There are certain items you should pack for every trip, regardless of length or destination. Here are our 10 favorite travel essentials for women over 60.
Even if you have no trips planned, be sure your passport is valid. Renew it about nine months before it expires. Wouldn’t it be terrible if someone asked you to travel with them and you had to turn them down because you didn’t have a passport? Make copies of your passport’s information pages so that replacing a lost or stolen passport will be a simple process. Keep one copy with you whenever you travel and leave another copy with a trusted friend or relative.
If your travels take you to a place where your own health insurance is not valid, travel medical insurance is essential. You should consider purchasing other types of travel insurance, too, depending on how much of your trip cost is not refundable.
The larger the nonrefundable amount, the more important it is for you to have travel insurance that includes trip cancellation, trip delay and, depending on the type of traveler you are, Cancel For Any Reason coverage.
Trying to charge your mobile phone? Curl your hair? You won’t get far in a country with differently-shaped electrical outlets unless you bring along a plug adapter.
Remember that some outlets are grounded, while others are not. Be prepared for both outlet types. Bring a voltage converter, too, if any of your electrical items will only work on a 110-volt electrical current. I’ve learned the hard way that a good adapter is one of the most important travel essentials for women my age.
Money Belt or Pouch
Wearing a money belt or neck pouch can help you keep your money, credit cards and passport safe from thieves. Experiment before your trip begins to find out which style is most comfortable for you.
First Aid Kit
Bring a small first aid kit with you so that you don’t have to search for a pharmacy or drugstore during your trip. Your first aid kit should include any allergy medications you need, pain reliever, anti-diarrheal medicine, motion sickness medication, blister bandages (they really do work), a thermometer, antihistamines if you do not take them for allergies, hearing aid batteries, an Ace bandage or other brace that can work on your knee, ankle, wrist or elbow and, if you are going to a developing nation, water purification tablets.
Ask your doctor to give you a new prescription for each medication you take. If you lose one or more of your medications, you can take the appropriate prescription to a local pharmacy to be filled.
Be sure to get a separate prescription form for each medication; some pharmacies will not fill a prescription if it is written up as part of a list of medications, even if that list is on your doctor’s official prescription form.
Carry a telephone and email contact list that includes your family members, friends, neighbors, doctors, bank, credit card and insurance companies and, if applicable, house and pet sitters. You may wish to create a small laminated card with this information on it.
If you need to get in touch with someone during your trip, the correct telephone number and email address will be at your fingertips, even if your mobile phone is not charged.
You may arrive in Ketchikan, Alaska, on a rare rainless day or manage to avoid the “liquid sunshine” rain showers in Hawaii, but you should pack rain gear anyway. Pack a compact travel umbrella or hooded rain shell and tuck extra socks into your suitcase, just in case you are caught in a sudden downpour.
Sunscreen is a necessity, even on cloudy days. Apply it every two hours, and reapply after swimming or strenuous exercise. You can find small, inexpensive tubes of sunscreen in the travel section of many grocery stores.
Comfortable Walking Shoes
Painful shoes can ruin any trip. Give yourself enough time before your trip begins to buy and break in your walking shoes. If you are currently experiencing foot or ankle pain, see a podiatrist now so you can begin exercising or wearing orthotics to reduce your discomfort.
What do you think we should add to our list of travel essentials for women over 60? Share your must-have travel essentials in the comments below.