Bucket Lists and Tips for Senior Travelers

Nancy Dorrans (third from left) with tour group. Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (May 2016).

What is on your bucket list? Or maybe I should start with, “What is a Bucket List?”

According to Travis Bell, the Bucket List Guy, “A bucket list is, by definition, a list of things that you want to do before you die.  The term gained in popularity after the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” where Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson (both of whose characters are dying of cancer) create a bucket list of things to do before they die – and then actually do them.  But where did the term come from?  Better yet, what kinds of things would you put on a bucket list?”

I suppose the term or idea of Bucket Lists, while fairly new and now quite mainstream to some may seem a bit silly and daunting to others. Consider my previous articleabout how positive posts helped create a shift in my attitude. Similarly, writing down or having a mental list of the things and places you want to go or have always wanted to visit is the first step to getting there. To quote my new Adventure Marketplace mantra, “NOW is SOMEDAY.”

Tips for Senior Travelers

In a recent article, seasoned travelers shared their advice and travel tips with Rick Steves.  “Many senior adventurers are proclaiming, ‘Age matters only if you’re a cheese.’ Travel is their fountain of youth.”

Here is a summary of what these folks had to say.

Being retired gives added flexibility and you can travel longer, get better travel deals and enjoy more authentic experiences while avoiding the crowds.

Purchase Travel Insurance

Before you travel, Steve and I both highly recommend purchasing travel protection insurance to protect you and your investment in case something comes up before or during your adventure. “Seniors pay more for travel insurance — but are also more likely to need it.”

Pack Light

Packing light is especially important for seniors. “Pack only what you are comfortable carrying by yourself. When you pack light, you’re younger… It’s best to take a full supply of any medications with you, and leave them in their original containers and if you wear hearing aids, be sure to bring spare batteries.”

Check Your Bags

When flying, check your bag. Also, request a wheelchair or electric cart if walking is difficult. Book aisle seats for more legroom, stay hydrated and take short walks and stretch breaks on long flights.  When you book your tour or hotel, if stairs are a problem, request a ground-floor room.

Nancy Dorrans on Lake Eyre, South Australia (April 2014).

Ask About Discounts

may ‘snag’ you a discount or two at many sights, on tours, trains and at museums. Qualifying ages range from 60 to 67 years old in most European countries. To get rail discounts you must purchase a senior card at a local train station.”

You may get turned down but it never hurts to ask.

For more tips, the AARP (American Association of Retired People) provides an extensive online library of travel-related articles and advice for seniors, including destination guides, budget travel recommendations, and an interactive trip finder. The AARP also offers info on retiring abroad.
If you don’t have a bucket list or haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it!

If you don’t know where to start, start small. I have three upcoming day adventures planned for September and October to the White Mountains for the NH Highland Games and Train Rides during fall foliage.

If you and your family or group of friends has an idea for a tour but don’t know where to start, I can help! “Now is Someday!”

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