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Travelling the globe is a terrific way to spend time with a friend, family member or significant other. But some data suggests it’s also an upward-trending opportunity for some alone time.
According to the 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study, some 24 percent of people went solo on their most recent overseas luxury trip, up from just 15 percent two years prior.¹
An older tourist traveling alone can be a favourite target of thieves. A senior is also more likely to suffer from a health complication while traveling than a younger person. But by heeding just a few tips, seniors can trot the globe solo, safely and successfully.
Consider the following five tips before your next solo adventure.
Before you leave, know what your health care options will be if something happens while you travel.
If you’re American, health care received outside the U.S. is not covered by Original Medicare in most situations. But many Medicare Advantage plans may offer some coverage for emergency care received in a foreign country.
Check the coverage, terms and conditions of your insurance plan before you go. Remember that if you’re traveling alone, there won’t be anyone to talk to your insurance company on your behalf, so it can help to know your insurance plan details before you leave on your trip.
Establish a secure connection at home by providing a friend or family member with a copy of your travel itinerary, complete with hotel contact information. You can also consider a low-cost, prepaid cell phone designed for overseas travellers that allow you to avoid the international fees that may accompany a standard phone
Arrange for some regular check-in times with your contact person back at home. This can be a great relief to your friends and family, and it can help give you a sense of security and connection while you’re away.
You may not always follow your doctor’s advice about your diet, but you may want to consider following a healthy diet more closely when traveling alone. Like it or not, older adults can have more sensitive stomachs, and going all in on spicy exotic foods and heavy foreign cuisine can leave you sick in your room with nobody to care for you.
The less you can look like a senior solo traveler, the better. Don’t wear shirts or hats sporting prominently displayed American brand logos or language, and don’t casually display your passport.
You may also want to keep your camera and any travel books or brochures hidden away in a backpack when not in use. The key to being a safe solo traveler is to not announce to the world that you’re a traveller at all.
The travel industry is adapting to the increasing number of solo travellers.
Look for lodging at places that do not charge “single supplements” (charging solo guests more in order to make up revenue for the empty space). Some hotels and lodges are even beginning to offer packages designed specifically for solo travellers.
By following just a few easy pieces of advice, seniors can surround themselves with safety and good health even while traveling solo.
1 Visa. Visa Global Travel Intentions Study 2015. Retrieved from https://www.visamiddleeast.com/ae/en-ae/aboutvisa/research/travelintentions.shtml.
*This is a sponsored guest post for Medicare Advantage.
This post is part of the Lovin’ Life Linky with a Lovin’ Life Team of the “ageing positively” kind who are as keen as I am to promote the Lovin’ Life mindset.
The Lovin’ Life Team includes:
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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