You finally have some discretionary money. The house is paid off, the kids are through college and you and your partner are tired of staring at the four walls or you, a single man or woman, want to hit the road, maybe with a friend or, bravely, alone.
You are considering travel.
Where? That remains to be seen.
How? You haven’t decided: Car, plane, train, boat, hot air balloon?
That being said, your partner has some health issues, his knees and feet are pretty much shot, and you are not in the best shape either, but neither has a foot in the grave quite yet. You aren’t anticipating mountain climbing or marathon running but you know walking is involved.
Driving in the car for long periods of times jacks up your back and flying makes your legs swell and your sinuses erupt, all of which you have to take into consideration when deciding your means of transportation.
You are a creature of habit. You like your own bed, your own routine, but you know traveling is not going to accommodate those requirements. And, heck, that’s part of the reason to travel: Shake it up and see and do different things than you normally do. Are you mentally and physically flexible enough to undertake this?
You are wondering … Are we too old to travel? Should we just stay put? Is it worth the effort?
K.P.C., age 65: Too old to travel? Never! I’ll get on the road at the drop of a hat. At the airport, I’ll be the little old lady being pushed in a wheelchair getting on the airplane.
Shiela Palmer, formerly the director of activities for the Highland County (Ohio) Senior Citizens’ Center, extols the benefits of hooking up with AAA, a senior citizens group and Croswell, bus line. “They have great preplanned trips and take care of all the details. It’s usually priced reasonably. The airport is called ahead of time and wheel chairs or other types of transport are ready for people with difficulties. Oxygen companies provide portable units.”
Okay, so maybe this is do-able. What do you need to do in preparation for a trip?
B.E.A., age 58: Keep a list of medical conditions and medications with you in your wallet. Check on travel insurance. Some will cover medical costs if you are in another country; some won’t. I learned something interesting while in Ireland. They do not have anything approaching the ADA (American Disabilities Act) thus there are very few, if any, handicapped access buses or trains, no ramps on curbs or into buildings. If you are going to a foreign country and have physical limitations check on this beforehand. I travel by the seat of my pants; no travel agent, no tour unless there is no other way. I want to see and do what attracts my attention and be free to make changes. My travel buddy and BF agrees. Our annual trips are always great. However, if you are traveling in an area where you most likely will not be able to communicate in the native language, at least go with someone who is familiar with the local customs and language. I will travel like this until I run out of money or time or both.
Many prefer road trips and are still up to driving long distances.
L.B., age 66: No moss on this old stone. Three trips to Colorado, one by myself and I drove, and then a big trip to North Dakota, moving everything I owned, and then moving back to Ohio. I will say I am definitely not moving again but I will be going back to Colorado and then to New York and then to North Carolina and on to Florida and on the way back a stop off in Georgia to visit family and friends I haven’t seen in a coon’s age. That should keep me busy for a minute. And, yes, I’ll be driving and most likely have the grandkids and dog with me, making memories.
And, then of course, there is always a “Poppa is a rolling stone” in the senior not-so-jet set. L.C., 72, is on the road more than he’s home and he plans to keep it up.
L.C.: (Am I too old to travel?) I’ll mull this over while dozing in my North Carolina motel and I’ll think about it some more tomorrow while steering my boat out of Beaufort Inlet into the Atlantic Ocean. Only special needs I’m missing at the moment is a bottle of Scotch. I forgot to bring any and the store is closed.
If you are leaving the country, look at this traveler’s check list provided by U.S. Passports and International Travel before departing. Do not leave anything to chance. Be smart about your travel choices and be prepared.
Share This Blog