Sunday, April 4, 2010

Travel Tips for Seniors on the Go!

by Dr. Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC

Going on a trip? Are you traveling by plane, train or bus and you want to pack light? Here are some great travel suggestions for Seniors Citizens who plan to travel for a one week stay to almost anywhere for two:

» If you have to take shampoos, lotions, tooth paste, mouth wash, etc. either buy the small traveler sizes or, if small bottles are available, transfer liquids to these.
» Pack only cotton underwear (3) and cotton socks (men 3 pr.- women one pr. panty-hose, one pr. knee-highs one pr. cotton socks), and roll these to save space (they can be placed into shoes). Note: you can wash these items while there.
» Pack items of clothing to ‘layer’, i.e. one light-weight cotton knit cardigan to wear over two or three different cotton knit shirts or blouses (NO bulky sweaters).
» No more than TWO pairs of shoes (one pr. comfortable walking and one pr. dress), the comfortable clothes will probably be worn in travel.
» Two pairs slacks (you'll be wearing the third pair) or skirts (if preferred). Choose items that can mix/match with everything packed.
» Pack medicines, book/magazine, snack, flat slippers (in case the feet swell) and only other necessary items in the carry-on tote. If there is a necessity for dress clothes, pack these in the fold-up hanging bag; shoes can fit in these, also, along with odd/end items.
» Don’t carry on board anything but the tote and a jacket/coat (when necessary-but don’t pack them); leave the ‘handling’ to others. If going to visit friends/family, and want to take gifts, box them and mail ahead of time; let the postal dept. help! Pack your needs, but pack them wisely! Happy traveling!

Airport Security Measures
Before you go on that senior travel tour make sure to check security measures and what you can and cannot take on board with you. Go to and click on “travel and consumers.” You will find a list of prohibited and permitted items for checked and carry-on luggage.

Invest in Portable Luggage
How many of us are still dragging around those heavy pieces of luggage? Well, it’s time for some new pieces! You know the kind that has the expandable tote-handle and wheels! Ah, what relief for our backs! I found these sizes to be so handy: 21″/22″ Carry-on (but don’t carry on :o) 27″ Upright, then add the 15″ Tote (to carry with you containing your medications and other absolute senior travel necessities), and the hang-up/zip-close ’suitor’ that has great extra compartments. These latter two MUST have handles, so you can lap these over either the Upright or Carry-on extended handles, and shuffle along your way! Don’t throw out the old luggage, however; use to store old keepsakes, clothing, books, whatever, and place in the attic to one day give to your grandchildren!

Traveling Off Season, The Senior Way!
Remember when we were younger and took the kids on vacation? And how crowded places of interest were? We had to make reservations far in advance to get a motel room. I’ve enjoyed a much slower pace of senior citizen travel and find it not hard to get reservation when traveling in the ‘off-season’; that is, when kids are back in school! We’ll also be giving families a break by not competing with their ‘time’. So try to plan your trips around this time of year (school summer vacations); you’ll find your trips more relaxing and easier to make plans.

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