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Age matters only if you are a cheese!

Senior travellers are young in their
appearance, attitude and energy levels. 

If you are one of the adventurous senior citizens
who loves to travel and is planning a 2020 adventure,
check out these essential travel hacks
to assist you on your journey.


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Planning your trip 

Only one local airline offers discounted fares for seniors.  If you are planning a local holiday, then check out Mango Airlines on the YEI website. 10% on selected days is a substantial discount!

If you are looking for tour companies that specialise in senior travel, then look no further.  Check out the Senior Travel – South Africa Directory which can be found within the YEI Directory.

Travel insurance

It’s possible that senior travellers are more likely to need travel insurance, hence the reason why seniors pay more. 

  • First check out the travel insurance that comes hand-in-hand when you book with your credit card. Secondly, find out whether your medical aid provides a travel insurance for medical purposes.
  • Should you need to purchase an additional travel insurance, pay careful attention to the supplemental insurance coverage for exclusions, the evacuation insurance and the clauses relating to adequate medical care in case of an emergency. 
  • Travel experts recommend that you get “visa denial insurance” – an insurance product that exists should your visa application fail resulting in your not being able to travel. This insurance product will reimburse you for the non-refundable portions of travel or accommodation for you are legally liable.   Check if this clause is within your chosen travel insurance product.


senior travellers



Don’t let your holiday plans go down the tube because your passport has expired.  Check your passport validity.  For international travel, most countries require that your passport is valid for six months beyond your departure date.  In a nutshell, if your passport has less than six months, it might not be valid and you might not be allowed to board a flight.


It’s really hard to pack light, but so beneficial at the end of the day.  Rather do laundry more often.  Figure out the best ways so as not to wrestle with a big bag or bulky items. 

  • Take a small notebook, or better still, ensure you know how your phone’s note app works – so handy for jotting down facts and reminders, like your hotel room number and the hotel address, your Metro stop etc. Use your phone’s camera to take visual notes.  All of this can keep you clear headed and uncluttered with “stuff”. 
  • Don’t forget a pair of extra eyeglasses, and even a magnifying glass to assist with reading the detailed maps and small-print in documents.
  • Take photos of your valuables and your documentation, and keep an additional copy of the documentation in your hold luggage, as well as in your carry-on luggage.
  • Consider insuring valuables with your own insurer.



Medication and health related issues


  • If you have a medical condition or disability, it’s not a bad idea to get a note from your GP. And on that note, ask your GP to stipulate the chronic medication that you have been prescribed.  Arrange with your chemist to take a full supply of your medication, and rather leave them in their original containers.  It makes it easier going through customs.  Keep your medication in your carry-on bag. 
  • Don’t forget spare batteries for your hearing aid.
  • If you are a slow walker, you might like to request a wheelchair or electric cart when you book, as this could assist you when it comes to connecting flights.
  • On the flight, stay hydrated. Take short walks hourly to minimize the possibility of getting a blood clot.
  • Take a tennis ball in your hand luggage! Why?  Use the tennis ball as a massager to help increase circulation.  Pop it on the floor and work out any nagging pain you might feel in your feet.  Slip it behind your back and massage away. 


Security – home and away


  • Whether or not you have arranged a housesitter, don’t advertise publicly that you are going to be away from home. And certainly don’t put it on social media.  Thieves track social media and use this information to their advantage when you are away.
  • Consider carrying a “dummy” wallet or purse, which holds a small amount of cash. If you are the unfortunate recipient of a mugger, you can hand over the dummy wallet to avoid even bigger distress. 
  • Ensure that you have the details of the South African embassy or consulate in your wallet – just in case.
  • Carry your credit cards, travellers cheques, and other valuables on a belt worn under your clothes and next to your skin.
  • Best to not wear expensive jewellery. South Africa is not the only country with crime.  Muggers are everywhere, especially in tourist areas.



Pensioner deals, discounts and benefits

If you are planning a local (South African) holiday, check out the YEI Directory before you leave.  There may well be places of interest, accommodation, car hire that offer a senior discount.  Why not take advantage of this?  (Copy the link on the YEI mobile app and save it to your phone’s note app!).

If you are planning an overseas jaunt, don’t forget to take your ID card/book, or your pensioner card, if you have one.  That, or even showing off your gray hair,  might just snag you a discount!  The British call senior discounts, concessions.  You could score on rail passes, museums etc.  Always ask for a pensioner discount – it’s worth the ask.  If you are going to a non-English speaking country, either memorise the phrase for requesting a senior discount, or again put it in your phone’s notes app so it’s easy enough to haul out at the appropriate times.  

You might like to do some advance homework and check out if there any senior-centric tours that would appeal to you.  There are tours and tour guides worldwide who specialise in senior needs  Doing a tour with other active seniors will give you the opportunity to explore at a more relaxed pace.  You will be surprised at all of the resources available specifically to seniors.    (And do share your findings with YEI!)!

Keep in contact with loved ones

It’s a good idea to regularly check in with family back home.   Apart from wanting to see your photos of your adventures, family also want to know that you are safe. 



If you’re a senior who loves to travel,
what other tips can you share with us?
Tell us in the comments.




Top travel planning tips for international senior travellers

Senior Travel for South Africans

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