Home TIPS Timely Savings Tips For Traveling Senior Couples
Timely Savings Tips For Traveling Senior Couples PDF Print E-mail

Your elder editor and always-patient spouse have wandered the world frequently for more than 70 years, throughout America, Europe and Asia. Since retirement, travel happens at least once a month. After considerable experiences in the sky, at sea and on the road, here are some very basic tips that may help other seasoned citizens:

Go light. Unless you're sailing on a super-formal cruise or will attend a function at the White House or Buckingham Palace, pack just basic comfy clothing. Take only what you can carry and wheel yourself without checking.

Travel used to include a big suitcase, to lug around, check and, after flights, wait by the merry-go-round hoping they weren’t lost. Most airlines now charge for check-in bags from $15 to $25 each, and it can be avoided if you go light. Recently, we went to Europe, enjoyed three weeks of casual wandering. We stayed at small hotels, hostels, motels and bed'n'breakfasts in England, France, Holland and Italy. We each had only a wheeled carry-on and a small backpack.

Take only essentials. For several days before each departure from home, we make stacks on the bed next to our carry-ons of everything we'll absolutely need for the trip. Then, the night before, we pack half or less and leave the rest at home.

We take some old clothing that gets one or two more wears, and then discarded. For all-washable clothing, we bring the minimum, because every night we bring the day's used items into the shower. We wash, wring out and let dry overnight.

Necessary meds. For those on regular prescriptions, pack enough for days away from home, plus another full week's supply. Take copies of  prescriptions and contact phone numbers of your physicians.

Keep it clean. Don't anticipate you'll have essential hygiene items available on the road. Take wet wipes, toothpaste, mouthwash, bathroom tissue and basic first aid kit. Because of airport security regulations, make sure they’re approved items and sizes.

Personal security. Use the buddy system. Each knows where the other is at all times, including standing guard at public bathroom doors. Never be alone in an unfamiliar area, especially at night.

Seniors should always be aware of street dangers, and when abroad, consider ethnic conflicts, terrorism and anti-Western attitudes. You don't have to stay home hiding under the bed, but when you venture out, do it smart and safely.

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