Travel is more than just a pleasure that you’ve put off to pursue during your golden years. Science has proven that travel makes you healthier. A study by the U.S. Travel Association reported that people who travel have significantly lower risks of suffering heart attacks. Furthermore, travelers experience significant drops in stress. In fact, people often report that they feel more relaxed, just planning a trip.
It’s a known fact that travelers gain cognitive benefits as they negotiate unfamiliar places, make new social connections when traveling in a group, get exercise as they tour the sights, and improve their outlook and mood. And traveling, of course, helps you keep your communication skills sharp.
Perhaps most importantly, travel tops the wish list of many senior citizens, and there are so many great reasons to indulge.
There are a few tips that will make traveling easier for you.
- Flying: The time for requesting accommodations is when you book your flight. That would include asking for seats with extra legroom (you might want to get a doctor’s note for this).
- Comfort: Loose clothing is recommended for air travel as it is most comfortable while also reducing the risk of blood clots, heat stroke and hypertension. Compression socks also help protect against clots.
- Hydrate! Be sure to drink plenty of water when flying to stave off dehydration. A travel blanket, sleep mask and earplugs are also useful if you wish to sleep during your journey, and keeping snacks like almonds and energy bars at hand can provide weary travelers with a pick-me-up.
- You’ve earned the senior discount! Don’t forget to request senior discounts when you’re abroad. Many countries provide them, but you may have to ask.
When deciding where to go, the sky’s the limit. You’ll find though, that some destinations are particularly suited to senior citizens. River cruises along the Danube and Rhine are a good option, as are the Caribbean, Sicily and Tuscany in Italy, South Africa and even Machu Picchu, Peru. Israel, Ireland and China are other popular destinations for senior adventurers. Nine residents of Monarch Landing can attest to that as they just returned from a fabulous trip to Beijing, Shanghai and other Chinese cities in April.
Residents are currently planning trips together to Greece and Australia. They’ve also visited Portugal and Spain. Like so many senior citizens, they are proving you’re never too old to buy a ticket, pack a bag and take off for parts unknown. As Confucius said, “wherever you go, go with all your heart.”