Travel advice for retirees in a post-pandemic world | Special Sections

According to AARP, travel is usually at the top of the list of things to do for seniors, and some of the most popular trips among retirees include national parks, Caribbean cruises, Alaska tours and adventures. Europeans.

There was a time when securing such vacation getaways was a simple affair – book a cruise or flight, find the right accommodations, and make sure you pack enough socks and sunscreen for the trip.

But in a post-pandemic world, the process isn’t as straightforward for those looking for a relaxing getaway, and the experience can be even more frustrating for older people. According to Edward Mass, owner of Anchors Away Cruises and Tours in Dunedin and a long-time travel industry veteran, the most important step to take when planning a trip today is to contact a travel agent. travel that can help you navigate rapidly changing rules and regulations. aimed at containing and controlling the coronavirus internationally.

“As a senior myself and with over 40 years of travel industry experience working with airlines, cruise lines and running an award-winning travel agency, the first step a senior should take is to hire an experienced travel consultant to work on their behalf,” the 78-year-old Mass said. -emails that change travel requirements, cruise line policies, country and company health requirements. It’s a challenge for my team to keep up and impossible for anyone not actively working in the hospitality industry. daily trip.

Mass explained that a good travel consultant is someone you feel comfortable with, who asks lots of questions about what you want your vacation to be. “If all they want to do is make the reservation, you have to find another counselor,” he said, adding that whenever seniors call or come into his office at 1300 Heather Ridge Blvd., he offers several tips to help plan their getaway as easy as possible.

“I advise them to talk to their travel companion about the destinations they want to visit,” he said. Things like the sites they want to see and the type of accommodation they want should all be discussed together and with their advisor, so everything is planned well in advance. “Ask your advisor how much walking is required during the trip, which is especially important if you or your companion have mobility issues,” Mass added. “And don’t buy on price!” Buy based on what you’re getting that’s important to you and what you want your experience to be. Would you like a room with a view or a balcony, or even a suite? Ask your advisor about amenities and promotions that may include added value for a small additional fee, and ask about premium fares and military consideration, as some cruise lines offer onboard credits or special pricing.

Mass agreed with AARP’s ranking of favorite destinations for seniors, noting that Alaska “is always popular with seniors” because it offers stunning natural scenery such as mountains, glaciers and wildlife. as well as a rare opportunity to visit Santa at the North Pole. He also said the Caribbean is very popular with Florida seniors “because it’s a close, safe environment and can be inexpensive because they don’t need plane tickets.” He said trips along the Mississippi River and Great Lakes were also trending among seniors, as “both areas have new ships operating there for the first time in 2022.”

Mass offered one final piece of advice he considers essential for seniors who travel: get insurance.

“I never travel without travel insurance,” he said. “Ask your travel consultant to explain what is included. Most experienced travel agents will work with an insurance company that has been proven to provide the correct coverage and has been responsive when claims are made. said purchasing travel insurance from a cruise line or tour operator should be “a second choice because their coverage may not provide cash refunds, but future travel credits, and a senior must have cash back on any claim”.

For more information on travel advice for seniors, visit the AARP website at www.aarp.org/travel; or contact Anchors Away Cruises and Tours at 727-781-2777.