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Advice Every Senior Traveling Abroad Needs to Know Before Takeoff

senior couple traveling
Written by Lauren Saccone

This blog post was updated on August 14, 2019.

Who says travel is for the young? Age should never be a factor when planning your trip — particularly when heading overseas. It’s a big wide world out there, and plenty of seniors are spending their golden years exploring different countries and traveling to exotic locales. Travel at any age is good for the heart, mind, and spirit, but it’s a little different seeing the world at 75 instead of 25. Luckily, that shouldn’t slow you down at all if you have a little insider information. Here are some important tips senior travelers need to know about traveling abroad.

Aim for an Aisle

Interior of airplane with passengers on seats waiting to take off.

Overseas flights can be long, so do your best to get an aisle seat. You’ll be able to stretch a bit, and have easier access to the bathroom. Most importantly, you’ll be able to get up and walk around frequently — which can keep your legs from getting too stiff during the flight. If you’re traveling with a companion, attempt to get either side of the aisle so you can both enjoy the same freedom of movement. Trust us: the longer the flight, the more you’ll appreciate the opportunity to be up and about.

Planning your next vacation? Check out all these great flights that can get you there for less!

Check Up on Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for seniors can be a pricey affair. It can also prove extremely useful, so don’t dismiss it right off the bat. Look into the different types of insurance, and see what they’ll cover on your trip. Investigate if the risks outweigh the rewards, and decide what you’ll do in case of a crisis. While you’re at it, determine what your health insurance covers overseas and if you’ll have access to any necessary medical care while you’re seeing the sights.

Look for Senior Perks


Group of senior tourists reading city map

Many airlines and hotels offer senior discounts and services, so be sure to ask before you do any bookings. Find out what resources they offer, and whether they’re included in the price or come with an extra charge. There are tons of sight-seeing and travel opportunities aimed at seniors as well, which can cut down on the stress and planning aspects of vacation, and let you focus on the serious business of having fun. These tours ensure that everything is safe, easily accessible, and an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Plus, it’s a great way to make new friends while traveling!

Pack with Care

If you’re on any medications, make sure to bring a few extra days’ worth, in case there are any unexpected issues or delays. Make multiple copies of any important travel documents, including reservations and itinerary information. Keep your passport and all other vital documents safe and secure at all times. Have your emergency contacts always available, and check that you know who to call in case of a crisis. Locate the nearest embassy and hospital so you know just what to do if your trip suddenly turns sour.

Take Your Time

sunrise sailing man on boat in ocean with flare and sunlight on calm morning on the water

Rushing is stressful, unnecessary, and can downright ruin your vacation. So skip that unpleasant part of travel by giving yourself time. You’re going to need to relax and decompress; clear some time every day to just relax and unwind. You can’t enjoy your vacation if you’re exhausted all the time — where’s the fun in that? Your itinerary on this trip should be all about you, so if you need more time to stop and smell the roses, go for it!

RELATED: Why Slow Travel Is Perfect for Senior Travelers

Ask for Help

Airlines and hotels are quick to assist you with getting your luggage, finding your seats, and even getting to and from your airport — if you ask them. Before you head off for your vacation, ask your airline what senior services they offer, and alert them to any special considerations you might need. You’ll be surprised by how helpful everyone is, and all the great resources that are available to you. And remember, this is your vacation: you deserve to have an amazing time, no matter where your travels may take you.

About the author

Lauren Saccone