As an aging baby boomer, many of us remember things like libraries and the Dewey Decimal System and card catalogs and road trips and things as simple as Sunday afternoon drives. One of the memories … or at least the names … we remember is Robert Lewis Stevenson. Here is what he said: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
The Golden Years give us an opportunity to travel and do some of the things we always dreamed about but couldn’t do before. Travel for the sake of travel is healing, healthy, amazing and important. Some of us can do elaborate things … others, who have had some of the “gold” rubbed off our years, do smaller things. But Robert Louis Stevenson was right … “The great affair is to move.”
Here are a few ways to be ready for your “great affair”.
- There is no stopping us now! But let’s check in with medical professionals first and prepare the documentation we need, confirm we are healthy enough to travel and have the information that cruise ships, airlines, and bus lines will want from us. Traveling will be much easier if we can hand the agent the documents that they are requesting.
- There is something for everyone when it comes to travel for seniors. Many local Senior Centers offer one or two-day bus tours to regional attractions. Travel companies often do the same. They are basically affordable and you don’t need to travel in “pairs” … there are many individuals signing up to get away for a bit. Get on a bus or Amtrak, find a seat and enjoy.
- If you are able to do more extensive traveling, there are many options for you. Cruise ships offer great bargains for seniors and are all inclusive except for that glass of wine. Once onboard, you can relax and enjoy life’s pleasures
- When we were little, we asked for help all the time. Someone needed to reach the counter for our Kool-Aid. We needed help getting into our chair. Today, it is often the same. Traveling as a senior sometimes means asking for special services and help … and that needs to be done in advance. You can request accommodations for disabled travelers. Just not at the last minute.
- Oh, the suitcase. Many of “us” baby boomers packed light during our teenage and early adult years. And that is good advice for our suitcase. In our abundance, we often carry way too much with us but that does not need to be the case in our travel. Suitcases are easier now but still can be challenging. Be practical.
- Be safe. When you travel, you are likely to meet a variety of people. While that is part of the joy of traveling, it has now become one of the challenges. There are plenty of people out there willing and ready to take advantage of seniors. And in this world of technology, it is even easier. Travel smart.
- Mind your health. If you have a personal emergency response system, particularly one that is equipped with GPS, be sure to take it with you to ensure that you have access to assistance should you need it!
So travel. Enjoy. And remember the words of Henry Miller: “One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things.” Or as Roy and Dale put it …. “Happy Trails to YOU!!”