One of the joys of retirement is finally having the free time to check things off your wish list that you previously only dreamed about. For many, seeing the world tops that list. Travel offers education, experiences, and the opportunity for new friendships that are truly priceless. Whether you want to visit somewhere for the very first time or have a favorite spot you would like to see again, here are a few tips to help ensure your travel experience is as smooth as possible:
Nothing can derail a trip faster than losing your key documents – driver’s license, passport, or credit card. Make photocopies of these and leave them with a trusted friend you can call upon if you find yourself in a jam. You can also snap photos of important documents and digitally store them someplace they can be easily retrieved.
Remember to notify your credit card and cellphone companies about your travel plans so that they do not suspend service over any suspected fraudulent activity.
It’s hard to have fun if you aren’t feeling well, so taking care of your health should be a top priority during your trip. Be sure to drink plenty of water to
stay well hydrated and store necessary vitamins and prescription medications in their original bottles to avoid airport security delays. Pack extra eyeglasses and hearing aid batteries, as replacing these in an unfamiliar city or country may be challenging.
Give your back a break and pack as lightly as possible. Research the weather and pack an abbreviated wardrobe in which key pieces can be used for multiple outfits to cut down on baggage. If you can avoid it, do not check a
bag – you’ll save on bag fees as well as time standing at the baggage claim carousel once you arrive at your destination.
Consider investing in traveler’s insurance. Medicare is not valid outside the U.S. except in very limited circumstances, so it’s important to understand what your supplemental insurance will cover when traveling abroad and plan to fill in any gaps in coverage.
The days of labeling yourself as a tourist by carrying a giant paper map are over. Now, thousands of maps fit right in your pocket via free applications on your smartphone. Gone, too, is the need for a paper translation book, as there are several powerful applications that can translate text and speech for you in real time. Depending on where you are headed, internet and cellphone service may be spotty, so downloading a few key maps and phrases offline as a backup is always wise.
Traveling in the digital age puts a host of conveniences right at your fingertips and planning can help prevent other snafus that may arise. Now is the time to embark on the trip of a lifetime. Start planning your next great
Read this article and more in our April newsletter.
We can help with apartment availability and scheduling tours, or send an application for residence. Let us know what you are interested in learning more about and how we can help you!