The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in so many ways. And one of the biggest changes has been in the way we travel. For some, border closures have meant that their last holiday wasn’t since 2019! For others, trepidation exists as they navigate traveling with endless rules and restrictions in place.
Looking optimistically to the future, the next couple of years could see another shift in how people travel. Increased vaccination rates and loosening restrictions could welcome back traveling in the way we once knew.
For seniors, traveling in a post-Covid world means finally being able to scratch that travel bug itch – but being mindful of their health and safety at the same time.
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Tips for seniors considering travel
Here are some tips to help seniors travel safely in a post-covid era.
Consider your travel options.
In a post-covid world, we may find that certain restrictions still exist. For example, potential measures that require overseas travelers to be vaccinated could be in place. This may greatly influence how and where seniors choose to travel.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus and its related restrictions, travel still tops seniors’ post-Covid-19 bucket list.
For those over 60, choosing a destination will depend entirely on the global situation and their own reservations surrounding travel in a post-pandemic era.
In a post-covid era, airlines will have established their own protocols when it comes to health and safety.
Some overseas destinations may have a higher health risk than others, so it’ll be important to do some research prior to embarking. Despite this, air travel is considered safe by health experts. Some extra measures seniors can take, regardless if there’s coronavirus or not, is to regularly sanitize while onboard a plane – particularly after using the restroom or handling the food tray table.
Another travel option for those looking to go overseas is cruise ship travel. Like airplanes, certain safety requirements will be in place for cruise liners to help manage and maintain the health of passengers. Again, practicing basic hygiene will help to keep you safe and healthy even in a covid-free world.
Road trip vacations give seniors more freedom and control over how they travel. Whether by car, caravan, or RV, there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road! The best part is that it can be done within your own country, giving you an extra safety net if something were to happen, such as illness or sudden border closures.
There are caravan and RV parks dotted all over the country. Seniors can compile their own travel itinerary and go at their own speed and timetable. Again, basic hygiene never goes astray. Pack sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and masks, along with your own food and supplies. Wipe hands after visiting gas stations or restrooms and avoid tourist hot spots by going off the beaten track!
Consider staying closer to home
A great holiday doesn’t have to mean an overseas holiday! Seniors can enjoy their retirement in their own backyard with weekend ‘staycations’ or day trips closer to home.
There is so much to discover in our own country. Consider compiling a list of local sights, attractions, monuments, and destinations that interest you and stay at a nearby hotel, resort, or even camping ground for a hassle-free holiday!
Government websites such as SmartTraveller and Safety Hub can help seniors make better-informed travel decisions prior to booking a flight. The website is updated regularly and provides current health and safety alerts for all travel destinations. You can sign up for alerts so that you are up-to-date with current information about your chosen destination and are able to make last-minute adjustments if anything changes.
Get travel insurance
In a post-covid world, travel insurance will never be more important! Before heading off on your trip, you should research your current insurance and ensure you’re covered for any covid-related cancellations and medical treatments & benefits.
Seniors should also be mindful of whether their insurance plan covers pre-existing health conditions or not.
Some insurance plans cover domestic travel, and if you are in relatively good health, you may be entitled to a lower-cost insurance plan that will cover any unexpected injury or illness.
Manage your health
Even if we see a significant drop or eradication of coronavirus cases altogether, it’s still crucial that seniors continue to look after their health when traveling.
This means applying the following:
- Sanitizing after contact with surfaces, after handling food, or touching communal areas such as doorknobs or public tables
- Carrying a mask and wearing whenever it’s needed
- Isolating and limiting contact with others when sick
- Covering nose/mouth with an elbow when sneezing or coughing
- Carrying a first-aid kit when traveling
- Maintaining social distance where possible.
- Following proper food hygiene practices.
Travel has changed, but it isn’t gone
Even if you’re fully vaccinated, traveling in a post-covid world will still require basic hygiene practices. When traveling, people are always at risk of contracting an illness or injury. Thankfully, coronavirus has meant that people have become more diligent when it comes to hygiene practices.
Travel industries, including airlines and hotels, are also creating measures to further enhance the safety of their travelers, bringing some peace of mind to those who may have concerns about travel in a post-covid era. Remember to always stay informed prior to travel and monitor any safety alerts that may apply to you or your chosen destination.
Seniors can venture forward in the knowledge that they are in control of their health and that as long as they’ve done their groundwork, nothing can stop them from having a bucket list-worthy holiday!
Featured Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash