Travel

8 mindful ways to make long haul travel accessible and enjoyable

Age needn't be a barrier to enjoying overseas travel. Carolyn Tate has uncovered the easy tips and tracks to make long haul flying and travelling that little bit easier.

By Carolyn Tate

Travelling overseas is a wonderful way to expand your mind and experience life in entirely new ways. And even though we’re not likely to throw our entire lives into a backpack and trek around Europe on a bus anymore (unless you want to, of course!), age should never be a barrier to exploring the world.

While travel can be incredibly rewarding, it’s also important to be realistic about our limitations and find ways to work around them as best we can. A bit of forward planning now can make that overseas adventure so much more relaxing and fun.

Here are a few ideas that can help:

1. Pack light and smart

When travelling, less is often more – and even though you think you’ll need those 17 different shirts, you’ll probably end up wearing your three favourites on a loop. Go for lightweight luggage that has wheels, and invest in packing cubes to keep your belongings organised. Packing efficiently means you won't have to lug around heavy bags, making it easier to navigate airports and train stations.

2. Consider using a luggage delivery services

This option can be life changing – especially if you hated that first idea and can’t imagine travelling without packing the kitchen sink. Many destinations offer luggage delivery services that can simplify your journey. Instead of hauling your bags through crowded terminals or city streets, you can arrange to have your luggage transported directly from the airport to your hotel. Genius! This option allows you to move around with ease, and it removes the stress of managing heavy suitcases in an unfamiliar city.

3. Join guided tours

Guided tours can be a fantastic way to explore a new country, especially if you're looking for a hassle-free and safe experience. Tour groups will often help you out by handling transport, accommodation, and itinerary planning, leaving you free to enjoy the sights and learn about the culture without the stress of logistics. And tours have come a long way in the past decade or two, so banish those ideas of boring or cliched groups – there really is a tour to suit just about everyone, so do your research and ask friends or online groups for recommendations.

4. Schedule rest days

Travelling is exciting and exhilarating, but let’s be realistic: it’s also exhausting, especially when you’re exploring unfamiliar or busy destinations. Consider scheduling rest days between active outings so you can relax and rejuvenate. Use this time to explore local cafes and parks, or simply unwind by the pool or in your room. There are worse things that could happen to us, don’t you think?

5. Choose comfortable accommodation

Finding a room that is comfortable and has all we need is essential for an enjoyable and relaxing trip. Sure, that hotel with twelve flights of flagstone stairs looks charming in the brochures, but how are your knees going to feel after you’ve been up and down them several times each day for a week? Look for hotels or holiday homes that have amenities that will make your stay comfortable, like lifts, accessible bathrooms, and comfortable bedding. Reading reviews from fellow travellers is always a good idea, to see past the marketing spiel and ensure you’ll really have your needs met.

6. Stay informed about health precautions

Before heading overseas, talk your doctor to discuss any vaccinations you might need, or health precautions you should consider. It's essential to stay up-to-date on your medications and carry a copy of your prescriptions, and take more than you need, just in case. Travel insurance is a good idea, so you don’t have to worry about covering unexpected medical expenses if they arise. (There’s a reason they’re called ‘unexpected’!) It's also best to check the Smart Traveller website for the latest information on destinations you plan to travel to.

7.  Embrace technology and travel apps

Make the most of travel apps and technology to make your trip easier and hassle-free. Download maps, translation apps, and travel guides to your smartphone or tablet. These tools can help you navigate foreign cities, communicate with locals, and discover hidden gems. Plus, they can be a lot of fun! Tip: make sure you download maps and don’t just rely on having Wi-Fi. Read more on Citro's guide to securing your smartphone for travel.

8. Stay mindful of any physical limitations

You might be in the same physical shape you were when you were 25, and if so, that’s wonderful. But if you do have any physical limitations, it pays to be aware of how they may affect your day-to-day life while travelling. Consider your energy levels, mobility, and any health concerns when planning activities and itineraries. And don't be afraid to adapt your plans to suit your comfort and preferences.

Travel is a unique opportunity to create lasting memories and embrace new cultures, no matter what your age. Plan wisely, stay flexible, and savour every moment of your journey.

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