Ask our travel experts about travel and get answers to reader questions
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!

Q: Former Military Woman, Is It OK For Me To Travel Alone? PDF Print E-mail

My 32 years in the Navy took me to all parts of the USA, but never overseas. Now retired, I want to see parts of the world that were only dreams before. South America, England, France, Italy. Family members say it just isn’t safe to do alone. What do you say? MTL, San Diego CA

A: We don’t want to exaggerate, but women are often at risk when they travel alone in other cultures where they’re considered fair game for robbery and physical attack. For that first venture abroad, we suggest you sign on for an interesting senior singles group trip or cruise. You’ll be safe and with compatible people. It will give you experience in travel to use later when ready to go it alone.

Question: Near Age 80 And Will Need Help When I Fly PDF Print E-mail

A frequent traveler, lately I’m beginning to have problems with sight, balance and other skills I once took for granted. How do I get started on assistance for future flights? Mrs. MJL, Memphis TN

A: Enlist a younger friend or family member to fly with you. And/or take along a trained helper dog. There are basically three types: service, emotional support and therapy. Before making a decision, check with your family physician to determine which type of trained and certified dog, as required by airlines, will be best for you. For more info, go to usdogregistry.org


Page 9 of 68
Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.