Retirement travel tips

When retirement rolls around, many seniors choose to spend their time exploring new places and traveling overseas. Some have referred to retirement as one long vacation, but taking a trip requires some work and effort. To help seniors on their journeys – wherever they might go – here is a list of travel tips to keep in mind:

Pack smart for your trip
When you travel to a destination or several destinations, one of the worst things you can do is overpack. Carrying around too much stuff can be a burden, especially if you are moving from place to place. When packing your luggage, consider bringing clothing that can be worn more than once, in more than one way. For example, three or four shirts and two pairs of pants might be able to last you the whole week and lighten your load. Don't forget to bring toiletries, particularly if you are traveling abroad, where the same products might not be available or affordable.

Utilize your carry-on bag
When you get on a plane, train or any method of transportation where you will be separated from your luggage for a while, you need to appropriately pack the bag that you will carry with you. In general, make sure that you have your travel documents and confirmation records for your plans and reservations, something to keep you entertained like a book, music or a magazine, your credit card and any comforts that you might want while you're sitting, like a neck pillow. It's also essential to bring any medications you might need for the next few days, just in case your luggage is lost, misplaced or delayed. Consider also bringing some toiletries like a toothbrush, moisturizer and lip balm.

Check out travel insurance
Depending on where you will be traveling, your health care insurance might not cover you, which means you could need additional protection. If you're 65 or older, you have already reached Medicare eligibility. However, it will not cover you outside the U.S., except in some special circumstances. To ensure you aren't left without coverage, you can invest in travel insurance. Not only are there options for health care coverage where your regular insurance is limited, but it will provide you with other means of trip protection, like coverage for canceled reservations.

Get up to date
These days, there are many apps and programs that can make traveling easier and more convenient. You might already be able to receive text messages from your airline regarding information or changes to your booked flight, but there are many more ways you can stay up to date on your travel times and make your experience moving from one place to another more enjoyable. From packing lists to ridesharing, using your smartphone to access these apps has never been easier. There are even apps that can help you deal with jet​ lag and find the best nearby restaurants in your price range. Before you head out on an adventure or vacation, check out how your phone can help you manage your travels.

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