According to AARP’s 2022 Travel Trends report, there’s a lot of pent-up demand for travelers over 50. Compared to the previous year, a higher percentage of 50-plus Americans plan to take at least four trips this year, and slightly less than half plan to travel internationally.
Recently, a friend mentioned to me that their 80+-year-old parents were planning an international trip, and they haven’t been on a flight since before the pandemic!
My friend is considering traveling with her parents to ensure they stay safe in Italy.
Planning an international trip as an older person isn’t all that different than anyone else, except for a few things. Whether you are traveling with older loved ones or helping them prepare for a trip on their own, here’s a list of things to keep in mind.
The first thing to remember is that older folks are not homogeneous, and travel decisions should be made based on the individual traveler. Also, health considerations are a factor no matter the traveler’s age, so this list is pertinent to every traveler:
If the traveler has any medical concerns, a pre-trip consultation with their personal medical provider will be a helpful step to knowing how to manage their condition while traveling. In addition, a pre-trip doctor visit is a great time to refill any necessary or precautionary prescriptions.
Travel presents challenges and unpredictability — that’s all part of the adventure. Too much unpredictability, however, can cause stress.
Think through the specific logistics for your travel schedule
Any traveler can embrace the novelty of a new location, gorgeous sites, and delicious meals. Keeping a familiar framework for each day will keep stress and anxiety from derailing the trip.
Pro tip: Resist the urge to overschedule and build in extra time and ample downtime. Embrace
Purchasing a good travel insurance plan is just a good call for any international trip and traveler of any age, but even more essential for older travelers.
Staying connected while traveling isn’t a question anymore – it’s an absolute necessity – and of course, no one wants to pay international roaming charges.
Solving the international plan question is step one and to be honest, every time I’m planning an international trip (which is at least once a year), I have to review the international options because the tech changes so quickly.
On recent international trips, we’ve gone directly from the airport to a local mobile store to switch out the SIM cards on our phones, but there are other options now.
No matter how tech-savvy your older folks are, there are probably things they just don’t know, especially if they haven’t traveled in a few years.
To help them stay safe and have what they need, you may want to make sure they:
It’s heartening to know that nearly 100% of lost luggage is eventually found and returned to the owner. That said, delayed or temporarily lost luggage can put a traveler at odds with their trip.
See our article on
The following are some additional articles that can be helpful for planning a trip as an older person or with an older person:
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.