What’s New in Senior Travel?
With Murdoch Travel, Ontario
As the world continues to open up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadian seniors are planning trips for 2023. So, we want to know what’s new in the world of senior travel! While the prospect of travelling can be exciting, it’s important for seniors to be aware of the potential risks associated with travel in the coming years.
Book with a Travel Agent…..ALWAYS.
Consider booking with your local travel agency. After the pandemic, the overtaxed travel agencies that survived the cancellations, restrictions, delays, commission recalls and worries deserve consumer support.
Who better to ask what’s happening in the world of senior travel than a travel agency that managed to stay afloat through the thick of the pandemic, AND is a shining example of a thriving, small, local Ontario business.
Murdoch Travel has been in business since 1989. They have since grown to be Barrie, Ontario’s favourite and most reliable travel agency in the community. With many years of catering to the senior community of travellers, we’ve asked Jeff Clarke, President of Murdoch Travel, what’s the latest happenings in the area of senior travelling.
Q: Are older adults travelling differently?
A: Yes, they are looking for more protection on their travel dollars. They are spending more for travel insurance to make sure that if something happens again, they have recourse. They are also taking bigger, more bucket list types of trips. Spending their travel dollars that were saved while we were in lock down.
Q: Regarding air travel, what will be some of the biggest changes seniors should anticipate?
A: Some airlines are changing their rules around baggage allowance, so be sure to check with your travel agent about what is included in your air ticket. Also, some airlines are introducing VERY basic fares that include a seat and that is about all. Again, check with your agent about what is included, when it comes to seat selection, baggage allowance and change/cancellation penalties.
Q: Has cruising rebounded?
A: Yes, cruising has picked up again [for senior travel]. We are seeing some hesitation from guests about cruising again, but there are many new to cruise passengers booking. Some cruise lines also scrapped some of their ships during COVID so many cabins that used to be available are now gone (such as Princess Cruises).
Q: What are the most popular trips right now for senior travel?
A: It’s a total mix. All Inclusive vacations are always popular. Many seniors travellers are treating their family to vacations so they can spend time together that was missed during the pandemic. River Cruises have also picked right back up in popularity and escorted vacation tours are also popular.
Q: What are the most essential safety tips seniors need to remember when travelling post COVID-19? Or are COVID worries still a thing?
A: I think this is all very personal. From my experience, most people are vaccinated and not worried about COVID anymore. My suggestion is to follow your gut and take what precautions you feel is best for you. Again, be sure to check with your travel agent to make sure that there are no local COVID restrictions you should know about.
Q: Are there any specific types of travel that seniors should avoid for the time being?
A: Our senior travel clients are not avoiding ANY type of travel. It’s all back to normal and then some. It’s all about your comfort level. If you don’t want big crowds, maybe Vegas is not for you.
Q: Do you think delays & cancellations will continue? How should senior travellers prepare for this?
A: While I have hope that things will start to level back out, I still prepare all my guests for delays and cancellations. All it takes is one freak storm, or another computer glitch to throw the industry into a mess again. That could happen anywhere at any time.
Q: Any great offers right now that you’d like to share?
Offers are ever changing. I would reach out to your agent to inquire about the type of trip you are considering. Just because something is the cheapest, doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best fit for you. Find an agent that can tailor your trip to you.
Embracing the new trends in senior travel can be daunting, but it’s easier than you think. Just follow some of these steps for a seamless travel experience.
- Pack light and prepare for changes in weather and temperature.
- Bring along a medical kit with all the essential medications and first-aid supplies.
- Prepare a packing checklist in advance so you don’t forget important things such as your medications, passport or phone charger
- Bring a credit card with a low-interest rate to use for necessary purchases.
- Stay in touch with family and friends back home and keep them updated on the trip’s progress.
- Keep a list of emergency contact numbers handy
So when you start daydreaming about your next getaway, here are some important things Canadian seniors need to know when travelling in 2023:
- Travel Insurance: Make sure you have adequate travel insurance including health coverage for your trip. Check with your insurance provider to see if your policy covers you in the event of an illness or injury while travelling abroad. You can purchase insurance through your local travel agency.
- Vaccination Requirements: Depending on your destination, certain vaccinations may be required before you are admitted into the country. Be sure to research the entry requirements of your destination and ensure you have all the necessary vaccines before you travel or ask your travel agent.
- Travel Restrictions: Many countries eliminated travel restrictions due to the pandemic, but, there may still be some warnings in place. Check the restrictions of your destination before you book a flight, or ask your local travel agent.
- Currency Exchange: When travelling abroad, it’s important to be aware of the currency exchange rate for your destination. Do your research and find the most competitive rate for exchanging your currency. Often it works to your advantage to exchange currency prior to departure. Don’t wait until you get to your destination to obtain the local currency.
- Travel Documents: Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents before you leave. This includes a valid passport, visas, and any other relevant documents.
- Safety: Be aware of your surroundings and the potential risks while travelling. Research the local culture and customs of the destination. Take safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
And becoming best friends with your local travel agency will only benefit your long-term vacation planning. After all…
“the gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.”~ Sir Richard Burton