Time to travel
31 August 2018
Now that your time is your own, you could say the world is your oyster. There may be no better time than now to travel, whether it’s exploring Australia or heading beyond our shores.
The beauty about travel is that you can choose from all sorts of opportunities ranging from cruises, coach tours and rail journeys to special interest tours or independent travel. So how do you decide? A travel agent or online travel sites can help you pinpoint what could be best suited to you. If you love a slow pace, then a river cruise might appeal; if you prefer to be on the go then a coach tour of Europe may be more your cup of tea.
It is always good to read reviews such as Tripadvisor to discover other people’s experiences. But remember to read them with a grain of salt – one person’s fantastic experience might not be yours.
Once you work out what is right for you, then you need to think about how you will book. While booking online appears a simple and often cheaper option, a travel agent can help you navigate the many things you need to consider. So, if you have not done a lot of travelling in the past, consider using the expertise and experience of a travel agent. If something goes wrong overseas, such as flight issues, your travel agent should be able to address the problem.
Of course, if you are planning to stay closer to home, you will be more familiar with what might be on offer and in a better position to make your own plans. But if you’re planning on joining the grey nomads travelling around Australia, you will need a lot more preparation. The website thegreynomads.com.au covers many of the issues you should consider before hitting the road.
Travel insurance is highly recommended, however keep in mind that the older you get, the more difficult and more expensive travel insurance can become.
Your first port of call should be your health insurer to see if they offer travel insurance. For instance HCF offers up to 20% discount on travel insurance for their members aged under 74. As a partner of HCF, we also offer LGS members special rates and offers.
If you are older, then you may have to do more legwork to find appropriate travel insurance. Premiums can rise quite steeply as you get older, however regardless of age the importance of travel insurance cannot be stressed enough.
The more you prepare for your trip, the more enjoyable and rewarding it will be. So make the most of your time and explore new pastures.
Tips before you travel
- Make sure you’re covered with an appropriate level of travel insurance. When applying, list any pre-existing medical conditions to ensure there are no issues if you need to make a claim.
- If you currently take medications, make sure you have a letter from your doctor detailing any prescription medications that you are taking on your trip. If it is an overseas trip, check whether the medication is legal in your destination country.
- Consider having a thorough health check before you leave, so that you know you are in tip-top shape.
- Check out the places you are planning to travel to through the Smart Traveller website. You can check whether there are any dangers in the places you plan to visit and learn about the local customs so you stay on the right side of the law. There’s also information specifically for senior travellers.
- Make sure people know where you are. You can register your details on the Smart Traveller website so the Australian Government is aware of your whereabouts in case of an emergency. Provide a copy of your itinerary to your family and close friends, and let them know how they can contact you when you’re away.
- Let your bank know you will be away, particularly if you are travelling overseas. This will help to protect you against any potential credit card fraud.
- If you have any concerns about how your travel may affect your financial situation, please seek appropriate advice from your financial adviser.