Travelling in Retirement
DO IT WHILE YOU CAN
Travel used to be a luxury afforded to only men and women of privilege, or true adventurers who would return with stories envied by all.
Now, the delights of travel are available to everyone! We are all travellers, whether you are heading to Melbourne for the weekend, or cruising the oceans of the world. There are hundreds of options that can suit all ages, budgets and travel style: coach journeys throughout Europe, river cruising in Asia, or even an extended train journey!
CONSIDER YOUR DESTINATION
As we get older and wiser, our idea of the perfect holiday changes. We must start thinking a little bit differently about our needs, desires and the way in which we travel. Mobility issues start to crop up, and we have to think about how much walking we are capable of doing versus how much we might be expected to do on a trip.
Our changing lifestyles impact the destinations we may be able to visit. While some may be able to hike Machu Picchu late into their seventies or eighties, this is definitely not for everyone. Along with how much walking we will be expected to do, some other things to consider while planning your trip are what the conditions of this walking will be (for instance, cobblestones can present some people with some trouble), and how our luggage will be transported. For instance, on many coach tours you will be expected to carry your own luggage to your room; but on a cruise, your bag is delivered to your cabin and you only have to unpack once!
Many tour companies offer varying levels of assistance to make your journey as comfortable as possible, so don’t scrub those adventure destinations off your bucket list just yet!
USE YOUR TRAVEL AGENT!
Travel agents are world travellers and knowledgeable in the many different options available to suit your needs. They have regular communications with tour, flight and cruise operators who will be able to answer any questions you have so that your holiday is comfortable and enjoyable.
Many airlines offer assistance from your departure airport, transiting between airport gates and collecting luggage. Transfers between hotels and airports all across the world can be pre-booked to make your journey completely stress-free. Many cruise lines offer cabins with wheelchair access to showers; and they take your requirements very seriously in terms of shore excursions. River cruise companies offer slow walker groups, and even small-ship cruising only requires that you be able to get in and out of a car to jump in a zodiac!
Cruising is a more popular choice as we get older – the cabin becomes your home away from home, you only have to unpack once, and the level of service is generally very high. On the larger ships a doctor is always available, providing peace of mind to passengers and family at home. Group tours are also a wonderful option for couples and solo travellers who like to travel with others. These tours include your sightseeing activities, meals are organised for you, and there is often plenty of free time. Your tour leader is there for you at all times and the guides have outstanding knowledge of all destinations that you visit!
GET TRAVEL INSURANCE
The most important item for your holiday is travel insurance! This is absolutely essential when travelling, and we suggest you take it out as soon as you have booked any of your arrangements to ensure that the correct cover is applied to your needs from the very beginning. There are many policies available with some offering more coverage than others. Be aware that credit card insurance often leaves a lot unprotected, so make sure to speak to your travel agent to find the policy that’s right for you!
ONE LAST THING
Travel while you can and don’t postpone your dream holiday any longer! When deciding on what is best suited to your budget, interests, and physical ability, discuss your ideas with a travel professional who has the understanding of what is available. Finally, no matter what your age, always travel with an open mind and be willing to open yourself up to new experiences, make new friends, and push your boundaries.
“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson