If you find that packing is becoming harder and more stressful as you get older, you’re not alone!
Your days of throwing things in a backpack and hitting the road might be in the past, but this guide of travel essentials will ensure that you have everything you need to travel comfortably.
If you’re travelling overseas, take enough medication to last the length of your trip, plus a few extra days’ worth, and keep it in its original, labelled packaging. You won’t need to be quite as organised if you’re staying within Australia, but don’t forget to bring your prescriptions, Medicare card and Pensioner Concession Card if you plan to refill your medication while on the road.
If you’re planning to do a lot of walking, you’ll need a pair of supportive, lightweight shoes to minimise pain and reduce the risk of falls. Try visiting your local running shoe store to have your feet evaluated or visit your podiatrist for custom-made insoles. Depending on your needs, a walking stick might also be a good way to provide that extra bit of support.
Travel insurance is a must when travelling overseas and is especially essential for any seniors with existing health problems. You may find that insurance costs you more than it used to as you get older, but the peace of mind and security you’ll feel while on holiday will be well worth it.
There’s nothing worse than realising you’ve forgotten your reading glasses, especially if you’re going to be away for an extended period of time. Pack an extra pair in a sturdy case to ensure that you can take in all the amazing sights (and fine-print menus!) that your destination has to offer.
A scarf or light shawl
Versatile and fast-drying, scarves are a great way for women of all ages to brighten up their outfits and they can also double as a warm wrap, a picnic blanket or even a makeshift pillow. As a bonus, they weigh next to nothing and won’t take up much space in your luggage.
Simple items like bandaids, eye drops, antiseptic solution and burn cream can come in handy while you’re on the go, especially if you’re travelling somewhere where these items might be difficult to find. Buy a pre-made kit or create your own, and remember to pack any sharp objects like tweezers or scissors in your checked luggage to avoid any issues at the airport.
Resealable plastic bags have so many uses while you’re travelling, from keeping your medication together and separating dirty clothes to preventing your toiletries from spilling everywhere. Bring a few different sizes and you’ll be surprised by how often they come in handy.
Luggage that you can handle
Take a small, lightweight suitcase with wheels to reduce stress on your shoulder and back muscles. For many seniors, it’s preferable to pack light and wash clothes regularly rather than bring oversized, unwieldy luggage that may be difficult to manoeuvre.
This oft-repeated advice is popular for a reason! If you’re carrying your own luggage, you’ll want to reduce the amount of bulky jumpers or jackets while also being prepared for any weather. To really cut down your clothes list, try sticking to flattering, neutral clothes that work well together and use different scarves and jewellery for variation.
Bonus tip: Although your seniors card is limited to use in your home state, you may be able to use it in other states or countries to get cheaper entry to sightseeing attractions or cheaper tickets on public transport.
Many of our residents travel regularly to visit family and friends or to explore new places and cultures and they love having the freedom to close the door behind them and leave at a moment’s notice. Hear from some of our travel-loving residents here.