Last updated on April 8th, 2020
If you’re an older adventuress, this is an absolutely wonderful time in your life to be travelling. In most cultures, your age brings respect. Children will gravitate to you. Local women will be protective, you’ll suffer less from pesky unsolicited male advances, and your travel budget absolutely expands with all the lovely discounts your age group is offered. The possibilities are endless. Take advantage, ladies. You’ve earned the right.
Go more, spend less…
If you’re already retired and not concerned about job demands, you can travel wherever and whenever you choose. There’s no longer any reason for you to fight the crowds that must travel at peak holiday times. Going to Europe? Wait until all the students return and then do your meandering in the shoulder season of late Fall when London, Paris and Rome are not nearly as crowded. Book your flights for Mondays to Thursdays and your tickets will generally be less expensive than if you had to fly on the weekends.
And remember, even if you can only travel at peak times, most hotels, airlines, buses, and trains offer discounts to older passengers. They won’t necessarily tell you about these savings; you have to ask for them when making your bookings. Companies also vary on their definition of ‘an older adult.’ For example, a recent chat with Air Canada confirmed a 10% saving for travellers over 60, while Amtrak will deduct 15% for anyone over 62. Greyhound calls anybody 55 plus a senior.
Invite your family members to travel with you…
As women move into their fifties and sixties their adult children are generally building careers, rushing headlong into marriage, and raising their own families. Often times they choose to settle in other cities or countries completely. Travel for mom then becomes almost a necessity — one more opportunity for family reunions and interesting bonding experiences.
Spa holidays have become a destination of choice for many mothers and their daughters. The list of fabulous spa facilities offering opportunities for rest, relaxation, pampering and getting into shape continues to grow worldwide. Some places even offer grandmother-mother-daughter weeks designed to please each generation. Members of the family get the opportunity to go to workshops and play at the level that pleases them. At mealtimes, everybody convenes to report on their experiences and give each other support. Good for the body and the soul!
Hubby wants to stay home…
Many older JourneyWomen are reporting that their retired husbands have lost interest in international travel but have no problem with their wives going off on their own, with a girlfriend or an organized group. This is the perfect opportunity for you to follow your very own dreams. Always wanted to trek in Thailand, see an opera in Italy, pick flowers on a mountain in Switzerland or shop till you drop in Hong Kong? You go, girl! Don’t put it off till personal circumstances no longer allow you that freedom.
She prepares to travel…
Planning an adventure holiday involving hiking or a considerable amount of walking? If you’re not already involved in fitness activities, consider beginning an appropriate exercise program at least a month before your departure. Make sure that you have the correct footwear. Remember that new boots need breaking in before the start of your journey or you will learn the very hard way about very big blisters.
If you don’t own a backpack, now’s the time to become a true JourneyWoman. Choose one designed to fit the special contours of a woman’s body and then do daily training walks to get used to the weight and feel of your new bag. You can start light and work your way up to carrying full capacity.
If you’re experiencing the hot flashes of menopause, pack a wardrobe of “layers” that can easily be adjusted to your fluctuating body temperature.
A small magnifying glass is perfect for reading the tiny print on maps.
And, be sure to pack a second pair of glasses, just in case your first is misplaced or lost. You might also want to back everything up with your most recent eyewear prescription so that the purchase of new glasses does not become a hassle.
Remember to carry your doctor and dentist’s contact information including telephone, fax, and e-mail. Hopefully, you won’t need them at all, but just in case you do, be prepared. Pack medications in your carryon bag where they are safe and won’t get lost. Finally, make very sure that you have adequate health and travel insurance. Never, ever leave home without it. Safe journeys, everybody.
Women’s words on getting older…
I’m not to blame for an old body, but I would be to blame for an old soul. An old soul is a shameful thing.
(Margaret Deland, Doctor Lavender’s People, 1903)
Is it not possible that middle age can be looked upon as a period of second flowering, second growth, even a kind of second adolescence?
(Anne Murrow Lindberg, Gift From the Sea, 1995)
Middle age is when you find out where the action is so you can go someplace else.
(Patricia Penton Leimbach, All My Meadows, 1977)
Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force.
(Dorothy Sayers, Clouds of Witness, 1926)
I knew I was getting older, certainly not by how I felt, but because young men in Italy were no longer trying to pinch my bum.
(Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman creator, 2001)
Hot water bottles…
I learned this tip from a superb older woman who was also a great traveller. She wrote…
Whether you’re older or younger, always pack a hot water bottle in your backpack. It’s light and takes up little room but it is a blessing when temperatures dip and you’re cold during the night. Just fill your bag with hot, hot water (which is almost always available) and tuck it into bed with you. Say goodbye to the shivers, hello to toasty toes.
(Source: Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman)