotels with big rooms and elevators, senior-oriented guides, tickets with no line, and soft itineraries, and more," says Nadia, a travel specialist to Italy.

Depending on when you plan to travel, you may be contending with large crowds, weather conditions, fully-booked transportation options, or top restaurants unable to accommodate your reservation. By planning in advance, you can ensure the right hotel room, keep a table open for you at your preferred restaurant, or make sure that a particular guide is booked for your tour. There are plenty of last-minute or unplanned experiences that you could have anywhere in the world, but by planning early, your preferred activities and experiences can likely be yours.

5. Select the Right Flights

Airplane in flight over clouds during sunset

Planning for your flights and the logistics of your travel often sets the tone for the entire experience. When traveling anywhere in the world, it takes work to find a flight that is efficient with your time and with the right seats to comfortably get you to your destination.

These key details can play a huge role in how you travel, especially when considering concerns like whether flying in and out of the same airport may impact your overall travel time. When working with your travel specialist, you can ensure you understand the critical logistics of your trip, but by working with Zicasso Flights, you can also have a guide through the logistics of your flight plan to overcome any challenge or obstacle.

Zicasso Flights will take care of the ease of your logistics, such as finding the best airports in which to connect, the best timeframe for your arrival and departure, as well as finding the shortest flights or easiest connections for you to make. Zicasso Flights can also take care of any flight changes or challenges that occur that may impact your trip to ensure the quality of your flights, the ease of your journey, and the comfort of your experience.

6. Consider Travel Insurance

Traveler in autumn at Mt Fitz Roy in Patagonia

Everyone has their own level of comfort when taking risks. You may have felt fine not purchasing travel insurance in the past, but times have certainly changed, and the assurances travel insurance offers can provide comfort and help when faced with unforeseen issues.

Travel insurance policies differ in coverages offered and reimbursement levels. Some of the most popular policies provide coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, medical insurance and emergency evacuations, lost luggage and more. Zicasso can help with an insurance quote and further information.

7. Pack Wisely

Senior female traveler with luggage at the airport

Packing is an essential part of travel but can also be challenging. Many people tend to overpack, which may add to the overall monetary cost of the trip and the unforeseen physical toll as you are forced to carry your luggage between transfers, accommodations, or destinations.

As a senior traveler, more mobile luggage may help you travel better. Wearables and accessories can be essential aspects of your packing list that could account for weather conditions or special circumstances at your destination. You may need batteries, hearing aids, certain medication, paperwork, and specific toiletries. What you need versus what you want to take with can quickly add up.

“Travel without valuable jewelry. Travel with comfortable clothing and footwear. Think carefully before packing and keep your luggage to a minimum,” recommends Kieran, an Argentina travels specialist. No matter where in the world you are traveling, you should aim to keep your packing list versatile and straightforward. Keep medications, copies of important documents, glasses, a light sweater, mobile phone, hat, comfortable shoes, and chargers with adaptor cords with you as you go.

8. Actively Manage Your Medications and Health

Senior woman removing mediation from yellow pill box

Managing your medications is only a part of managing your health during your trip. You must make sure that you bring enough medication with you for the duration of your journey and keep the original prescription bottle with you in case of an emergency. Your medications may be a lifeline, so transporting them, keeping them safe and near to you, and making sure they are labeled correctly are important factors for ensuring your safety.

Your decision to travel in the hands of an experienced travel specialist with a local network in place can make all the difference should any health issues arise. “Every major destination in Thailand where we go with our clients have private medical facilities with excellent service and where English is also spoken,” says Jack, a Thailand travel specialist. Depending on where you are visiting, you could travel with an extra week’s supply of medication as travel arrangements can change or be impacted by unforeseen circumstances. To manage your medication correctly, you should also bring copies of your prescriptions if you need to visit a pharmacy during your trip. “It’s always good to make sure that you have a list of the medicines and the doses,” Jack adds.

Every destination is different, and making sure you are covered is vital for your health no matter where you visit. When working with a Zicasso travel expert, they can help guide you when necessary to keep you safe and healthy in a new place.

9. Keep Your Friends and Family Informed

Senior travelers taking a selfie while kayaking in Thailand

Traveling safely around the world is not just about what you pack or how you act when visiting a specific destination but is also about the details you work out with those at home in advance. You should always give a copy of your itinerary to a family member, close friend, or someone you are regularly in contact with in case of an emergency. Travel is an exceptional experience but can also come with challenges along the way, especially when visiting someplace new.

Providing a loved one with information such as your itinerary, contact numbers, medication, and copies of essential documents makes it much easier to help you or reach you in case of an emergency. Along with your itinerary should be the updated contact information of your accommodations in each location in case you cannot be reached otherwise.

“Provide your kids with a copy of the itinerary with contact details of the hotels and your travel specialist,” recommends Kieran, an Argentina travel specialist. Keeping these details in mind can make your travel experience much easier and more comfortable for everyone during your entire trip.

10. Get Your Plans Started

Senior couple on the beach in South Africa

Traveling is an exciting way to discover new corners of the world, whether exploring a tropical landscape or wandering through a medieval city. As a senior traveler, you have unique travel opportunities and can find more inspiration in our Senior Travel Guide. Our travel specialists can customize any trip to your needs and preferences and are ready to make your dream trip happen. Speak with a senior travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling 1-888-265-9707.

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