If you are retired or looking forward to your retirement, you might be planning some travel. Why not help others along the way? Perhaps in the course of your career, you might have done some or extensive domestic or overseas traveling. Your familiarity with various airports and your knowledge of the travel process is invaluable to other senior travelers who have either never had the opportunity to travel or must now travel alone and are anxious about it.
Today’s airport is much more than the building where you check-in, board an aircraft, and retrieve your luggage. It is not uncommon for large airports to offer a variety of services and shops that can enhance not only your comfort, but they add convenience (save you money and time) and address the safety of everyone.
When you travel with a companion who has used the airport before, you have an experienced guide to help you navigate services that might make your journey easier.
A boundary is when you communicate your limits to the person you are travelling with. To communicate a limit, you usually have to say “no.” People have limits about many things, and many times these limits change depending on the situation. However, some things are not negotiable, and you have to say “no” and maintain a boundary when you are assisted by a trip companion or when you are providing the companionship service.
These eleven items can mean the difference between arriving at your destination refreshed or exhausted:
1. Ear plugs or noise-cancelling headphones
If the noise inside an airplane cabin makes you anxious or unable to sleep, it’s unlikely that you’ll arrive at your destination refreshed. A pair of earplugs can make a world of difference for those times you need rest (and protect your hearing). If you want to stay alert for the flight and listen to music or watch a movie to unwind, noise-cancelling headphones can be just the ticket!
Many seniors have family in other countries that they want to visit, but would be more comfortable and feel less stress if there was someone to assist them. For some seniors, an air travel companion provides security and entertainment during a long trip. Note: An air travel companion does not provide skilled medical care, first aid, or toileting care.
Travelling with a senior relative can be a pleasant experience, or it can be stressful—and it’s all up to how you interact with your relative. You might not even know about everything that your loved one needs to be comfortable on a long trip, so be sure to ask lots of questions and offer clear choices.
Smart seniors travel as light as possible, and they plan ahead for safety and unforeseen events, such as delays due to bad weather. They use carry-on luggage that is easily stowed in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of them and that they can manage on their own.
You can do some simple things to increase your safety when you travel. To be safe:
- Travel with a buddy.
- Monitor the news and weather.
- Use technology, such as a mobile phone or tablet, which can store “in case of emergency” (ICE) information.
- Keep batteries on your electronic devices and cell phone charged. Most large airports offer charging stations. Read about the airports and the services that they offer.