Travel can be exceptionally challenging these days. Requirements to go to different countries change as often as the tick in a clock. If you want to travel these days, good preparation is a must if you want it to be a significant success. Little things go awry as always, but chances are you will have an enjoyable trip when you prepare well.
Recently, a friend and I (both Seniors) decided to go on a trip to Canada and the United States. My granddaughter decided to join us. My friend was immediately delighted because we will have someone to place our luggage in the bin which is sometimes too high. She was also a big help in carrying our bags, especially when we had to go up the steps as the elevator did not function. So, here’s our top tip for Seniors, it is a good idea to bring someone younger and stronger than you.
After a lengthy lockdown, we were determined to enjoy this trip, and despite the many hurdles we had to go through to cross the borders, we had so much fun. We cramped so many experiences in the two weeks that our craving for travel was truly satisfied.
There were times when we could not go to a restaurant because one of us had forgotten her proof of vaccination or a government-issued ID, but there were so many other options that we just forged on to enjoy whatever was possible.
Here are some of the things you need to prepare:
- Read the entry requirements for the countries you want to visit. They can change any time so keep reading regularly just in case changes occur before your trip.
- Prepare the requirements. They usually require proof of vaccination from the authorized agency in your country. Make sure you are doubly vaccinated. For those exempted from vaccination, get a certification from your doctor. For someone who has recovered from Covid, you also need a certificate from your doctor.
- Covid Testing. Almost all airlines and countries now require everyone, including children, to present a negative Covid test. In some cases, this is a PCR test which you need to take 72 hours before your flight. In others, it is an antigen test which you can get 48 hours before your flight.
There are testing facilities in many airports now, and all you need to do is go there early, and you get the results around fifteen minutes. These, however, are more expensive. You also need to call to set up your appointment. Your hotel can help you with this.
In many cities, like New York, testing facilities abound in almost every city corner to make getting tested for Covid. You don’t need to have insurance in the United States to get this.
Here are some of the key points you must remember:
- Fill up online forms and upload documents to the sites of the countries you are visiting. The sites usually give you a receipt for your uploads which you need to bring with you. You can print it or get an electronic copy with you. My granddaughter sent me a copy on my phone, so there is another copy if her phone doesn’t work. It is not difficult to do, and you can always ask for help.
- Masks. On all our travels (plane, train, and bus), we had to wear masks. Wearing a mask is a good practice as it helps mitigate the spread of viruses. It is better to use N95 masks even though this was not required.
- Bring sanitizers with you, which are readily available, so that you can use them anytime you deem necessary. It is better to take precautions than to be sorry afterward.
The more we try to go back to our everyday lives, the better it is for us. Travel, though not essential, makes our lives better. It is time to start doing it, depending on your degree of comfort. No use forcing yourself. You will not enjoy it if you’re not comfortable as you will worry all the time.
Do a search of the different countries and their requirements. Some countries don’t really require many things so go for those. There are lots of help in the airport. Go through the necessary preparation when you can and enjoy a trip soon.
One thought on “Post-Pandemic Travel Tips for Seniors”
I’m sharing this article with my mom. Like you, she’s a senior who loves to travel (though her journeys are confined within the country/province because she doesn’t have a passport). Having someone younger wherever you go is indeed a big advantage. Mom would often have a caregiver and a driver with her whenever she leaves the house to shop. She spends hours in thrift shops or second-hand stores. We’re happy she has a caregiver to accompany her and carry her bags for her. I love traveling, too. Sadly, post pandemic travels, especially abroad, are difficult for us right now. I guess this means we have to make do with what local tourism has to offer until borders open.