There’s nothing quite as miserable as a travel disaster. We’ve all been there! Thankfully, taking a few simple steps before your next trip can dramatically reduce your odds of an epic travel fail. Here are some simple ways to prepare for a great getaway:
Check for travel advisories. If you’re traveling abroad, check the U.S. Department of State website for any travel advisories. Wherever you’re headed, google your destination to get up to date on what’s going on there.
Consider travel insurance. We hope you have a relaxing trip. But you never know what is going to go wrong right before or during a vacation. Depending on the type of travel policy you purchase, you may be covered for trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays and lost luggage. The longer and more expensive your trip, the more travel insurance makes sense. Check with your credit card company to see if you have any travel insurance benefit.
Plan for medications. Map out the exact amount of medication needed for the duration of your vacation. You may want to talk to your physician about bringing extra medication, if possible, just to be safe. It also might be helpful to purchase “pill of the day” containers for certain medications or to organize them in separate small sandwich bags for each day. Have a plan if your medication is misplaced or lost. A mini first aid kit may come in handy while you’re traveling, too.
Plan for losing our luggage. It happens. That’s why it’s always a great idea to stash an extra set of toiletries, underwear, socks and anything else you’ll need for an overnight stay in your carry-on in case you’re separated from your luggage.
Buy comfortable shoes. Don’t let achy feet ruin your vacation. If you are going to spend any of your adventure time on foot, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Whether you are sightseeing, taking a walk on the beach or hiking to a waterfall, the right shoes will make it much more enjoyable. Try out any new shoes before you go, not on your trip.
Check for discounts. Several airline, bus and hotel companies offer discounts for those around ages 55 and up. It never hurts to check — you may save a bit of cash! Check on senior discounts while you’re on your trip, too.
Have a plan for storing valuables. While you’re traveling, don’t leave your passport, jewelry or other valuables in your room. Check before you go to see if there’s a safe deposit box in the hotel office or your room. Always get a written receipt for anything you leave with a hotel’s front desk.
Stash some snacks. If you’re traveling by car, you can really stock up on snacks. If your flying to your destination, you can still bring snacks in your checked and carry-on baggage. You never know when a snack will come in handy!
Another important tip: Announcing your trip on social media and/or providing daily updates while you’re traveling lets everyone know that your house is unoccupied. Save the sharing for when you return!