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Senior citizens are now considered one of the fastest growing demographics in travel, while travel was once seen as a pastime of the young and responsibility-free, there’s truly no age limit on travel in 2017!

In fact, older travelers are more likely to globetrot than the younger generation. And they’re more intrepid too! “Quite often one hears of grannies and grandads cycling across the United States or Canada, or from Helsinki to Gibraltar, or from Mexico to Patagonia.” This 90 year old woman with cancer said no to chemo and yes to traveling the world in a camper.

Some of this trend can be attributed to the growth of the widowed and divorced, rising growth of “indies” and the growing longevity and vitality of those in their senior years. Travel is a great way to keep physically and mentally fit once you’re retired, and to take part in social life.

So with this in mind, we’ve put together the following travel tips for retirees. Because it does become more important to plan carefully and cleverly with your age.

Are You Retired? Explore the World with These Tips!

You can hover over these (or any image) to quickly pin it!

Pre – Trip Medical Examination

Before hitting the road, it’s a good idea to book a full body medical check-up, so you can make sure your health is in order before you go. This becomes more important if you have conditions like heart disease, or have recently undergone surgery. And don’t forget any travel vaccinations you may need.

If traveling into a different time zone and you take regular medications, it’s very important to plan out your timing, and know when you need to take your pills when you’re overseas.

Also make sure you carry enough medicine with you, as well as your prescription if you need it re-filled. For travelers who have diabetes, be sure to keep an updated diet chart with you.

Pre Book Your Accommodation

Spontaneous travel is fantastic when you’re young, though it does gets considerably harder as you get older. So we highly recommending pre-booking your accommodation. Wandering the streets all day searching for the last bed available in Rome with your luggage in tow is not my idea of fun!

Pre booking your accommodation also means the property has advanced notice to accommodate any special requests, like an accessible room on the ground floor, or providing a wheelchair.

Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Hotel Resort & Spa.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for travelers of any age, however, if you’re a senior citizen and more risk of getting sick in an alien land, etc, travel insurance is essential.

The medical expenses in other countries are very expensive, and even a small fracture or visit to a dentist can cost a lot. But some countries are beginning to require health coverage as a mandatory condition of entry, meaning travelers no longer have the choice to travel without a plan.

For example, the Schengen Area is a zone in Europe made up of 26 countries, and anyone who needs to apply for the Schengen visa to enter Europe must have international health insurance. Schengen travel insurance covers travellers in case of any medical emergency, loss of baggage, passport, etc. in any of its member countries.

Keep Copies of Your Documents

Regardless of whether you’re traveling for a year, a month, or a day, you should always make multiple copies of your important documents – passport, flight information etc (you only need to photocopy the information page of your passport with your photo and name on it).

Place a photocopy in each piece of luggage, keeping them hidden, and leave an extra copy at home. These days senior citizens are very tech savvy, so be sure to scan and keep an electronic copy too (email it to yourself or store in a password protected file on your computer).

Also remember to share your itinerary with trusted friends and immediate family. This is so they can keep track of your whereabouts while you travel.  For any reason that something happens back at home, they can contact you immediately.

Grandma traveler

Carry Some Snacks

Foods affect us differently as get older, and sometimes retirees may not have the stomach for ethnic cuisine. If you know you have a problem with trying new foods, you should carry small snacks and ready-to-eat food so you’re not going hungry.

These should be light to carry. If traveling internationally with food products, make sure you read the immigration card of your destination country and declare anything you need to.


Hi-Def Noise Canceling Headphones

Power Bank Ultra High Capacity

J-pillow Travel Pillow: Head, Chin & Neck Support


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Tourists in London by Garry Knight.


  1. Great tips, especially the snacks for the plane and the travel insurance. I travel with my mom sometimes and she needs to eat and have snacks at regular times, which isn’t always possible on the go. It’s always better to be prepared and, if necessary, to be able to see a doctor without breaking the bank!

    • Absolutely – I’m 29 and the importance of snacks is a big one even for me! Travel insurance too :)

  2. All good tips here, but most really apply to anyone. We have used our travel insurance too many times, and more often for kids than for seniors. Bringing snack food is actually an excellent idea, as I have seen it in my own family that they younger often tolerate the variety better than seniors. I love the look of that J-pillow. I haven’t seen one before.

    • Very true, they are all quite applicable to all ages. Especially when traveling with kids – yes, travel insurance is essential always, and snacks really do make all the difference!

      Definitely check out the J Pillow – it does wonders for helping with sleep on the plane :)

  3. Senior citizens would have a very different set of challenges while travelling, specially health related. but with right planning, many of these can be managed well. You have mentioned some very relevant points here.

    • Absolutely – travel is not only for the young but also the young at heart and mind!

  4. Great tips Megan! Baby boomers are also traveling more because of their attitude and health (or access to it) (we are all younger, more aware, more active than the generation our parents were) Great tips for everyone – love the snacks idea! I have to do that!

    • Thanks Dorene – snacks is a great one, even for me – really does make the world of difference! And yes, with everything more accessible these days, and our health lasting for longer, I look forward to continuing to travel right into my old age!

  5. Excellent tips, Megan! :-) Indeed, these golden travellers are one of the growing markets in the travel industry. Totally agree that pre-health check and the insurances before hitting the road is a must.

    Travelling indeed is for everyone.. Age is just a number when the wanderlust hits you there is no escaping!

    • Thanks Ryazan! Absolutely – age is no barrier to travel – I personally hope to continue traveling right throughout my old age!

  6. I liked this post very much. You are right, just because someone is retired, it doesnt mean they should stop being mobile. Traveling will also keep them young.

    • Absolutely Barb – travel is a great way to stay passionate about life :)

  7. Super list of must do for older travelers. I just had my parents over to Europe for a month and it took a lot more panning for sure then when its just a couple that is for sure. The snacks are for sure a must and travel insurance too!

    • Still a wonderful time, just does need a little more planning and prep than it used to :)

  8. That is quite a complete you have there. I would also add some kind of communication means by which they can let the folks back home as to what they are up to! Maybe a social media account and a good smart phone . Of course not all would be comfortable with internet and social media or even internet based calling.

    • Absolutely, that’s a great point Nisha … Staying in touch while on the road is a really important thing :)

  9. Some good points though I am starting to question the need for travel insurance all the time, which gets horrifically expensive the older you get. Depending where you are going, sometimes medical care is cheaper than the insurance. A little research and you can make an informed decision.

    I wrote a post that might be of interest:

    • Thanks for your comment Donnae – if medical care in your destination is cheaper than the insurance would be, definitely weigh up the pros and cons.

      That said, bear in mind that hospital bills, even in developing countries can be outrageous and put you into serious debt. My friend’s five days in South Africa with an operation and a shared ward reached close to $10,000.

      My personal view is that travel insurance, especially medical coverage, as something you don’t want to understand the value of, but if you do, you don’t want to regret having brushed off it’s importance.

      When things go wrong you don’t want to have to worry about payment or about not getting adequate treatment because your insurance didn’t cover you for this etc.

      Happy & healthy travels :)

  10. Very helpful post for senior citizens. An uncle and aunt of mine are planning to do world tour, I need to show them this.

    • Let them know they can reach out if they have any questions :)

  11. I need to show my parents this piece. They love to be on the move and do it even unannounced. Certain they don’t check all these boxes before getting on the road.

    Will make this part of there traveling guide book.


    • Sounds great Keith! Sounds like your parents still have an epic passion for life :) Definitely more things to consider as you get older, but can still take those spontaneous trips if you’ve got everything down pat :)

  12. Great article! This is very helpful especially to senior citizens who loves to travel and to some people whose grandparents are travelling all the time.

    • Thanks Kathleen, glad the article was helpful! Senior travel is becoming a really big market these days – kudos to those who continue with their passion right through their later years!

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