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Travelling is fun and exciting, but to have a smooth journey, you need to be prepared! Here are 10 travel tips for senior citizens in India!
Here are 10 travel tips for senior citizens in India!
Many of our parents have pushed their travel plans for after retirement days; when they have ample time and money and no work stress. But travelling is also about adjustments and preparation, my parents started travelling extensively after retirement; though they love seeing new places, they have many complaints!
And because they have so many complaints, they had to figure out how to solve their issues, as not every place can be accommodating to each individual’s needs and choices.
In the last ten years, they have perfected their travel hacks to a tee! And I have hand-picked some of their pet peeves that I think every traveller should know!
We Indians love our morning tea or strong coffee in the morning to start our day! If your tea is bad, it can ruin our entire day! Imagine if the coffee you were thirsting for is cold and bitter while travelling, how cranky would you be?
So my parents carry their tea bags and instant coffee sachets. Actually, they carry portable cups and pocket-size immersion heater too! Not only, it saves them the trouble of asking for room service, but also a few rupees!
Yes, it’s common advice. Hear me out, most of the senior citizens in India prefer to travel via the railways. Which is comfortable, and economical, but when you are above 60, the body becomes weak, and you gain pain and aches in places you didn’t think were possible!
The infrastructures of Indian Railways and airports are not people-friendly either; dragging around overpacked bags will hurt your back and knees! And if you are travelling via flight, it will help you save money on extra carriage charges!
If you travel by bus, having less luggage is a blessing, you don’t want to pull and push your heavy stroll bag every stoppage!
As mentioned above, pains are part of old age, and you want your journey to be comfortable. Carrying a hot water or ice bag should be on your list. If you go up mountains or walk on beaches, precaution is best!
Sometimes hotels and resorts are very miserly when it comes to giving extra pillows! Air pillows used to be an important part of my family trips when we used to travel in sleeper class! And we still haven’t given up.
Carrying your usual medicines can save you time and energy if you fall sick during your travels. Senior citizen life comes will illness! They also have prescribed medicines for diabetes, blood pressure, and even bowel movements; so carry your pills and prescriptions if your travel plans stretch on for weeks.
Yes, carry the prescription, because sometimes some medicines are not easily available in certain parts of India and abroad like painkillers. Bandages are a life saviour and slip easily into your wallets and purse!
As for mosquito repellents, do I even need to explain? We absolutely don’t want our parents to catch dengue and malaria in their 60s!
We Indians are both foodies and food finicky, my parents and their friend group would be very happy to have their community food while travelling! Many people travel for sight and not the taste buds, sadly, and miss out on the food experience!
But as travellers, we should remember that geographic conditions are different and sometimes the food we have in our homes is not idle for a certain climate!
At least the first meal of the day we have while travelling should be local, as the cuisine has been perfected based on its location, climate and nutritional value!
The older generation is very independent, if you have parents like mine who want to do everything on their own; travelling with them can be a bit tricky.
In a new location, if you are unaware of the language or culture or just transportation practices, it is always better to talk out your doubts with your hotel staff or tour guide or travel group leader. It can stop miscommunication and make your journey smoother.
So always ask for help!
I am from Northeast India, we have a healthy and varied supply of instant noodles available to us. My parents carry them as emergency food or snacks.
When we were travelling down Shillong, due to an unexpected landslide, we were stuck on the mountainous highway for 18 hours. The instant noodles helped hunger stay away.
If not noodles, keep biscuits or savoury snacks that can subdue hunger pangs.
My father and I tend to wear a pair until its soles have eroded. These overused sneakers or sports shoes are strictly no-no while travelling. Always wear shoes with a good grip and that is not older than two years.
Trust me, you don’t want to fall into a pond because you slipped on the stones because of your gripper-less shoes. Yes, my father fell, slipped and hurt his knees!
Most hotels and homestays or resorts give shampoos and soaps, but we Indians tend to carry our products.
Instead of carrying containers of shampoo and detergents, which can spill. Small sachets are safer, take less space and are easy to arrange and more hygienic!
Travel insurance is not much of a concern to most of us Indians, if you are booking your flight tickets or train tickets or bus tickets via apps or travelling agents; it is always advisable to insure yourself and your belongings.
Once my father’s luggage was misplaced, thanks to insurance we could recover the basic amount of items that were lost! Yes, all of us think no misfortune will happen to us, yet preparing against misfortune is the best decision!
Always carry copies of your identification and tickets. Parents can sometimes get overwhelmed with technology, digital is great yet, your phone can run out of battery, you might lose your wallet, and you can also get separated from your partner!
Hence, keep copies of tickets, and identification and write down the hotel address, car number and local contacts!
Are you planning on your next trip with your parents? Be sure to follow these travel tips for senior citizens in India and make their journey smoother.
Image source: Still from the film Piku, edited on CanvaPro
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