Age should never be a barrier in turning your travel goals into a reality! However, with increased age, health and stamina might not be the same way it used to be in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or even 50’s. Hence, there are a few factors to consider so your travel experience can be as smooth as possible. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at what should be on your travel packing checklist so you travel fully equipped with all you need as an inspiring senior-on-the-go!
Rather than carrying a heavy duffle bag or oversized backpack, opt for a four-wheeler rolling suitcase you can easily pull around. You can leave this suitcase at your hotel and carry daytime essentials like water bottles, sunscreen, hand sanitizer in a separate daypack, which you should also pack for your travels. A money belt is also handy to ward off the risk of pick pocketing. Remember to also pack a few disposable paper/plastic bags to keep dirty clothes/underwear/socks in, as and when needed.
Pro tip – Mark your bags with colorful luggage tags, ties or stripes so it is easily identifiable, especially at the baggage carousel if you’re flying.
Besides clothes suitable for the climate you’re going to be spending time in and sleepwear + undergarments, it is important to give some thought to the shoes you are packing. Always opt for comfortable shoes you can walk in. And, consider packing a nicer pair of shoes you can switch into for special dinners. Compression stockings are also highly recommended to reduce ankle pressure – it helps stimulate healthy blood circulation.
Besides hats, caps, scarves, gloves, swimwear, umbrella and other accessories that might be relevant to the climate you’re venturing into during your travels, it is important to remember to carry your eyeglasses / contact lenses, along with a spare, just in case, as well as hearing aids (and, batteries), if you use them. In addition, if walking is a bit of a challenge, packing a folding cane is a great idea; or, you can even consider packing a collapsible monopod that doubles up as both a tripod for your camera and a walking stick.
Besides a copy of your ticket(s) and hotel booking(s), it is important to also carry copies of your documents (i.e. ID cards), health records, health insurance and travel insurance details, too. Also remember to carry a hard copy of emergency contact information, as well as details of hospitals and medical shops near your hotel (you can research this on Google Maps in advance). In case you are travelling internationally, it is a good idea to also print out information of the embassy in case of a huge emergency.
Medicine & First-Aid Kit
Health should always be a priority! If you are on any medication, keep a hard copy of your prescriptions, a clearly organized travel pill case containing all the necessary doses plus a few days extra (i.e. if you miss your flight/train), as well as a First-Aid Kit containing basics like band-aids of different sizes, gauze, a thermometer, bug spray, water purification tablets, hand sanitizer, small scissors, tweezers, safety pins, Vaseline, electrolyte powder, cough drops, Vicks inhaler, vitamins and tablets for common issues like pain, cold, fever, diarrhoea, altitude sickness and nausea.
Pro tip – If you are flying, make sure you check in objects that are not allowed in your carry on (i.e. scissors and tweezers). Critical medication, however, should definitely be kept with you at all times, especially if there is a flight delay (you won’t be able to access your checked-in luggage).
Gizmos & Gadgets
If you’re technologically savvy, consider carrying a nice camera like a DSLR or GoPro to capture your journey, along with necessary batteries, chargers and lenses. Also, don’t forget to pack your phone, phone charger and a power bank. Most importantly, if you’re travelling outside of India, you’ll definitely need to carry a travel adaptor.
Pro tip – If you’re going on a group tour, consider carrying a small travel alarm that is easy to see in the night so you don’t miss important deadlines!
Toiletries & Makeup
Sunscreen. Moisturizers. Relevant beauty products. Face wipes. Toiletries. Goes without saying, these all are essentials to pack! In case you have bladder issues, do not shy away from packing adult diapers.
Make sure you have also packed relevant currency (i.e. local + foreign currency alike in case of international travel) and debit/credit cards, as well as small snacks in case you feel an attack of the munchies!
We hope this handy travel packing list makes it easier for you to plan your adventures as a senior. Remember, you do not need to hesitate in seeking help as and when needed, whether it be requesting the hotel staff to prepare special meals and provide suitable transportation to and from the airport, or to arrange for special air travel service, such as a wheelchair. Comfort, ease and safety are never things to shy away from. Bon voyage!