Road Trip

Top Tips for Safety and Fun on Your Next Vacation or Road Trip

Vacations and road trips take us to new places, stimulate our minds, bring enjoyment, and often involve visiting friends and family. Just because you are older doesn’t mean you have to give up a vacation or road trip, but there are some additional precautions to take that will ensure a safe and fun trip.

Road Trip Considerations

Road trips can take you to national parks and cities to visit family and friends, or even camping if you prefer a more rugged experience. Some people prefer hotels, and others prefer Airbnb, where they can cook meals. Before you take to the open road, let’s review some things to consider.

Plan Ahead and Use Technology /GPS

Know where you are going. GPS is reliable but not consistently accurate in more remote areas. Bring a map with you, just in case. Have a smartphone with a car charger in case of emergency. Consider bringing a satellite phone if you expect to be in an area without cell service. Stock plenty of water and food in the car with you. Always tell someone where you are going.

Medical and Insurance Considerations

If you or your travel companion have medical issues, be prepared for an emergency. Not all insurance plans cover care outside the state where you reside. Call your insurance company to check on coverage. For mobility problems, ensure that the places you stay can accommodate any physical challenges.

Automobile Safety

Take your car to your mechanic for a complete system check to prevent any unexpected mechanical problems. Consider AAA or another auto insurance plan in case you get stranded.


Check the weather along your route before departure. Extreme weather events like excessive heat, flooding, and high winds can affect travel plans. Sun protection is a must! Bring clothing appropriate for the climate you are going to.

Vacation Considerations

Vacations for retirees or even older adults who are still employed are enjoying a resurgence. An AARP survey shows that over 65% of Americans over 50 will travel this year. Vacation goals include adventure, culture, visiting friends and family, or places on a “bucket list.” Allow for rest days when you vacation to stay energized and avoid exhaustion. Seeing as much as possible is always tempting, but you also want quality time, not just quantity time.

Local VS. International

Local travel in the US is very different from international travel. Although both may involve air travel, visiting an international destination takes more preparation and planning. Many older adults use a travel tour company for international travel to eliminate the complexities and stress of transfers, accommodations, food, and site visits.

Tours VS. Self-Planned

Self-planning a trip in the US or internationally is entirely doable. However, spending the additional money on a tour lets you relax and know that all the details are covered. The downside? A loss of flexibility. When choosing a US or international tour company, take the time to read reviews, examine the fine print, and ensure you are spending your dollars wisely. Always inquire about refunds in case of illness or some other emergency.

Medical and Insurance Considerations

When traveling internationally, you will want to make sure your medical insurance covers you or if needed, purchase additional medical coverage. Also, ensure you have plenty of prescription medications for the duration of your trip, and even a few days extra in case of delays.  If you need special accommodations where you are staying, set those up well in advance.

Challenges of Air Travel

International and even long-haul US air travel can be exhausting unless you travel first class. Some tips:

  • Plan for as few connecting flights as possible to avoid the risk of delays and the stress of changing planes.
  • Hydrate and wear compression stockings during long trips.
  • Bring a neck pillow – you will be glad you did!
  • Bring your own snacks, especially if you have dietary restrictions. Before your flight, you can choose from various meals, from vegan to diabetic options.
  • Get up and walk every couple of hours.
  • If you can manage it, bring a carry-on only for faster departure and avoiding baggage claims.

You can safely enjoy vacations for years to come by careful planning. If a place has been on your mind, there is no time like the present to take the plunge.

About The Chateau

The Chateau by Highlands is an age exclusive community tailored for those 55 or older, offering a vibrant lifestyle without the burdens of home ownership. Located in the serene hills of Southern Hall County, it’s close to Little Mulberry ParkReunion Country Club, and exquisite dining options, ensuring a blend of relaxation, leisure, and convenience. With a focus on fostering connections among residents and the surrounding neighborhood, The Chateau provides maintenance-free living, rich in amenities and social opportunities, making every day an adventure in a welcoming and elegant environment. For more details, visit The Chateau.

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