Guest Post: Marjorie McMillan at Come On Get Well
Retirement is here (or near), and you’re ready to hit the road or fly the friendly skies until your heart’s content. But before you book your trip, consider the following safety tips from Allen Batista Travel to help your travel plans go off without a hitch.
Prepare ahead of time by securing your home and personal belongings. Traveling is a wonderful pastime that will help you relax and unwind after decades of hard work. But if you come home after your first big trip to broken windows and missing heirlooms, it’s all for naught. Start by locking all the windows and doors, including the garage. If you’re going to be gone more than a few days, unplug the appliances and cut the main water supply to the house.
Rent a car or have yours fully inspected before a long road trip. Before heading out, have your fluid levels, hoses, tires, and belts checked by a mechanic, who will also be able to alert you of any potential issues. Carfax offers these tips for getting ready for that long drive.
Invest in travel insurance. Regardless of age, it’s a good idea to buy travel insurance, which typically runs less than $200 and will help you recoup some of your money should you be unable to complete the trip. Smarter Travel notes that travel insurance is an especially sound investment when upfront payment is required.
Confirm availability of dining options. Most hotels and resorts are within close proximity of numerous dining options. But you can’t assume this will always be the case if you are traveling to an unfamiliar area. Call ahead to confirm that you will have access to establishments that cater to patrons with special dietary needs, such as people with diabetes or celiac disease.
Leave your best jewelry and clothes at home, especially if you’re traveling alone. Seniors are often picked out by criminals looking for easy money. Back in 2016, there was a rash of robberies throughout New York City that targeted older men and women. And it’s not just big cities that pose a threat. Internationally, there are people that make a living pickpocketing. Europol describes pickpocketing gangs as highly professional groups that affect the perceived safety and security of people throughout Europe.
Request priority seating. Most airlines offer priority seating for specific demographics, including families, military, the disabled, and elderly individuals. When flying, consider which disability options are best for your situation and make arrangements to receive them ahead of time. Some airlines allow these to be checked when making online reservations while others require accommodations to be planned and scheduled over the phone.
Consider taking a cruise or staying at a resort property. There is something to be said for vacationing on your own time and having the freedom to explore when and where you like. However, if mobility or safety is a concern, a cruise or all-inclusive resort property may be a more viable option. There are multiple benefits to cruising, including easy planning and a variety of activities suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Moreover, since these types of accommodations are enclosed and thus equate to private cities, there is typically less crime.
Think about short-term rentals. One of the benefits of retirement is not being so tied to a schedule, so you may want to consider an extended vacation. There are many options for short-term rentals, and you might even look into home swapping. Although home swapping is one of the more frugal accommodation options, if you live in an HOA, you need to be careful about this. Check with your landlord and other guidelines before making arrangements. If this is going to be an important option for your budget and it isn't allowed where you live now, it might even be time to consider moving permanently.
Retirement is an exciting time that offers plenty of opportunity to travel both by yourself and with your family. With a little planning, you can have a memorable vacation without sacrificing your safety or security.
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