A Seniors’ Day Out

We’re all in our 70s, about 33 of us, going for a day in a city famous for seafood. We mainly wanted to eat a whole array of seafood, a favourite for this group. We grew up in the same town and went to the same grade school and high school, so there is a camaraderie among us brought about by years of growing up. Now, we are growing old together. Though some of us live in other parts of the world, we try to be home in our village, and when we are around, we get together as much as possible. 

Today, we were off to Roxas City, about three hours from our place in Iloilo. We decided to go early as most of us woke up early anyway. So, at 5 in the morning, we gathered in our town center, and there, two vans provided by two in our group waited for us.

Off we went, and one of the valuable tips I’ve learned is to have a bag of jokes to entertain everyone in the van. You will have so much fun. To energize the group further, bring a collection of old songs. Download it on your phone. They will remember their old days when you play the songs and enjoy singing along with the recording. More stories will come out of their memories. Make sure you have your battery pack. 

When planning this trip, most of the group who had been there before told us of some of the challenges they encountered. These guided us in our choices of restaurants. Knowing that most in our group were diabetic, many brought snacks, so there was enough food and drinks in the van. 

We only planned for lunch but seeing how early we arrived in the city, we proceeded to a restaurant on top of a hill big enough to accommodate us and serve breakfast immediately. We found one attached to the Convention Center. It was raining, and they immediately prepared the table and food for us because they had enough staff. Some staff even carried umbrellas for those in our group who braved the drizzle to take pictures.

The hilltop Cafe Terraza ended up as the perfect place for us. We enjoyed our breakfast and rested a bit while the others went to take pictures. Many started bringing out their pills and randomly sharing stories around the table—a great start to our day.

The restaurant for lunch, Coco Veranda, is on the beach, and you can enjoy watching the waves as you eat when the weather is fine. The weather prevented us from doing this, but it did not diminish our fun in being together and enjoying each other’s company.

Days before we left on this trip, we contacted the restaurant manager of the chosen place and outlined the dishes we wanted to enjoy. Also the time we wanted it ready, so when we arrived, they were prepared for us. After they’d served the food, silence reigned as we delved into the different seafood dishes. We had fun tasting some of our favourites and some unusual dishes. 

The trip is complete with picture taking. We are advancing in age, and a few pass on each year, so we enjoy each other’s company when we can. 

We saw the oldest bell in Pan-ay and went to Banika market, where they sell the best-dried fish. More picture-taking and buying, activities we always relish and do with gusto.  

We all enjoyed the trip, and the group wants to plan another soon.

Post-Pandemic Travel Tips for Seniors

Travel Tips for Seniors. Source: aesta1

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.

Top 5 Benefits of Travel for Seniors

Here are some of the things you need to prepare:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Top 5 Benefits of Travel for Seniors

Travel awakens the spirit. For Seniors, travel makes you feel younger once again. Not only feel younger but look more youthful, too.

I recently met up with a friend who just came back from a trip to Europe, and I was surprised at the change in her appearance. I told her travel serves her well and that she should do it more often.

Rhonda, Spain

I have never seen a group so involved in whatever activities laid out for the day. They approached it with so much enthusiasm, although I’ve observed that this was not a first for them. They were like children on a school trip. But, they look out for each other. Nothing misses them. They help each other find restaurants and the bus after a shopping stop or a visit to one of the destinations.

Today, I thought of the day I boarded with my 81-year-old friend the bus of Mary Morton Tours in Toronto. I was amazed to see that many more in the bus were older than her. They were excited and, from the looks of it, were regulars on this trip. They were all chatty as many have confined themselves in their places for weeks, making this trip a welcome change.

For many Seniors, travel is a crucial component of their lives. Most of them live on their own after having been widowed or divorced. Their families are primarily busy with kids, and though they love to see them occasionally, they are often alone. They crave for company, for some form of connection.

Some of them develop new friendships on these trips. Sometimes, on these tours, you connect with some people who continue to grow into close friends.

Many Seniors have accomplished much in their lives. They want to still be in the thick and thin of events. They cannot stay home and live a quiet existence. For many, age is not an issue. They like silence but enjoy any form of engagement, having involved themselves previously in decisive events. They often raise the most interesting questions when on tour. When you live on your own and have no one to share with your thoughts, impressions, and comments, these trips provide avenues for sharing.

Knowledge and Experience
Seniors love to learn, and travel provides new knowledge about places, persons, events, cultures, and history. It is a very enriching activity, providing new experiences. A unique experience feeds the mind with challenges. It even rewires and renews it.

These trips involve people from varied backgrounds; some have participated in exceptional experiences, so they see from exciting perspectives. They have much to share that you gain new knowledge when participating in these trips. The experience is very exhilarating.

Being on a trip is in itself a challenge. It encourages you to be more involved and be interested. Seniors bring up interesting conversation topics that thin your mind and usually make intelligent observations and comments. By the time you finish the day with them, your mind is complete and working hard. Better be ready.

Yes, this is the top thing travel brings to Seniors. It is a way of having fun, of getting out of a dreary existence. During the COVID lockdown, many Seniors call tour agencies and plead with them to bring them out anywhere, just out of the house. Out is fun. Seniors need enjoyment and to ensure they get this in their lives. It saves them from being lonely and depressed and makes their hearts, health, and minds lighter. It makes their Spirit dance.

So, take the time and get out. Take a trip even just for the day. Travel provides excellent benefits, and if you’re a Senior, you must put travel as a top priority.