By guest blogger: Sharon Wagner*
Are you ready to explore the land down under? It’s a vast place, and seniors oftentimes find that slowly taking it in is especially rewarding. If you’re ready to savour Australia, here’s how you can stretch your travel budget and have the experience of a lifetime.
Image: Courtesy of Pexels
Put safety first
Any time you plan to be gone from home for a length of time, ensuring your property is secure allows you to travel with your mind at ease. It’s important to ensure you leave home with everything in order and with valuables properly stowed out of sight. The last thing you want is to return after your vacation to lost property or house damage. It’s wise to ask a trusted neighbour to be watchful while you’re away. You can secure your home by adding a home security system and outdoor lighting with motion sensors. Upgrading your home security will give you peace of mind while you travel, and you may even be able to increase the value of your home.
If you plan to take a lengthy vacation, ensure you have all the medications you require for the duration of your holiday, as not all countries offer all the same prescription medications. You should also discuss your particulars with your doctor and get any recommended vaccinations. Ask your doctor for a written note regarding medications so you will be able to take your necessities through security and customs with you. Another precautionary measure is investing in a travel health insurance policy, and ensuring the policy you select covers any pre-existing health conditions you have. Should a medical emergency arise, you’ll be in a better financial position to manage it.
Flying out and about
Air travel to and in Australia is typically less expensive during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, right before and right after peak. One idea is to consider investing in an air pass for your trip, as it includes roundtrip airfare to and from Australia, and domestic flights during your stay. During long flights, Chicago Tribune recommends wearing circulation socks, getting out of your seat frequently, and drinking plenty of water for the sake of your health and comfort.
Group travel or solo?
What is your travel style like? Do you prefer to go independently or with a group, and how full do you like your itinerary? Options in Australia abound, and senior travel to Australia is booming. Guided tours can be especially nice in a foreign land, and there are groups which specialize in senior travel, organizing itineraries around themes or oriented toward specific areas. If you prefer independent travel, you can go comfortably on your own; just be sure to request senior discounts for your arrangements. If asked, many organizations making accommodations based on double occupancy can pair you with another traveller to sweeten the deal.
Plans, events and attractions
There is much to see during your stay in Australia, and even on a budget, you can enjoy a little of everything. You can book road trips or train travel, and see beaches, mountains, cities, coastline and desert. Food prices are high in Australia, but watch for deals at the bigger restaurants or eat at hostels. You can also get off the beaten path to taste local fare or purchase food from groceries. When it comes to paying for things as you go and exchanging your funds, you can use cash if you prefer. Australians have a dollar-based money system, but most travellers feel better using ATM cards and credit cards for the sake of security. If you must use cash, avoid exchanging at the airport if possible, as fees will be higher.
Are you dreaming of visiting Sydney and Melbourne, the Outback, the Pacific Coast...all of the above and more? When you’re ready to savour Australia, ensure you make some plans and preparations. You can travel the land down under with peace of mind and without blowing your budget.
* Sharon is from SeniorFriendly.info, a place to find tips, tricks, and advice to stay active and engaged as you age.