The time has come and you have entered the retirement years of your life. Yes! It’s time to travel to all of those wonderful places that you’ve always dreamed of. It does however, take a little bit of planning to make your journey smooth sailing. See the checklist below for keeping your affairs in order before a long holiday:
Things to do/ arrange before you leave:
- Maintain lawn and gardens
- House cleaner
- Window cleaner
- Redirect Mail (consider a mail forwarding agency)
- Arrange Direct debits for bill payments
- Internet and mobile telephone packages (arrange international roaming if going overseas)
- Provide family/ friends with a travel itinerary
- Get your travel/ retirement visas if required
- Make sure that your passport is up to date
- Label your suitcases
- Exchange currency beforehand
- Double check travel arrangements in advance (flights/ car hire/ accommodation)
- Arrange pet sitting
- Empty the refrigerator and turn off the power
- Arrange for your bins to be brought back into the yard after you leave
Some may say that you’re never too old to go camping, especially if you’ve enjoyed this type of holidaying for many years now. Having a caravan is the best option for a lot of retirees. But a good quality waterproof tent will make your camping ventures smooth and dry too.
As we age, some physical challenges might make camping a harder task. If this is the case for you, consider a self-erecting tent. They require minimal effort to assemble and are easy to pack up as well. Also think about investing in a fold out gazebo where there is no assembly required at all. And don’t forget a good quality mattress. There’s a lot of options out there for luxurious air mattresses, and other varieties of camping mattresses. If you’re suffering from Arthritis, you might want to think about a cot, so that you are elevated off the ground, as well as some good quality camping chairs.
There are some other considerations for camping as well. If you haven’t been for a while, test all of your equipment before you go to make sure that it is still in working order. And be sure to remember the first aid kit. Also, pack according to the weather forecast and be sure to take warm enough clothing and bedding if it’s going to be cold.
Communication when travelling
Ensuring that you’re contactable when you travel is essential. Communicating with friends and family to let them know where you are and if you’re okay helps to keep a record in the case of an emergency and it gives your loved ones peace of mind. Also, communicating your itinerary with friends and family before you go gives added security. Additionally, you can register your travel details with the government at Smart Traveller.
If you have a mobile phone, contact your provider to discuss adding international roaming to your service. Be sure to check out the additional fees and charges for making calls and using data if you’re travelling overseas.
We not only need to give thought to communication devices and communicating our location with loved ones, we also need to think about communication when we get to our destination. Travelling overseas can be difficult if you don’t speak the 1st language spoken in that country. Taking a crash course in the language or teaching yourself some typical phrases will allow you to ask for directions, order meals and seek help if you’re in need of it. Learning another language will not only open up opportunities for you to communicate with people at your destinations, but language classes are also a fun, interactive way to meet people.
Recreational activities when travelling
When you get into the retirement years and you’re all keen to do things that you haven’t been able to do for years, remember that your body might not give you that freedom. You can still enjoy leisure and recreational activities, but you might have to make adaptations for it to be possible.
Recreational activities are an important part of the retiree’s quality of life. Leisure and recreation enhances our health and well-being, encourages socialising and helps us use and develop skills. We live in a diverse country and recreational interests will differ immensely for retirees. The possibilities are endless, and with an increasing ageing population with such diverse interests, travelling and immersing yourself in what you love to do or have always wanted to do, will enhance your travel experience and quality of life. Whether its food, walking, camping or exploring, your time travelling should include what you’re passionate about and interested in.
Helpful suggestions: bags and luggage
Okay. First and foremost, when you go travelling you need good quality luggage, especially if you’re flying. With that being said, travelling light is also a good idea. We know that this is challenging, but you don’t need 5 cocktail dresses, and 15 sweaters. Take what you need and leave the rest behind.
If you can, invest in a suitcase that is on 4 wheels. It is much easier to manoeuvre and you can usually hook your carry-on luggage over the extended handle. Many people go for a light weight bag and often only take one bag, especially if they’re taking a tour at their destination.
Furthermore, keeping your luggage clearly labelled is helpful, as well as having a lock on your suitcase. Many people also like to attach a coloured ribbon or something alike to easily identify their bags on the carousel. Also consider investing in a travel waist pouch that you can slot your passports and credit cards into to avoid pick-pockets from stealing these items.
Health products & medications when travelling
Travelling is amazing while things are going well, and not so good when unfortunate events occur such as ill health. Getting all of the necessary vaccinations before you travel will minimise the risks of catching communicable diseases.
While you’re at the doctor getting your travel vaccinations, think about prescriptions. If you’re travelling for a while and you take regular medications, you could need a few prescriptions to keep you tied over. Consider getting the scripts filled in Australia, and have a letter from your doctor stating that you need to have those medications with you.
Depending on where you’re travelling, a first aid kit will prove to be a wise investment. It doesn’t have to be big. It just needs to contain the health care and medical products that you could need if injured. Especially consider this if you plan on participating in outdoor activities. And be sure to throw in a travel sized insect repellent too.
Also consider some health products for hygiene and safety when travelling. Hand sanitiser is a must for most people, as are wet wipes and dental care. If you’re flying, these small products can be just what you need to feel clean and protected.
Taking anti-nausea medication on a cruise or when flying is a must if you suffer from motion sickness. And don’t forget anti-embolic stockings when flying as well. They can literally save your life by reducing your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Security when travelling
Everybody is at risk of their security being breached while travelling. But there are some simple steps to take to alleviate the risk of identity theft or a breach in security. Firstly, take a photocopy of all of your important travel documents, including passports, drivers licence, travel insurance and bank cards. Leave a copy at home, and take a copy with you.
When using technology, consider installing a passcode onto your mobile phone, a find my phone tracking device, and avoid using the public wi-fi. If you are accessing the internet, use a private network and be sure to never post your location and whereabouts while you are travelling. It means that people can see that your home is vacant and this makes it a prime target for thieves.
And finally, keep an eye on your bank account balances. Notify the bank immediately if there’s been any fraudulent activity.