Seniors are actually looking forward to their retirement because they want to travel. Many of them have worked for years to save, so they can go around the world when they are older and have fewer responsibilities. And then, the pandemic happened. Everything went upside down for the senior community. Not only can they not see their loved ones, but they also have to hit the pause button on their travel plans. Of course, this also comes with that nagging feeling that seniors are more susceptible to COVID-19 complications because of their age.
But as restrictions eased and the vaccines started arriving, inching the country closer to herd immunity, seniors are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Finally, it looks like they can pursue their travel plans again. But should they push for it if the rest of the world hasn’t been successful yet in fighting the virus? What should seniors consider if they want to travel?
Assess Your Personal Situation
If you are still living in your own home, that means you are still able to take care of yourself—clean the house, do the groceries, cook meals, and fix minor repairs. You can also live anytime you want. No one will stop you. It is different if you’re in a senior care facility. Some assisted-living communities have to be in a “bubble,” and no one is allowed to go out and in as easily as you would when living in your house.
Aside from that, having chronic conditions like lung, kidney, and heart diseases should give you a pause. Although there is no formula as to how the SARS-CoV-2 affects your body, it is widely believed that seniors with comorbidities are at high risk. The best thing to do is to ask your doctor if traveling is a practical and smart move right now.
Check the Quarantine Protocols in Your Destination
Some states and countries put extra precautionary measures to curb the transmission of the virus. This is true for those with high transmission rates, though you should avoid these places for now. Many countries will require a two-week quarantine so that means you will have to spend the first two weeks of your stay there in a quarantine facility. Are you sure you’re okay with that? When going back to your home country, you might need to undergo the same procedure.
Reconsider Road Trips Over Air Travel
Air travel still poses a high risk because you cannot practice the recommended six feet of social distancing space between you and the next person. It’s not about the air and ventilation because the air in airplanes is filtered. That’s why you must look into the possibility of a road trip rather than flying to another country. You can rent an RV van and trek the open road from coast to coast. If you have never done this when you were young, now is the time to do so.
Forget Cruise Lines for Now
Many cruise lines canceled their routes, although the cruise industry is expected to bounce back this year. You may want to skip cruise ships for now because of the high incidences of transmission there. Since you will be in the sea and isolated from any kind of medical facility, this is not the kind of risk you want to take at your age. However, look out for discounts and promos since the cruise industry might make a roaring comeback late this year.
Stay Close to Home
You don’t need to fly to another country or hit the road and find yourself on the other coast. You can take a staycation near your home. Find a nice hotel where you can stay and enjoy the amenities. Perhaps, even a weekend at the spa is a better idea than flying to a new country. This way, you will still be close to home in case an emergency arises.
You will be surprised to know that you are missing a lot by not visiting local tourist sites. Get to know your own city first. Even a day tour is such a relief during these trying times.
Seniors can travel even during the pandemic as long as they follow proper health protocols. But just to be on the safe side, you have to assess your situation first before booking that flight or hotel room. While economic activity is now being encouraged, that does not mean foregoing the safety measures that have so far kept you safe for a year.