Travel Planning for Senior Citizens

Dec 17th, 2009 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Here are some more categories of things to consider when you plan to travel abroad. 

Talk with your tour leader

  • As you travel with a group be sure to alert your travel tour group leader of any concerns you may have during the trip.  I have always had several express a “fear of falling.”  Understandably so for those elderly who have some difficulty with balance and walking. 
  • Be sure to know in which room the group leader is staying in case you need to reach him/her. 
  • Be sure to know the hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner and always try to be a little early for each. 
  • If you note something wrong in your room report it immediately to the right person(s).  Broken items, bathroom faucets that do not work properly, a toilet that does not flush well, a leak in the shower etc.  
  • On many programs tipping is not necessary and is included in your payment.  This does not mean that when service is above and beyond the call that you cannot tip.  Some travelers carry small gifts with them to give to persons who help them with various questions or problems.  Keep them small.  Homemade items are very nice.  Of course dollars do work in most every country where I have traveled. 

 Items to Pack:

  • While I have made the suggestion that you carry an eyeglass repair kit, it is even better to  carry a second pair of prescription glasses. 
  • If you have unique medication conditions a “medical alert” bracelet is a good idea. 
  • Never pack your prescription drugs in a suitcase.  Carry them on your person in your carry on or purse.  
  • Carry a small map with you of the area where you will be traveling.  It is nice to mark where you have been.  If you cannot mark the map, have your guide or tour group leader help you do it. 

 Money Tips:

  • Debit cards work nicely in ATM machines almost everywhere you go.  The rate is better than at an exchange bureau.  On my last trip to France my daughter exchanged $100 and received back $56.  The Euro is strong and the dollar is weak.  Be careful where you exchange your money.  Check on the “official rate” of  exchange on your computer so that you will not be bilked. 
  • As you purchase items, keep track of how much you have spent.  Know the tax refund process; you may qualify for a refund at the airport with the proper receipt, especially big ticket items.

When entering the U.S. from abroad you will be asked to declare the following:

  • Items you purchased and are carrying with you upon return to the United States.
  • Items you inherited.
  • Items you bought in duty-free shops, on the ship, or on the plane.
  • Repairs or alterations to any items you took abroad and then brought back, even if the repairs/alterations were performed free of charge.
  • Items you brought home for someone else.
  • Items you intend to sell or use in your business, including business merchandise that you took out of the United States on your trip.

No need to panic as this is all very usual.  It always amazes me that the US Customs and Immigration can process the hundreds of thousands of passengers annually that enter the U.S.

JEB



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