Easy Vacation Tips for Seniors After Retirement

It’s finally the time you’ve been waiting for: you’re retired! Now is the best time to tour the country and see Niagara Falls or experience the Grand Canyon. The United States is a geographically diverse country. Each state has its own unique landmarks and attractions. On your cross-country travels, it’s important to travel smart. Here are a few travelling tips to help you get the most out of your vacation.

Scheduling

One of the benefits of retirement is being able to travel whenever you choose. Travel during the off season, from April to mid-June or September and October. You will find the best deals for flights and hotels in these months. Plus, your destination will be less crowded.

Flying

Senior couple on plane

Have you heard of “economy class syndrome”? Technically called deep vein thrombosis, it causes blood clots in deep veins. Sitting too long in an economy class seat can cause these blood clots. The tight leg room and small seats decrease the circulation in your legs. There are things you can do to prevent developing economy class syndrome. Drink plenty of water and get up whenever possible. Periodically stretch your ankles and hips to keep your blood circulating.

Packing

Don’t let your luggage weigh you down. By packing fewer items, you’ll be able to get around much more easily. Try to fit everything into a carry-on and avoid checked baggage altogether. This will let you skip baggage claim and the worry of your baggage making it to your connecting flight. Here are a few ways to pack more, using less space:

  • Avoid bringing a coat: If possible, opt for more layers instead. Bring a light rain jacket or wind breaker if weather is an issue and warm layers to wear underneath.
  • Wear heavy items: If you must bring a heavy coat or heavy boots, wear them on the flight. You can take them off on the plane and they won’t slow you down when carrying your luggage. Bonus: you can use the coat as a pillow on the plane.
  • Bring lightweight luggage: Manufacturers such as Samsonite™, Eagle Creek™, and American Tourister™ make ultra-lightweight luggage. These pieces can weigh half as much as traditional luggage.
  • Choose stackable bags: If you plan on bringing a second bag, use one that will stack on top of your rolling bag. Stacking your bags will free up your arms to hail a cab or flag someone down for help with directions. Many bags have four wheels that are easy to maneuver and make walking through the airport a breeze.
  • Use travel size toiletries: If you must bring premium shampoos and conditioners, pour them into small, travel size containers. This will save a great deal of space and weight.
  • Roll your clothes: Many frequent travelers opt to roll their clothes to save space. Rolling reduces wrinkles and allows you to pack your clothes more tightly.

Medications

Happy doctor and patient

Pharmacies across the United States should carry your medications, but bring a full supply just in case. Before you leave, ask your doctor to write a letter listing all your medications and why you need them. This will help you quickly replace your medications if they are lost or stolen.

                Don’t forget to bring your Alert1 medical alert device with you. Being in an unfamiliar environment can be risky. The PAX mobile fall detection system from Alert1 can keep you safe anywhere in the United States. We’ll take care of contacting your loved ones or emergency services if necessary. You can wear it at the airport, on the plane, and everywhere else you go!

Accommodations

Ask about accommodations and accessibility when booking your hotel. Ask for a room on the ground level if stairs are an issue. Look at the front entrance and see the hotel is on a steep hill or if it has difficult terrain outside the front door. Also consider how far the hotel is from transportation. If you get a room downtown, you will be within walking distance to dining and entertainment to fill any gaps in your agenda.

Transportation

River boat_city background

Think carefully of how you’ll get around once you’ve reached your destination. Take a cab if you're travelling with luggage because the cabbie will help you load and unload. Otherwise, buses are easier to use than subways because they involve less walking and stairs. A great way to comfortably experience any city is to take boat or bus tours. As long as you can handle a few bad jokes from the tour guide, you will see all the best parts of the city.

Destinations

Disneyland

             America is one of the most diverse and beautiful countries in the world. There are destinations for every type of traveler. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Disneyland: A magical place for all ages, Disneyland provides the perfect atmosphere to enjoy yourself. It's ideal to visit with your significant other or the whole family. Take a trip down Main Street USA and grab an ice cream sundae. Then head over to the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage to enjoy the beautiful underwater displays. Although Disneyland is always busy, visit during the week for shorter wait times. It’s best to visit when the weather is mild to avoid the LA summer heat. Bring comfortable shoes to make the walking more enjoyable.
  • Cross country Amtrak™: The Amtrak train system has over 500 destinations in the US. The only question how long you want to stay. A 15-day trip costs around $390 after a 15% senior discount. It is the most comfortable and relaxing way to enjoy as much of the country as possible.
  • Las Vegas: Sin City has endless things to see and do and offers great deals year round. The gambling capital of the world offers world-class shows and scenery that is unmatched.
  • Washington D.C.: Our nation’s capital is home to the 19 Smithsonian museums, Arlington Cemetery, and the Washington Mall. Remember what principles America was built as you walk the Washington Mall. As a bonus, most of the museums as well as the National Zoo are free to the public.

Travel Smart and Save

Couple near the water

There’s a fine line between the vacation of your dreams and one led by National Lampoon’s™ Chevy Chase. The devil is in the details, so remember to pack light to make it easier to get around and skip checking a bag and bring a supply of medications Also, always research the hotel where you’ll be staying and inquire about their accommodations. Finally, travel during the off season to avoid crowds. And anytime you’re away from home, make sure to bring your PAX mobile fall detection from Alert1. This mobile medical alert device will know if you’ve fallen and contact the appropriate help. 

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