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Seniors travel tips

You’ve worked hard your whole life and now you have the time and inclination to see the world. To help you get the most out of your next holiday, Australian Seniors have compiled this list of 50 handy travel tips. There are 5 tips for each category including health, safety, transport and leisure.

Don’t forget about the importance of arranging travel insurance before you depart and preferably as soon as you have made booking payments. Australian Seniors Travel Insurance offers low-premium travel insurance plans for both domestic and international travel.

Download and print a copy of this free PDF guide 50 Travel Tips for Seniors to help you plan your next trip.

Packing tips

  • Maximise your luggage space by taking clothing items that can be layered and interchanged. If you are travelling for a few weeks, you can wash your clothes and reuse them. Roll your bulky items such as jumpers to save space in your luggage. If you are travelling as a couple, divide your clothes, money and belongings evenly between each of your suitcases. If one of your bags gets delayed or lost you will still have something to wear and money to spend.
  • Take a spare pair of your prescription glasses in case you lose or break your pair. It is also handy to take an eye glasses script should you need to get a new pair while you are away. If you wear hearing aids, take spare batteries with you as they might be hard to find. If you use dentures, take enough denture adhesive for the entire trip.

Flying tips

  • The low humidity on planes can be dehydrating. Drink plenty of water on your flight to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as these can dehydrate you faster. Use moisturiser to prevent your hands from drying out.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) commonly effects the elderly and those with heart disease or circulatory problems. Sitting still for long periods of time (such as on a plane) can increase these DVT risk factors. Do arm, leg and foot stretching exercises when you are seated. When possible, get up and walk up and down the aisles. Wear compression stockings to increase blood flow in your lower legs.

Health tips

  • Visit your doctor and dentist for a general check-up before you leave. Ask about any vaccinations relevant to your destination. Ensure your regular vaccinations such as the flu shot and tetanus shot are up to date. Get your doctor to print a list of all your current medications, their generic names, dosages and frequency taken. Print a spare copy and keep it separate from your main luggage.
  • Drinking local tap water may make you sick. At all times, drink bottled water. Ask for drinks without ice cubes. Brush your teeth using bottled or boiled water.

Safety tips

  • Carry your wallet, passport and money in a travel belt around your waist or a pouch around your neck. Ensure it is under your clothes and can’t be seen. Leave your expensive jewellery at home. Wearing excessive jewellery can make you a target for pickpockets.
  • Make a photocopy of your passport and travel documents including travel insurance policy, travellers cheques, visas and credit cards. Carry a copy with you, separate from your main luggage and leave a copy with a family member or friend at home.

Money tips

  • Hotels and airports charge high rates for currency conversions. Find a local bank to get a much better rate for your cash or travellers cheques.
  • ATM’s are the easiest way to get cash overseas using your bank or debit card. Be warned that fees can be high for international transactions and you may also be charged by the ATM provider. Never use a credit card at an ATM to withdraw cash. You will be charged a fee and a high interest rate that often has no interest-free period.

Shopping tips

  • Souvenir shops and tourist areas are the most expensive places to buy gifts. Find the local markets. Initial prices will be grossly marked up to allow for bargaining. Decide on the lowest price you are willing to pay, then go up from there until you meet an agreed price with the seller.
  • If you get carried away with your shopping, consider posting some of your items home. Excess baggage charges on airlines are very costly. Make sure you ship your items with insurance.

Leisure tips

  • If a lot of walking or standing is required, think about hiring a wheelchair or electric scooter. Most places of interest such as museums, theme parks, gardens offer these for free or at a small cost.
  • Schedule in rest days where you can relax and recharge. Having a packed schedule will only add to your fatigue. Do activities in the morning and return the hotel in the afternoon for a shower and an afternoon nap. You will leave for dinner feeling refreshed.

Culture tips

  • Try learning a few basic words in your destination’s native language. Words like ‘hello’, ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘help’, ‘goodbye’, ‘sorry’, ‘excuse me’ will go a long way to fitting in. Locals will really appreciate your efforts even if they are not perfect!
  • Ask permission before you take a photo of someone. If they say no, respect their decision. It can be illegal to take photos of police or military personnel or property. Check for warning signs or ask an official first. If in doubt, don’t take the photo.

Accommodation tips

  • Ask for a room close to the elevators, it will cut down the amount of walking you have to do each day. If the hotel does not have an elevator, ask for a ground floor room. If no ground floor rooms are available as for assistance in getting your luggage up the stairs.
  • In-room wi-fi internet charges can be very expensive. Some hotels offer free wi-fi in the lobby or bar areas. If the hotel offers no free internet, many cafés and coffee houses offer free wi-fi with any purchase.

Transportation tips

  • Organise a taxi, hire car or shuttle bus service that will offer door to door service and assistance with your luggage. Public transport might be cheaper, but you will have to manage your luggage and find your hotel on your own.
  • Show your seniors or pension card as it could entitle you to discounts off local transport fares. Senior rates can be up to 50% of the fare for trains, trams, buses and ferries.

50 Travel Tips for Seniors is intended as general information only. It does not take into consideration your personal circumstances. Australian Seniors Insurance Agency does not accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in any respect of any statement contained in 50 Travel Tips for Seniors.