Senior Solo Travel Tips

 

 

Solo travel is always a challenge for any age group but for mature and senior travelers, there are even more safety and important planning and travel needs that should be done ahead of any travel to a new destination. I’ve included some of my own tips along with some fantastic suggestions and ideas from fellow travel writers and bloggers on how to travel solo safely, easy and effortless before, during and after your travel efforts.

Of course, solo travel as a senior is daunting but this is your time to prove something to yourself, facing your fears and challenge yourself to traveling solo and doing exactly what you want to do for a change. This not only builds up your confidence and courage to act responsibly and take charge of your own bucket list, but you get to decide everything where, when, how long and what is really important for you to discover.

This is your time to travel the way you want so let me share some of my advice along with expert travelers sharing more of their favorite tips to travel well and effortlessly your way.

 

 

 

 

 The benefits to senior solo travel

The benefits to senior solo travel

When you are up to the challenge and push yourself, the rewards are truly amazing and worth the effort. Senior travelers know what they want and are determined to really experience life at this stage and travel their way while they can.

Here’s some important reasons to travel solo and travel well:

This is the best time to seize the moment while they are able to do it

Meeting new and interesting people of like mind – traveling gives you that opportunity and choice to be social and put yourself out there

Making decisions for you – no family or group pow wow, you get to decide everything that interests you is what you get to see and do and on your own time and schedule

Be in the moment and enjoy the fun – you can extend your experiences or leave if things aren’t what you expected, no-one will tell you what is your idea of fun

Connecting with you again – what a great opportunity to really see yourself, your passions, growth and opportunities to try something new and exciting

 

 

Check out these top travel tips for mature and senior travel

 

 

Start your days early

 

Start your days early

This is an easy tip for seniors that typically do start off the days early but you do get ahead from the crowds by getting to a popular attraction early and ahead of the pack or even have a more productive day traveling and covering all the check list of things to do in your travels. Most senior travelers do get off to an early start so why not travel early, head out to your destination early and get a head start from everyone else probably still in bed and missing out on all the interesting morning activities that only early risers get to see and participate in.

 

 

 Do your research and spend a lot of time with all the details

 

 

Do your research and spend a lot of time with all the details

Don’t rush on the planning process and relish the travel destination and what you want to do and see. As they say, the devils in all the details to make things work effortlessly and spending a lot of time to do the detailed work or find an agent or booking person that can help you in the process can really make the difference to a successful travel experience. If you are planning your own trip then map out your destination, how to get they’re and the logistics from getting from point A to point B. Finding accommodations, places to eat, financing and using local ATMs or your credit card for purchases. Even learning a few phrases in the local language adds up to more confidence and a better planned itinerary.

 

 

Sign up with your local government’s advisory website and current alerts

Sign up with your local government’s advisory website and current alerts

Register your travel plans, sign up for alerts and check the basic travel plans and advise offered by the advisory site to your destination. This is all an easy search on Google for travel from US to what destination you are interested in visiting.

 

Stay at places with multiple positive reviews

Trust that your research for places to stay will cover secure places, great locations, central locations and very easy to find places to stay. Check the reviews carefully and see what their comments state beyond the obvious about a place, location, comfort and safety especially for a solo traveler.

Leave a copy of your travel itinerary with friends or family

Make sure to send copies to any close family or friends of your flying airlines, hotels and a rough daily schedule so it will be easy for them to track your social media and active travel schedule

 

Make an emergency contact list

Include all your own contact information, where you are staying, your social media channels. Also include all your emergency contacts and other important phone number or email contacts.

 

 

 

Include daily or regular contacts with friends or family

 

Include daily or regular contacts with friends or family

Make sure to always check in with concerned friends or family on social media, Messenger, Skype or even Whatsapp to stay in touch and share an easy or fast exchange to show you are safe, not lonely and sharing some of your daily travel experience and staying connected with loved ones while you are doing your solo trip.

 

 

 Make sure you have copies hard and soft of your important documents

 

Make sure you have copies hard and soft of your important documents

Make sure to have both soft and hard copies of your itinerary, hotel bookings, your driver’s license and passport, medical records and prescriptions and other important documents with you. You should also give someone a copy of your documents and itinerary that can check on you regularly and have a repository of your documents as a backup with that person is a safe way to keep track of you just in case anything happens.

 

 

Consider doing senior travel group tours

 

Consider doing senior travel group tours

It’s also fun to sign up for a group tour as a solo senior travel, you’ll have a fantastic time mixing in with people of like mind that do a focused group tour with a hobby or interest in mind that you all share on the travel experience. This can run the gamut from cooking and eating tours, culture/art/history tours, adventure and recreation trips to luxury trips that cover even more range of places and travel opportunities as a solo traveler. Not only is this safe, easy and fun, but you can leave all the planning and details to the organizer and all you have to do is show up and be sociable.

 

 

Travel during the Shoulder Season

Travel during the Shoulder Season

Travel during the shoulder season is perfect for senior travel with less visitors in a destination traveling during that timeframe, typically cheaper prices for flights, hotels and entertainment or tours. You will not have to compete with so many travelers visiting all the popular sites and attractions that you will also visit and have more time and ease to visit in your way of travel.

 

 

 

Have enough cash available of the local currency

 

Have enough cash available of the local currency

Carry just enough daily cash and a credit card secured in a secured pouch or safe travel purse for your daily excursions and leave your valuables, cash and other credit cards in the hotel safe box. Many markets, street food vendors or souvenir stands or vendors work mostly on a cash basis and bringing a daily amount on your tour is a good approach along with a credit card for larger purchases you may happen to need to use and charge versus cash.

 

 

 

Consider taking a cruise

Consider taking a cruise

Cruising for seniors is a popular option and easier to socialize and meet up with other solo travelers with opportunities for meet ups and gatherings on the cruise. Smaller cruise ships tend to cater to older audiences with catered programs for likeminded travelers and interests.

 

 

 

Be in the moment

Be in the moment

Take the time to really absorb the experience, communications and visiting that unique site or attraction and not just taking that selfie photo op and checking it off the bucket list.

 

Live out your bucket list journey

If you’ve always dreamed about a special destination that has been on your bucket list, start planning now and get inspired by that destination on social media, personal recommendations or books or guides you can read ahead of time to get yourself into that mindset to travel on your bucket list journey.

 

 

Get all your electronics and gear ready

 

Get all your electronics and gear ready

Make sure you have all your gear ready, cell phone, camera, chargers, electronic converters, batteries and all the gadgets you depend on. Or if you are more old school get those guide books ready with special areas bookmarked for reference. If you are more digital, get those apps ready and activated and ready to use when you are starting your travel adventure.

 

Here’s some tips from travel writers and bloggers sharing their favorite solo senior travel tips

 

 Bring a portable travel safe

 

Bring a portable travel safe

It’s rare to travel without valuables, like phones, laptops, passports, and cash.  The vast majority of people who travel also travel with insurance, so if things get lost or stolen, the inconvenience of losing items while you’re away is huge.  That’s why traveling with a portable travel safe is a great way to try and reduce the hassles of opportunistic thefts.  A portable travel safe is packable and contains security elements such as steel mesh or hard durable plastic.  Portable travel safes let you lock valuables inside and then attach the safe to a bed frame, a washbasin, a tree, or some other heavy and immovable object.  For the cautious traveler, they’re a great item to travel with to deter opportunistic thefts and also give you the peace of mind that your valuables are stored securely.  You can use them just as easily in a hotel room, a cruise ship stateroom, or even camping (that’s where the tree comes in handy).  So, whether it’s your kindle, laptop, camera, or cash that you want to secure, a portable travel safe is a great way to give peace of mind.

Author: Sarah Carter, A Social Nomad

 

Use a Smart Watch on your travels

If you are traveling solo to some of the best destinations in the world such as Australia or Iceland and don’t want to walk around with a selfie stick, you should choose one of the best smartwatches to take remote selfies. A good smartwatch will allow you to take great photos during your solo travels.

The smartwatches are easy to use and there are plenty of brands to choose from. Whether it is an Apple watch or Samsung Galaxy, all you will need is an app on your phone to connect with it. Camera One app is compatible with many watches and offers plenty of features from taking selfies to time-lapse videos.

This small gadget does not take up much space in a suitcase, which makes it perfect to pack for any solo travel trip. You will not have to worry about asking strangers to take pictures of you or even touch your phone to take a selfie.
 
You can also preview your photo on a watch to make sure that you have got a great shot. The remote shutter is a fantastic feature when traveling solo. There are also many other reasons to get a smartwatch during your travel. From getting notifications on social media to GPS tracking, using this gadget will make you feel more secure and independent.
Paulina with ukeveryday.com

Eat at the Bar for your meals

Eat at the Bar for your meals

Feeling self-conscious about going out to eat by yourself or worried about being bored while you’re at a restaurant especially as a solo senior traveler? Sit at the bar instead! Whether you’re in Tokyo, Maui, or Milan, it’s universally true that there are so many benefits of choosing the bar over a table- for one, it won’t necessarily be quite as obvious that you’re dining alone, if that’s something you’re self-conscious about. There’s also generally a much shorter wait to sit at the bar and may even help you snag a seat at a hot new restaurant.

Further, if you don’t want to bring along a book or stare at your phone while you’re waiting for your food and drinks, there’s generally a lot more to look at and observe at the bar- oftentimes, you can see into the kitchen and can watch food prep or if not, it’s usually a much more interesting place to people watch and observe the bartender sling drinks.

But best of all, you have a much better chance of meeting others, from friendly locals and other travelers sitting around you or bartenders, who love to strike up conversations. In fact, bartenders can be a treasure trove of information about local hotspots, what to avoid in the locale, and other handy gems. If nothing else, you’ll be that much closer to a stiff drink!

Jessica with Uprooted Traveler.com

Solo Senior Cruise

Solo Senior Cruise

Taking a cruise is the best way to ease your way into traveling solo. A cruise takes the hassle out exploring the world or visiting bucket list destinations.  Whether it is a larger ocean liner with an array of on-board facilities, or a smaller, more intimate river cruise; cruise ships are safe, contained environments with a variety of activities and entertainment to suit the solo senior traveler.

From embarkation, your luggage is taken off your hands at the terminal, so there’s no heavy lifting to worry about. Luggage is delivered straight to your cabin, which is perfect for the solo traveller. When on board, you’ll find solo meetups and hosted events for you to connect with other fellow solo travelers, (if you wish).

Shore excursions which are organised through the cruise line enable you to visit all the main sites in port without the worry of getting back to your ship in time. May shore excursions also offer adaptations for travelers with restricted mobility, so there’s always an option to explore ashore at a more sedate pace. Joining a group shore excursion as a solo traveler also provides solo travelers with another opportunity to meet up with fellow passengers.

Regardless of your preferences – a cruise can be tailored exactly how you want; you can join others at dinner or dine solo – or even on your private balcony with an ocean view. You can choose to participate in activities – or not. Nothing in forced and you can take your vacation at your own pace.

My top tips for planning your first solo cruise:

  • Start small; try a 4-night cruise and then if you like it, move on to longer itineraries.
  • Look for a cruise line which caters well for solos: for example, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is a great entry to solo travel – NCL have solo cabins, an exclusive solo lounge, meet-ups and group dining.
  • Look for cruises which don’t charge a single supplement premium: for example, Cunard’s single cabins are priced with no single supplements. SAGA cruises are also popular with over 50s as they have a high number of inclusions in their fares, including a chauffeur service to the port.
  • Before you sail, join a Facebook group for your cruise line – just search for your cruise ship and the sailing you are on.
  • Book a shore excursion through your cruise line for peace of mind when exploring ashore.

 

Steph from cruise and travel blog, Cruise With Amber www.cruisewithamber.co.uk has spent over 150 nights at sea, many of them solo. She shares tips and guides on cruise travel and exploring ashore independently.

 

 

Stay in a Hostel

Stay in a Hostel

Choosing Hostels as your choice of accommodation is one of the top tips for solo travelers.

There are multitudes of benefits to staying at a hostel. First, you would save money, besides shared dorms, hostels have private rooms which cost lesser than those in hotels. Privacy combined with affordability – the best of both worlds and this is a great thing for senior travelers staying at a hostel.

Second, hostels by design allow you to socialize, to meet and greet people from diverse backgrounds and geography. The diversity also extends to age, hostels are not just limited to the young people, you’d even find solo senior travelers staying at hostels. One can hang out with other guests in the common area, and bond together over a drink or a board game!

Hostels usually have well-equipped kitchens where you can fix your food, a blessing for those with specific food choices. If the hostel has a cafeteria, it is guaranteed that you’d find vegan and vegetarian food.

At many hostels, you’d find that staff also organize themed tours or free walking tours. These often mix the right dose of fun with entertainment. Besides, at the reception desk, you can book day tours, often at a discounted rate.
Vidyut Rautela with Nomading Solo

 

Conclusion on Tips on Senior Solo Travel Tips

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