Some people can’t let the urge to be out on the road go. Others discover it in their golden years, when they are free from work commitments and they have more time for themselves. If you are one of those lucky people that enjoy the flexibility to travel on retirement time and there’s a road trip on your plans, this article will be the most helpful guide you’ll find.
An unexpected medical problem or a theft can ruin the most amazing road trip or travel plan. Whether you’ll travel locally, to nearby locations or abroad, being smart and cautious can be your best first move.
Make a copy of your itinerary and keep it with your passport. Don’t forget to have copies of contact numbers also at hand. In case of an emergency, you don’t want to have to spend precious moments looking for the phone numbers or email addresses you need. Other important and sensitive information you want to have a copy of include: your bank and credit card company phone and account numbers, the name and phone number of your travel insurance company and your travel insurance policy, a copy of your passport, your doctor’s name, number and email address and a complete list of the medications you require.
Needless to say, keep all these documents together, on your carry-on or bag and not in checked baggage.
It is always a good idea to keep all prescription medications you need to take well organized. You can easily forget to take your pills as you are having fun and enjoying yourself. Always consider the chance of an unexpected delay in your return; that said, check that you have enough medication for at least an extra week.
Research Before Your Trip!
It is advisable that you do a little research before your trip. Even though this is a good tip for all travelers, it is especially important for senior travelers. Road trips can be nice adventures but without previous planning they can easily turn into nightmares. Have a clear idea of where you want to go, for how long you’ll stay and which and how many stops you’ll make. Having a clear idea of what you can expect regarding weather, popular attractions, locations you can’t miss, etc. will make it easier for you to stay calm in case anything unexpected happens.
Needless to say, flexibility is key. Let the road surprise you! You’ll reach your destination and see every or almost every attraction you’ve planned to see! But if you fall in love with a small town that implies that you’ll have to go on a little detour or that you’ll see that important attraction a bit later than planned, RELAX! And enjoy. There’s no need to rush! You’ll soon discover that the delay was really worth it!
An advantage of doing research is that you can use the info you find to your advantage. Since you’re a senior traveler with less time restrictions than workers or families with children in school-age, it is easier for you to accommodate your travel schedule to those months with the best weather, or the lowest fees or where the most interesting attractions and locations are less crowded.
Don’t Forget About Insurance!
Seniors going on a road trip shouldn’t forget about insurance both for themselves and for their vehicle. Even though you’ll take medications and your doctor’s number with you, hitting the road without travel insurance is never a good idea.
There are many options available in the market so you won’t have much trouble finding one that suits your needs and your budget.
Car insurance is also essential. It doesn’t matter how careful you are as a driver or what an experienced driver you are, vehicles are not perfect and they may have issues. If you’ll be driving a rental car, insurance is a must too.
The car rental agency will probably offer you a policy but you should know that it is often expensive and limited as coverage is concerned. It is very likely that your credit card company also provides you with some coverage as well as your regular car insurance company. However, all of these options are usually expensive and don’t offer the kind of coverage you need. It is very likely that your best move is to choose a car rental insurance policy brought to you by an independent, third-party provider such as Bonzah. .
Invest in a GPS. It is a great tool that helps you get to any address. Remember to enter the address before you start driving: NEVER TEXT AND DRIVE! Remember that there is no need to rush.
Give yourself extra time to reach your destination. You may encounter traffic jams or you may need to get to know the route… or you may simply want to enjoy the stunning view or explore that town that seems to be truly picturesque. You’re going on a road trip on vacations so you have the right to relax and drive at your own pace
Make sure you take regular breaks to stretch your legs, enjoy a nice, tasty meal and a glass of wine or a pint of beer, sip a cup of coffee or tea. Take your time to take lots of pictures and visit every single place that seems attractive to you. If possible, switch drivers so that one of you can focus on the road while the other has a more relaxed attitude.
It is not a bad idea to take a refresher course for older drivers to make sure you’re confident in your driving skills.
Travelling during the day will make the trip more comfortable for you, especially if you have trouble with your night vision or glare. Headlights, windshields and mirrors should be clean to make sure that your visibility is not affected.
Road trips and seniors can be a wonderful combination. With the right spirit and the right planning, they can be a joyful and memorable experience to cherish in your golden years!