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If you’re a seasoned traveler, you may already know some of these travel-magic tricks. If not, you’ll be thankful for some of the travel wisdom you can glean from others who have been there, done that.

Seniors are active travelers these days, but there are still ways to make each day a bit easier and more comfortable. Thinking and planning ahead will help travel days to stay worry-free and problem-free.

Here are some of the best tips to make your long-anticipated vacation a real dream:

Seems like a no-brainer, but just pack less. Even for an extended vacation you can plan outfits for casual, moderately dressy and one formal item. Plan to do laundry more often and be willing to be seen in the same thing more than once. Who will remember? Be sure to include comfortable shoes. Nothing is worse than limping around with blisters on that walking tour.

Take just one suitcase or bag and be sure it has rollers. A second, purse-like bag should stack on top of your roller when you travel through airports and on your way to hotels. Keep important papers, tickets, identification, etc. in a safe compartment that is easy to access. That will make getting through security less challenging.

You may want to plan your travel in what is called the “shoulder season.” That would be April through June and then September and October. Your weather will still be great and you’ll avoid the larger crowds of summer. You might even save on airfares, hotel accommodations and other expenses that tend to be at their peak in the summer season.

Research and buy travel insurance. Yes, it’s an extra expense, but we seniors need to be ready for any eventuality. Be especially careful to look for policies that might not cover pre-existing conditions and be sure there is evacuation insurance included to get you cared for medically and home safely in case of an emergency.

While enroute to your destinations, or during tours, here are some ways to avoid undue stress:

Stay hydrated. In all the hustle and bustle it’s easy to forget the water. Pass up other drinks most of the time and drink plenty of water.

Use elevators, carts and wheelchairs to get from one place to another. You’ll get there faster, avoid rushing and overextending, and have a pleasanter travel day.

Select aisle seats on planes so you can get up and walk at least once an hour while flying. On walking tours be sure to stop for rests at benches. Again, use elevators when possible and build some rest stops into your schedule.

If possible, be aware of the distance you’ll need to walk to get to your accommodations. Choosing a central location and possible a ground floor room may save you steps when you’re tired from a day of sightseeing.

Use taxis or buses rather than subway systems if you’re carrying your luggage with you.

While you’re keeping clothing items to a minimum, you’ll want to pack extra of some items to make your travel days safe and comfortable. Here are some musts:

Take an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses.

Bring a small magnifying glass for reading maps and schedules

Keep a notebook to jot down important information such as bus numbers, hotel room numbers and the like.

Bring a full supply of your medications and keep a list of their generic names in case you need to refill them.

If you use a hearing aid, bring along extra batteries.

You’ll like this one. Ask for senior discounts wherever you go. There are many discounts available and they may not be posted. The age required for discounts will vary from age 60 and on up, but always ask. In Europe discounts are called concessions or pensioner’s rates. Ask.

There you have it. Pack light, be insured, do your research before you go and travel when the masses are working. Ask for discounts. There are benefits to being a bit older. May your travels be happy.

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Senior Citizen Travel