Are you able to be too outdated to journey? Contemplate these elements earlier than you ebook
Can you be too old to travel Only you can know the correct answer, but take this factor into account
Slowing down was the last thing Elaine Schaefer thought of when she turned 70 last year. She had an ambitious itinerary for the past decade that included a 10-day horse safari in Botswana and a snorkeling tour of Bora Bora. She didn’t feel too old to travel.
Then the pandemic hit. She was suddenly confined to her home, except for a cautious layover or two. Being in a risk group didn’t help. But she says it won’t stop her.
“The ability to travel is not a function of age,” says Schäfer, who writes a blog about senior travel. “It depends on your physical and mental fitness.”
Yet many people now ask this somewhat unspoken question: Can you be too old to travel? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of getting seriously ill with COVID-19 increases with age. According to the CDC, eight in ten reported deaths from COVID-19 in the United States were in adults aged 65 and over.
There’s another reason this question is relevant now. The US Census Bureau says that over the past 10 years the population has increased by 34% from 65 and over to 50.9 million. Government projects there will include 94.7 million senior citizens by 2060.
In a way, the travel industry has already responded. For example, try renting a car in Europe. In Croatia, Schaefer would not be able to do this this year, as the maximum age is 70 according to AutoEurope.com. Other European countries will cut you off at 75 (Greece), 80 (Portugal), or 97 (Finland). Insurance companies charge higher rates; Tour operators restrict certain activities. That feels like a “no” to many aspiring travelers.
And this is one of those rare times when I agree with the travel industry. Yes, you can be too old to travel. But maybe not as tour operators say.
Yes, some people should definitely stay home. But it’s not necessarily age related. It’s more about self-assessment (see checklist at the end of this story) and booking the right trip. When you do, you can travel for as long as you want.
Who is too old to travel?
Some people should think twice before traveling, but not just because of their age. It’s her fitness, says Kirsten Veldman, a former tour guide who is now editing a blog for retirement.
She remembers a 93-year-old on one of her Caribbean tours who was disabled, incontinent and traveling alone.
“You can’t wait to ask a tour guide to look after you too,” she says. “And be there for you around the clock for medical care. Tour guides do not have the time, skills and knowledge to do so. In this case, my advice is: He should not have traveled with us in this capacity.”
There is a workaround, however: some tour operators target older travelers. For example, Grand Circle Travel began in 1958 to serve AARP members. Today, both Grand Circle Travel and Grand Circle Cruise Line are aimed specifically at older travelers.
“We have travelers in their eighties and even nineties. Some travel in pairs, others alone,” says company spokeswoman Ann Shannon. “We have no age limit.”
Are you too old to travel It is your call
If you ask travel experts they are repeating that old cliché – age is just a number. It is a matter of physical and, to some extent, mental ability.
“Many of our travelers are retired, focused on maintaining their health, and seasoned travelers with a good idea of what to expect,” said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways, a food and nutrition nonprofit. conducts the tours. “Someone in their forties may have more problems than someone in their eighties.”
You may need to adjust your activity level to suit your physical condition. That’s what Luanne Mattson did when she took her mother with her on the 83-year-old’s first trip abroad to Ireland last year. She decided to slow down and take cabs instead of walking. Most of the time she was worried – about jet lag, deep vein thrombosis, or her mother’s energy.
It turned out that she didn’t have to worry. Her mother arrived in Dublin healthy and full of energy.
“She was so excited she made me get off the first night and do Dublin’s literary pub crawl,” recalls Mattson, who works for a tourism office in Jeffersonville, Indiana. “It turned out to be her favorite part of the trip. I would do it again in a heartbeat!”
What is the maximum travel age?
Is there an absolute cutoff age? No, says Judy Gaman, author of Love, Life and Lucille, a treatise on how friendship with a centenarian changed Gaman’s life. Gaman even took Lucille on a cross-country book tour.
“At 102, Lucille was able to handle the flight, the car drives and even the grueling media exposure,” she recalls. “I just had to allow a little more time between events, but that was the only change from my usual tour schedule.”
Bottom line: you are never too old to travel.
How do you know if you are too old to go?
What does your doctor say If your doctor tells you that you are medically unfit to travel, you need to reconsider your vacation plans. This is what happened to Rick Patterson’s mother. “When her doctor told her he wasn’t going to give medical permission to travel, it was,” says Patterson, who runs a product review blog.
Is it practical? Would your travel needs put too much strain on the tour operator or cruise line? On Malys Yore’s most recent European cruise, one passenger in her group was moving slowly and required medical oxygen. “He had big problems,” says Yore, a 60-year-old travel blogger. Someone like this should probably have chosen another tour or stayed home.
What are the advantages? My late grandmother Louise made one final trip from Southern California to her home in North Carolina when she was 89. The benefits of this trip far outweighed the inconvenience. Yes, the airline lost its luggage. And yes, she needed a wheelchair. But she also saw her relatives one last time.
Ask the captain: Can i fly on medical oxygen? Do airlines offer it or do I bring my own?