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Senior Tourist Confused About Helping Handicapped Travelers PDF Print E-mail

Q: I’m 66, newly retired and blessed with good health. On a recent cruise, there were some very elderly people aboard in wheelchairs. When I asked to assist several around the ship, they got very angry with me. What are the rules when you try to show simple kindness? Mrs. PJL, Denver CO

A: Understand that many handicapped people insist on being as independent as possible. Right or wrong, some resent offers of help as demeaning. Of course, it’s very kind of you to offer, and you should keep doing it. However, be prepared for rejection, and then back politely away.

Q: Tired Of Hotel Prices … Should We Try Private Homes? PDF Print E-mail

We enjoy travel, but every time we book a hotel room, the price goes up, plus new sneaky extra charges. Why pay $300 to spend just eight hours in bed in a little room? We’ve heard that Airbnb and other private home rental services charge much less, and you often get an apartment or entire house. What’s your opinion? RBF, Sherman Oaks CA

A: To start, consider definite advantages of a hotel room. There’s security, daily cleaning, in-house restaurants and convenient city location. True, you’ll find them pricey and getting more so. Airbnb types get more attractive. Do some homework with websites that offer private homes and apartments at reasonable prices. Also, with such sites as TrustedHousesitters, you may get lower rates or free stays because it includes caring for owners’ pets

Q: How Can We Be Safer In Our Hotel Room? PDF Print E-mail

On a recent trip to Vegas we were sleeping at 7 am when the door suddenly opened. It scared the hell out of us. Fortunately it was just an elderly couple. Their key card worked because the front desk had wrongly recorded us as checked out. Are there ways to prevent such intrusions or worse? PPR, Long Branch NJ

A: We had a similar experience recently when we opened the door to our just checked-in hotel room one morning to find a shocked couple still in bed. Embarrassing! You can’t prevent such intrusions or worse in busy hotels, but there are simple remedies.

When you’re in for the night, be sure to double lock the door and set the inside latch. For more security, carry a small, sturdy plastic wedge with you. DoorJammer costs about $25 and is effectively set in the door bottom space against unwanted attempts to enter.

Q: Need A Quick Language Course Before Visiting France? PDF Print E-mail

My spouse says we’d be happier if we could speak some basic French. But I figured they’re taking my money, so they should know English. What do you think? PLJ, Newark NJ

A: Your travel4seniors.com editor studied French and Italian in high school many, many years ago. So, wandering in my post-retirement years in Europe is much more convenient after I brushed up on the languages. With so many free online sources of quick studies, it’s worthwhile to at least learn some basics before you go.

Consider getting teaching apps, such as babbel.com, memrise.com and rosettastone.com. Also, for those hours during that long flight or cruise to Europe, before you go, record some sessions on your smartphone and practice as you travel.

Q: OK For Retired Widower To Look For Travel Companion? PDF Print E-mail

Starting with Navy service, I’ve always enjoyed wandering the world. Unfortunately my wife passed away last year, and I need to hit the road again. What’s the best way to find a compatible person for the next trip? JLL, Tampa FL

A: If you’re looking for a male pal, check with familiar relatives and friends your age who may agree to join you. It’s more complicated with women companions because of commitment and other adult situations. You can try searching senior singles websites to see if you can match up for a journey together.

Another good way to get started is to sign with a single seniors trip or cruise. During that experience you’ll be able to spend time to observe potential companions for future journeys together. Good luck in your efforts!


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