As time goes by, senior travelers may suddenly find themselves having to travel solo. It could be due to a number of reasons. It could be the draw of self-discovery in your senior years. Or perhaps you just want to capture the once-thrilling act of exploring, understanding, and enjoying cultures all by yourself. For some, it could be a therapeutic rite of passage after the passing of a partner or after a spiritual or physical separation from one. Even if you’ve been married for decades, your partner might prefer to stay at home or be physically unable to accompany you on an adventure you’ve been wanting to take all your life.

For whatever reason it might be, you may find you’re there — all by yourself with cheap flights booked and a light bag packed…and an unchartered road ahead of you. Sometimes it may seem daunting, but trust us — reading these helpful hints may assist you when you have to embark on that journey all by yourself.

Plan Ahead Wisely

Senior sitting at the desk in modern office and using laptop

Whether it’s mobility, medication, dietary restrictions, or even your budget that’s a concern, it’s very important that you do a bit of research and make plans ahead of time so that your trip goes smoothly. If you need wheelchair assistance on your flight, then make the necessary arrangements with the airline. If you feel the neighborhood your accommodations are located in is a bit isolated, then look for cheaper, safer alternatives. If you feel the Internet didn’t provide you with the best cheap flights, then speak to a travel agent. Plus, doing some research on the history, culture, and people of the place you’re visiting will help you develop a great bond with the locals. There are so many things that could go wrong on a trip, but planning ahead to know you’ve got everything covered will put your mind at ease and help you really enjoy your dream destination once you get there.

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Get Travel Insurance

As we mentioned earlier, anything can go wrong when you’re on the road. And, as you may have to face these emergencies all by yourself, it’s an even stronger case for purchasing effective travel insurance. If you’re planning an international trip that spans a few countries or continents, it’s important to check beforehand if your travel insurance provider covers these geographic regions. A good travel insurance plan should cover travel cancellations, lost luggage, and emergency medical care. Even if your carefree friends might say you don’t need it, why take the chance? Better safe than sorry, so don’t think twice about making sure you’re protected when on the move.

Know When to Travel

Joyful senior male traveler enjoying walk in town

If you’re one of those travelers who like to soak in the true ambiance of a place with some quiet reflection, then dodging dozens of selfie sticks and bumping elbows with a stream of tourists is probably going to ruin things for you. The solution? Try and travel during the off-peak seasons. For most Northern hemisphere locations, this would mean the shoulder season leading up to or coming out of winters (basically spring and fall), and for Southern hemisphere destinations, this would mean the mild(ish) fall and winters from May to September. You’ll find that hotels will be cheaper, tourist sites will be less crowded and easily accessible, and the best part — a better chance of finding cheap flights!

Keep in Touch

When you’re immersed in the magnificent pasta and wine in Rome, breathing in the fresh air while hiking up Machu Picchu, or learning to Tango in Buenos Aires, the friends and family back home may be a distant afterthought. Fair enough; you deserve to get lost in the moment. But it’s important to remember to always…and we mean ALWAYS…keep at least one person back home aware of your movements. All this means is you just have to send a short daily message or make a quick video call saying where you are, what you’re doing, and where you hope to go next. It won’t take but a few minutes, and, as an added bonus for your efforts, you’ll get to enjoy the look of awe on your grandkids’ faces when you wave at them from the top of the Eiffel Tower!

Embrace New Experiences

Shot of senior woman kayaking on lake on a summer day.

If you have a comfort zone, then it’s time to break out of it. You’ve already taken a massive step by traveling solo, so what are a few more steps into a whole new world of experiences? So go ahead and try your hand at surfing in Sri Lanka or expanding your palate with some fried grasshopper tacos in Mexico — you certainly won’t go home with any regrets. But please also remember: know your limitations and practice safety at all times!

Be Smart How You Get Around

Okay, so you may have scored cheap flights to get to your destination, but now what? While public transportation may be the cheapest way to get about a new location, there might be some issues you might experience. For example, some subways may have steep or tricky flights of stairs, especially when you’re carrying some luggage up or down them. Also, some taxi service providers at train stations and airports may not be trustworthy, and you wouldn’t want to spend even a minute of your precious trip haggling over unfair and exorbitant “tourist prices” to get to where you want to go. Always take the easiest and most comfortable way out. Even if you have to splurge, opt for metered taxis or count on rideshare services that you have researched or used before.

 

If you’re a senior who loves to travel solo, we’d love to hear what you have to say. Share your tips with us in the comments. 

2 Responses

  1. Gary Francis

    Nice little summary. I’m going to share this with fellow travellers. I’m in Australia and we have a large number of baby boomers moving into retirement and the number one thing they want to do is travel. Thanks for this.

    Reply
    • Dhinesh Manuel
      Dhinesh Manuel

      You’re welcome, Gary! Keep reading our blogs for more great travel tips and hacks.

      Reply

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About The Author

Dhinesh Manuel

Socialite, philanthropist, costumed crime fighter by night...no wait...that's Batman...my bad ... Musician, writer, travel junkie, dog lover, and database of useless information. I love to learn about new cultures, experience new cuisines, meet new people, and have a few laughs along the way!