Summer Travel Tips for Older Adults

Published: July 14, 2023

Summer Travel Tips for Older Adults

Now that warm weather is here, it’s a great time to take that summer vacation you’ve been thinking about or start planning for someplace warm when winter returns. Travel planning can sometimes become more complicated as we get older. However, a little research and preparation can make your trip a breeze. Check out our summer travel tips to help plan your next unforgettable vacation.

Research Your Destination’s Accessibility
If you have mobility limitations or concerns, you’ve probably already taken the steps to ensure that your airline can accommodate your needs. But you’ll also want to take the time to make sure that all the other things that you’ll be seeing and doing will be accessible to you. This includes checking your accommodations for amenities such as elevators or ramp access. You should take into consideration the accessibility of any attractions you plan on visiting, too. For example, if you’ll be visiting a beach, do some research to find out whether there are boardwalks or local companies that offer motorized chair rentals. Finally, consider how you’ll be getting around on your vacation. If you plan on walking, does the area have a lot of hills or uneven terrain? If you’ll be using public transportation, how close and accessible are the stations?

Be Prepared for the Weather
Take a look at your destination’s weather forecast in the days leading up to your vacation. This will help you pack accordingly and be ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store.  Lightweight, loose clothing that can be layered is always a good choice. Also, don’t forget to bring items like sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. If it looks as if your vacation’s going to include some especially warm weather, plan your activities for early or late in the day to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. For hot, humid destinations, it might not be a bad idea to bring some bug repellent with you as well.

Stay Hydrated and Healthy

Summer travel means higher temperatures and an increased risk of getting dehydrated. So, a water bottle is an essential travel accessory. To help keep you as hydrated as possible during your trip, try to limit your intake of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks. Make sure that you’re aware of the warning signs of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke, which can include symptoms such as dizziness or headache. For a summer vacation that includes travel to a high-altitude destination, be aware that you may need to slowly acclimate to the elevation to avoid altitude sickness.

Traveling by Plane?
Airline delays and cancellations can wreak havoc on your summer vacation plans. And while there’s no surefire way to avoid them, one thing to keep in mind as you book your travel is that early morning flights are less likely to be  or canceled. Plus, if you’re traveling within the United States, afternoon and evening thunderstorms are common events in the summer months.

Choosing a direct flight when possible reduces the risk of lost baggage and eliminates the chance that you’ll miss a connecting flight. For longer flights, opt for the aisle seat so it will be easier for you to get up, move around, and increase blood flow to your legs. Older adults have an increased risk of travel-related blood clots.  A good set of compression socks could help to reduce the risk of travel-associated blood clots.

Traveling by Car?
Plan your route carefully to make sure you include adequate time for rest stops. Stopping every couple of hours to move around for five or more minutes could help keep you alert and prevent drowsiness. Another benefit of thoroughly researching your route is that it can tip you off to possible delays from road construction, which is far more likely to happen during the summer months. Before your trip, get your vehicle tuned up and stocked with an emergency roadside kit.

Allow for Flexibility
You’re on vacation so remember to give yourself plenty of time not only for spontaneity but for rest and relaxation as well. It can be easy to overexert yourself in the heat, so don’t be afraid to change your plans if you find that you need a little extra time to recuperate during your trip.

Check in With Your Doctor
In advance of your travels, make an appointment for a check-up with your doctor. You’ll want to let them know about your travel plans. If you’re taking medication, inquire as to whether they might be affected by increased sun exposure or activity, or interfere with safe driving.

Have a Great Trip!
Now it’s time to start planning your summer vacation. If you’re looking for even more information on travel planning, take a look at 9 Essential Travel Tips for Older Adults. Bon voyage!