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If you’re retired, maybe now you finally have the time and money for some adventure travel. Whether it’s hiking in the Himalayas, whitewater rafting in Colorado, cycling in the countryside, going on an African safari, or another adventure, you may be able to find an organized trip that suits your budget, abilities, and desires.
What is adventure travel for seniors?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes adventure travel as a type of tourism that emphasizes physical activity and exploring. Some of these activities, such as rock climbing or bungee jumping, may be challenging ones.
Adventure travel for seniors: what are some possible risks?
Not to throw cold water on your fun, but it may be a good idea to understand the risks so you can be well-informed. Some remote areas may be far from hospitals or emergency response teams, for example, notes the CDC. If you do have a health emergency, your health insurance might not cover you; however, you may be able to buy it for your trip. Check with your travel agent or adventure travel company.
Certain Medicare Supplement plans include limited emergency health insurance when you’re outside the United States.
Adventure travel for seniors: before you go
Particularly if you travel outside the U.S., you may want to check the government’s list of recommended shots to protect you from disease in various parts of the world. Click here to go to that site, which also lists other precautions about some parts of the world.
The CDC recommends that you visit your doctor’s office 4-6 weeks before you leave if you need any vaccines. You also might want to ask your doctor if your planned activities call for any special precautions on your part.
If your adventure travel will involve rigorous activity, such as hikes or long bike rides, it may be a good idea to get in shape during the months before you go, the CDC advises. You might enjoy the adventure travel more if you have no trouble keeping up with others on the trip.
Before you book a trip and pay a deposit, make sure the adventure travel company is reputable. The CDC recommends you find a licensed company that has been in business for at least several years. If the company is a member of a local board of tourism, that might add to its credentials. You can ask the company for references and ask any questions you like.
Adventure travel for seniors: packing tips
Your adventure travel company may have a suggested packing list. You might want to make sure your list includes these suggestions from the CDC, as appropriate:
- Your passport and other travel documents
- Copies of your passport and other travel documents. Keep a copy in each piece of your luggage, advises the CDC, in case the originals get lost or stolen. Leave a copy with a loved one at home.
- Your health insurance card and/or proof of other insurance you purchased for this trip, if any
- First aid kit
- Bug repellent
- Sanitary hand wipes
- Anti-allergy items such as antihistamines. If your doctor has prescribed epinephrine for a severe allergy, you may want to pack an epinephrine auto-injector (for example, an EpiPen).
Adventure travel for seniors: care & safety tips while you’re on the trip
During your adventure travel, follow the advice or instructions of the professional guides. The CDC also recommends:
- Make sure you drink enough water; bring some along on daily excursions so you can stay hydrated.
- Don’t drink alcohol before your daily travel adventure.
- Use insect repellent if necessary.
- Wear sunscreen and protective clothing.
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