When planning an itinerary for a senior getaway, you will want to consider each of these factors you may not have thought about before.
For all of us who have planned senior trips before, we understand the versatility of the age 50+ class. You can have some who play golf and tennis and can handle the same difficulties they could when they were 20, while others have trouble standing and walking for long periods of time and need plenty of breaks for rest and hydration.
You should understand the energy level of your group and know their limitations. This will help you choose a location that will fit their needs and create an enjoyable environment with activities everybody will want to participate in.
So, here are five factors to keep in mind when searching for the correct destination for your next group trip:
Safety is always the top priority when traveling in a group. If you know there will be travelers who cannot handle certain physical activities, make sure there are alternative options, or find a tour that will not be so strenuous. You don’t want to push your travelers to the point of pain.
It’s always smart to shop around for a hotel, but don’t take lowest hotel rates that will leave your group in a not-so-nice neighborhood. Chances are your group members will want to roam around at night to a nearby café or to do some post-dinner shopping.
Overtired tour members can become sick tour members, ruining their trip. Make sure you don’t overload your travelers with a lot of walking. Plan activities that allow everyone to move at their own pace. Shopping breaks, for instance, allow people to explore at their will or take a break and lounge at a restaurant or park. Pair these kinds of activities with walking tours and activities that you know will leave your members tired, to keep a balance in the pace of your trip.
High altitude destinations can be hazardous for people with a history of high blood pressure, cardiac problems, asthma and other respiratory difficulties. If you wish to travel to these locations, such as Denver, Lake Tahoe and the Rockies, make sure there is medical equipment on hand and keep the high-altitude activities to a minimum.
Research will be important in planning around the medical needs of your travelers. When traveling in a major city or heavily populated area, medical attention is likely to be close at hand. Also, many tour operators have access to a house doctor at the major hotels. But planning tours in desolate places can leave your group members miles away from medical treatment. Some tours will require a doctor’s letter of permission before an individual is allowed on a particular tour.
Watch for any food allergies (milk, nuts, shellfish, gluten, etc.) that will cause any of your group members dietary problems. If you know you will have a picky group, make sure you plan meals that are neutral, mild and easy on the stomach, especially if you need them to be low in cholesterol or safe for diabetics.
Also, different cultures have different meal times. If you know a 9 p.m. dinner will be on your schedule, plan for a snack time in the late afternoon/early evening. Make sure there is plenty of clean drinking water available too.
If you keep these key factors in mind, you will have success finding a location that will suit your group’s needs, while offering plenty of activities for all.