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Travel Tips for Seniors

Before You Go

Taormina, Italy

“Before You Travel” Checklist

Print this travel checklist off and keep it handy as you’re preparing for your upcoming trip! 

Within Days of ENROLLING

  • Purchase any necessary health or travel insurance (some plans require you to purchase insurance within days of booking your trip)

About 2 Months Before Your Trip

  • If traveling internationally, make sure your passport is up to date 
  • Check visa requirements
  • If you have health concerns, check with your doctor before you depart
  • Ask about any necessary vaccinations
  • Make sure you have enough medication before you go, including over-the-counter

About 1 Month Before You Travel

  • Research your destination, including
    • History, culture and politics
    • Unusual customs
    • How to use public transit
    • Events going on while you’re there
    • Local sayings
    • If the water is safe to drink 
  • Research your airline weight limit and baggage fee policy
  • If you have a medical device you need for the plane, like a CPAP machine, make sure it complies with the airline’s regulations and you have a portable battery
  • If leaving for a long period of time, arrange a house sitter
  • If you have any pets, arrange for a pet sitter or a kennel
  • Update your phone plan if you plan to use your phone internationally

At Least 2 Weeks Before You Leave

  • Stop or pause any reoccurring deliveries or services, such as newspapers or housecleaners
  • Make advance payments on bills that have due dates during your trip
  • Notify your bank and/or credit cards that you’ll be traveling
  • Check ATM and credit card foreign transaction fees
  • Plan your first day. You’re exhausted from traveling, so having all your ducks in a row when you arrive will save a lot of stress.
  • Look up the conversion rate before you go and consider getting some cash in the necessary currency from your bank. Find a list of currencies here

The Week Before You Leave

  • Share with a friend or family member your itinerary and the best way to contact you while traveling
  • Make a copy of your passport and any other important documents to keep in a safe place in your luggage, or keep a digital copy in your email
  • Download any travel apps or online tools you may need, like WhatsApp.  See our list of other handy travel apps here. 
  • Download maps from Google Maps for the destinations you’ll be visiting so you can use the maps offline
  • Bring in your outdoor furniture
  • Pack! (Refer to our Packing Tips).
  • Mark your suitcase with an unusual luggage tag, a colorful ribbon, strip of bright duct tape, etc., so it will be easily recognizable in baggage claim

The Day of Departure

  • If you’re concerned about your phone being charged for data when you’re abroad, turn it off before you go

When You’re Traveling

  • Phone home using the Internet and smartphone apps (like Skype or Facetime) instead of minutes