Pack your travel kit…adventure awaits!
Going to visit a loved one, never travelled alone, off to explore…
Getting older or reduced mobility does not mean we cannot keep travelling and exploring new places. UK or abroad there is a wide choice of accessible holidays and providers. So after all the excitement of deciding you are going, now comes the planning – here are a few hints and tips to ensure a fun, safe & comfortable time.
1. Plan ahead
- Get insurance! Travel insurance is truly essential for older travellers who are more at risk of falling ill or needing extra medication if travel is delayed.
- Check if there are any customs/immigration or regulations you need to apply to. The flight attendant will be able to answer question and help you fill out forms.
- Make sure your passport is up to date.
- Check accessibility to the accommodation and getting around your room. Book through your local travel agent and ensure you let them know your requirements. You can always contact the resort/hotel direct to confirm.
- Allow extra time to get to the train station, airport, connections. There are likely to be lots of other travellers and finding your way to the right platform or gate may take a little time. If you need extra assistance or wheelchair access, it is always a good idea to call ahead to ensure you arrive at the right entrance.
- Keep hydrated and have a few handy snacks too. Nuts, dried fruit, cereal bar, hard sweets are all great choices. Make sure they are secured in a small container and do not exceed travel operator restrictions on volume.
- Think about how much you need to take. Your hand luggage should have all the essentials you need for the duration of your travel – consider a spare pair of glasses too.
- You want to ensure a place you plan to visit is going to be accessible for you. AccessAble detailed access guides tell you all about a venue’s access. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. This comprehensive directory includes shops, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, railway stations, hotels, colleges, universities, hospitals and more across the UK and Ireland.
- There is a wide choice of accessible holidays and providers in the UK or abroad. If you are a looking for a trip that will cater for all your needs, be that space for wheelchair manoeuvres, a flat floor wet room, care whilst you’re away or ease for access for travellers with limited mobility, visit Silver Travel Advisor
2. Take care of yourself while on holiday
You have arrived and have lots you want to see and do – or maybe not, but allow yourself a couple of days to adjust. Jet lag can be hard on your body and disrupt sleep patterns.
- Keep hydrated and if you are unsure on the local water supply, drink bottled water and when you brush your teeth!
- Try not to let others demands to do things effect what you want to do – a jam packed itinerary and you will be ready for another holiday when you get home!
- Watch what you eat. As we get older, our tummies can become more sensitive. Be mindful of heavy or spicy foods and any conflict with medications.
- Stay safe on your feet. Exploring for the day wearing comfortable shoes is not only sensible but will also keep you steady on your feet.
- Travel safe. Only take what you need with you and leave the rest safe where you are staying. And remember, a smartphone can take pretty good photos nowadays.
3. A few extra safety precautions
- Keep medicines handy. Have a couple of days’ worth in your hand luggage so it will be with you all the time. Travel plans can get disrupted or delayed.
- If travelling across different time zones it can be easy to lose track of what to take when, so having medication in specific named day sets will ensure you maintain your routine.
- Print and share your travel plans, keeping them handy with you. Let the people you are visiting know your schedule and perhaps a friend or neighbour whilst you are away should they need to contact you in an emergency.
- Have a copy of your passport, travel visa, insurance and any relevant medical notes in your hand luggage in case your checked luggage gets mislaid.
- Choose an aisle seat so you can stretch out your legs and easily get up and move around without disturbing those around you. If you are travelling with someone, how about having an aisle seat opposite each other to keep you close but enable your own mobility.
- Stand and stretch often! One of the most critical risks for senior travellers is DVT or deep vein thrombosis – it can cause death during and after a long flight simply because a person did not move about or stretch often. Flying for many hours, it’s critical to wriggle, stretch, stand, and move about when you can.
A travel company can help you to organise your accessible accommodation, flights, transfer, equipment hire and more. If you have decided to book direct, do check with your Airline as their services do vary. Priority boarding, accessible seating, wheelchair provision – it is important to ask how they will be able to help with your particular needs. Here are some helpful links: