For older adults who are vaccinated – now at 79% for those age 65 and up – this summer is a license to travel, and many are hitting the open road, hoping the pandemic is now in the (metaphorical) rearview mirror.
“The vaccine for them is a freedom pass — not to go crazy, but to do things,” said Rabia Shahenshah, a travel adviser with Tzell Travel Group. “It was definitely a game-changer.”
So much so, in fact, that according to one poll in late January by The Points Guy, half of those surveyed said their willingness to receive the vaccine is at least partly influenced by their desire to travel. More than one-quarter said travel was a major driver in their decision to get the vaccine.
So if travel is on your list for the summer, we’ve pulled together some advice to help you make the most of it – whether you’re renting an RV or motorhome to explore a new area or hopping on a flight (or Amtrak) to attend a wedding across the country.
Here are a few tips from the experts to make the most out of this summer’s open roads.
Make the Most of Senior Discounts
- Transportation: According to AARP, “Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Carnival cruise lines offer discount rates to cruisers 55 and over. Amtrak offers a 15 percent discount to travelers 62 years or older. Those of you that same age also qualify for a 5 percent discount on Greyhound bus travel. Southwest Airlines offers special senior fares for those 65-plus.”
- Road Trip Destinations: The National Park Service also offers discounted rates to those ages 62 and older with an $80 Lifetime Senior Pass or $20 Annual Senior Pass. Both permit access to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, the perfect destinations for those traveling via RV and motorhome.
- Restaurants: According to The Balance Everyday website, it pays to always ask what senior discounts are available before you order, if you want to take advantage of possible unadvertised savings opportunities. Refer to their list of senior restaurant discounts for traveling nationwide. Put your savings toward your next adventure!
- AARP Discounts: AARP membership entitles participants to select senior restaurant discounts as well as a variety of senior travel discounts for all steps of your vacation. See this list of deals on travel planning, car rentals, hotels, and more, only available to AARP members.
Keep Safety in Mind
- Stay Hydrated: As we age, we tend to become dehydrated easier and faster. Whether you’re flying to your destination inside a dry airplane or simply enjoying the outdoors, HeathinAging.org recommends drinking plenty of water and avoiding dehydrating beverages like coffee and tea when possible.
- Keep Medication On-hand: Be sure to keep your medication organized and bring enough to last a few extra days so you’re prepared if plans change. If flying, Smarter Travel recommends packing your medication in your carry-on, just in case your checked luggage should be misplaced.
- Protect Your Valuables: Keep cash secure and leave valuables at home when possible while vacationing, and if you plan to stay in a hotel, avoid signaling that your room is unattended! Instead of leaving out a sign, Sunrise Senior Living advises calling the front desk to ask for cleaning services. This prevents thieves from targeting your belongings while you’re out enjoying your destination.
- Access to Help On the Road: If you’re traveling alone or just want to make sure you always have access to help, consider in investing in a mobile (or “on the go”) medical alert device. And some companies don’t ask you to sign long-term contracts, so you can easily invest in your on-the-road safety for the summer and then cancel it when you return.