travel tips for the young at heart


For many of us, retirement means finally having the time to tick off those bucket-list holidays we’ve been dreaming about for decades. Whether an expedition around Australia or an adventure abroad is on the agenda, it’s important to plan ahead for a safe and stress-free journey. Here are our top tips for exploring the world in your golden years.


Your body is your temple

Embarking on a tour of Croatian cathedrals or English abbeys? Pay homage to yourself first and visit your GP for a health check-up. Depending on your destination, you may need vaccinations which your doctor can help with. If you’ll be travelling with medication, make sure you have enough to last your entire trip, and it may be a good idea to keep it in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage goes missing. You may also need your GP to write a letter confirming your medication is for your personal use, or that you’re fit for air travel.

Although Australia has reciprocal healthcare agreements with 11 countries, this is not a substitute for travel insurance, so be sure your policy covers all necessary medical assistance.

Proper preparation

Research and planning are vital for any trip, particularly if you have mobility requirements, hearing loss or vision difficulties. Call your airline to find out about mobility assistance, shuttle services and seating arrangements. Make sure there’s an easy way to get from the airport to your hotel and to any destinations or activities on your wish list so you can prioritise comfort and relaxation.

It’s also worth finding out the emergency contact numbers wherever you’re visiting, like police, ambulance and the Australian embassy, as well as your travel insurance provider.

Travel light

When you’re overloaded with luggage, you may be more vulnerable to pickpockets and bag-snatchers, not to mention at risk of injury. Pack for the climate and the culture, and try to leave any unnecessary items at home. Take a rolling suitcase, and don’t be shy about asking hotel or transport staff for help if you’re not confident about lifting your luggage.

Savings for seniors

Many destinations offer discounts for seniors, so be prepared to snap up reduced public transport fares, and discounted museum admission or theatre tickets. If you have flexibility with time, consider travelling in low or shoulder seasons which could result in worthwhile airfare and accommodation savings. As an added bonus, you might have your destination to yourself.



Safety first

Smartraveller, a website provided by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, recommends making two photocopies of your passport, travel insurance information and any printed tickets before you head off. Leave one copy at home with someone you trust, and keep one copy with you. You can also check travel warnings for your destination on the Smartraveller website.

In case of theft, make sure you have more than one way of accessing your money while you’re away, for example through cards, cash and digital wallet. It’s also a good idea to register your travel period with your bank and confirm that your credit card will work at your destination. 

The more the merrier

If research and planning aren’t your strong suit, consider booking travel with a group. Many group trips are designed for seniors and can assist with special requirements. Group tours can be great for meeting new people, and are also ideal if you don’t speak the language of your destination. You could also consider a cruise, where you can avoid many common travel challenges and experience multiple destinations without the hassle of having to check out of your room.

There’s no place like home

Overseas travel isn’t for everyone, and sometimes the most memorable experiences can happen in your own backyard. Travelling around Australia means you don’t need to worry about things like managing a different currency, missing connecting flights, or paying unexpected costs in a medical emergency. It can also be a more budget-friendly way to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.



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