There is so much to see and so many places to go! Travel holds the promise of adventure. It is exciting, but traveling can also be stressful, especially for older adults. Still just because you’re older doesn’t mean you should feel confined to your easy chair watching game shows in your robe and slippers. Here are some easy travel tips to incorporate into your next trip:
- Try to blend in. Thieves and scammers can spot a tourist from a mile away. Don’t travel in a uniform or with tour logos on your luggage. You don’t need to go so far as to dress like the locals (i.e. wearing a hijab in a Muslim country). You want to be comfortable in your dress without drawing too much attention to yourself.
- Make sure you have important information on you at all times. If something happens and your wallet gets stolen, you’ll have an easier time replacing your ID if you have copies of your cards and passport. Keep one hidden in your luggage and keep one copy on you but not in your wallet.
- Keep credit cards to a minimum. Take one or two of your credit cards with you when you travel and leave the rest at home. If you lose them or have a problem, there will be less to worry about. Keep wallets and cards away from potential pickpockets by using a money belt or a cross-body bag.
- Be mysterious. Be sure to keep your voice down and keep your personal info and travel plans to yourself. An accent is easier to pick up in a foreign country.
- Stay alert and listen to your gut. If a situation feels unsettling, trust your instincts and leave. It’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful scenery but pay attention to the things and people around you at all times.
- Register with the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). The U.S. Embassy in the country you’re visiting will keep you notified about any emergency or natural disasters. It’s also great if your passport or wallet is lost. In certain places, cell coverage might be spotty, so if your family needs to reach you, the embassy staff can help locate you.
These are just a few travel tips to help your vacation go smoothly. Make sure you have a great time, but be safe and aware of your surroundings as a rule of thumb.