3 Things You Should Know About Traveling in Later Life

Age is no obstacle to seeking adventures and new experiences in far off climes. In fact, more and more people are using retirement as the perfect opportunity to take travel seriously.

After years of putting work and family first, finding you have the time and means to pursue your travel dreams makes sense – so why not?

There is no reason not to adopt a more itinerant lifestyle in later life. However, there are certain things to bear in mind about traveling over a certain age that should be factored into your planning. Here are three key things to consider.

1. Travel insurance costs go up as you get older

Travel and motor insurance are among only a handful of services where companies are still allowed to charge more simply based on a customers age. There is a reason for this – travelers in their 60s are twice as likely to claim on their insurance as those in their 30s – so providers are compensating for the increased risk.

However, the size of the price increases can seem way out of proportion. We spoke to a leading travel insurer for over 50’s travel insurance with pre existing medical conditions: “Some people notice big increases year on year when they use the same provider. Many providers will simply apply a crude rising scale so policies cost more after every birthday.

“This can make travel insurance unaffordable once you reach your 70s and 80s. Your best bet is to look for a specialist provider who offers bespoke policies for older travelers in their 80’s, rather than just applying an age-based premium.”

2. You may not be able to hire a car

If you are planning on hiring a car to get around or to take a road trip, check the rules on car hire in your destination country. In some places, car hire firms will have a maximum age limit, usually because they cannot get insurance for drivers over a certain age. You can check the upper age limits on car hire in European countries here.

3. You will need to travel with medicines

Having a medical condition need not stop you pursuing your travel dreams. It is advisable to get the once over from your doctor and ask for their advice about traveling to your intended destination. You should also carry any medications you need for the duration of your trip with you, but take care – certain countries have very strict rules on drug controls and border guards can become suspicious even of prescription medicines they don’t recognize.

Ask your doctor and pharmacist to issue prescriptions and labels using generic drug names, rather than brand names, as the latter will be different from country to country. Also, check the local laws on controlled substances – some medications that are available on prescription at home may be banned outright in the country you plan on traveling to.

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