Senior Travel on Newsmax TV

1. How has the travel industry opened up to Seniors, as COVID restrictions have eased?

Well back in February as seniors started getting vaccinated, there were many reports of those over 65 leading the way for travel to open up again. The travel agency network Virtuoso for example, revealed more than 8 in 10 respondents 77 or older were more ready to travel in 2021 than they were last year. The travel industry followed suit offering all kinds of deals for those over 65. Airlines started offering (and are still offering) coupon codes for seniors, resorts and hotels followed suit and travel insurance companies stretched out a limb too. Now although the COVID-19 vaccines have made vulnerable groups like seniors less likely to suffer severe illness from the virus, adults over 65 should still make themselves aware of a few things before they travel.

2 – What are some must-ask questions for Seniors before they lock in a trip?

What type of trip do you want? – Tours are often geared toward specific interests and activities, so think carefully about what you want from your trip. For example, if your goal is to kick back, relax, and get away from it all, then an organized tour that has you climbing on and off a tour bus for 12 hours a day, is not going to work.

What accessibility do you need, and how active do you want your trip to be? – Make sure your tour matches your physical ability and expectations.If you have limited mobility and require a wheelchair or scooter, make sure the tour operator is prepared to accommodate your needs. Remember that historic inns and smaller hotels may not have elevators and other accessibility features that are standard in larger hotels in urban areas.

How much do you want to spend? – Group tours are often more expensive than solo travel, but they also offer convenience and less travel stress. You don’t have to worry about getting from Point A to Point B or where to spend the night because you’re paying someone else to manage the details. Once you’ve chosen your destination, get pricing from several different tour companies, so you can compare.

3 – How about travel groups for Seniors?  Are those a worthy option?
There are many advantages to traveling in a group as a senior.

It’s less expensive –  Group tours are often much cheaper than traveling independently. If you are a senior traveling on a budget, you should definitely consider group travel. There are many online offers providing discounts for group tours. Furthermore, you may be able to find cheaper airfares and accommodation for seniors traveling in groups. This way you can save money which gives you more to spend.

You can meet people – Travelling in a group enables you to meet people. You are bound to meet different types of people who likely will be similar in age, depending upon your travel preferences. This way, you can socialize and get to know them and have an instant party. This beats traveling solo hands down!

Traveling with a group is safe – Consider your health and safety especially when in a different state or country. You do not wish to fall ill or get lost alone in a foreign place. The chances of getting lost, having an accident or, heaven forbid being robbed are lessened when you travel in a group. Furthermore, if you suffer an illness or have a problem you will have group support from your new found friends.

4 – What are the best insider tips for Seniors to get the most bang for their buck? And where should they look to go?

Well the first thing you want to decide is your mode of transport – flying, driving or train – and that will also affect your costs. From personal experience, my mothers is a senior and this summer she still felt nervous about flying. I live in Connecticut so as a compromise I took a train to Massachusetts and drove her an hour to the gorgeous Gloucester Beach area, where we stayed at the breathtaking Beauport House right on the water with a 360 view pool on the roof and fabulous food. It was only a couple of nights a short way from home – but that was enough for her. They also offer great senior discounts depending on the time of year.  So when it comes to choosing both your transport and your accommodation be sure to ask every step of the way what deals are offered for seniors, even if you think there won’t be any- you will be surprised! Even if it’s a 2 for 1 drink special!

5 – Let’s say your trip is booked.  What are some must-do tips to prep for the travel?
Gather your important documents and medical info, including possible doctor’s notes and identification as well as any necessary use of needles onboard.  If you no longer drive, make sure you have a valid state-issued personal ID card or a passport, before the day you’re set to leave.

Plan with time in mind too. Ask yourself how far the walk is from your drop-off point to the terminal, how much medical and mobility equipment is there to carry, and keep in mind access to a restroom. 

Notify your airline and TSA of any special needs or request for travel assistance. Although booking airline tickets online is convenient for many, if you are booking air travel for seniors who require special medical or mobility equipment, call the airline’s customer service line instead.

Lastly, you’ll want to be conscious of how you pack your medications and other medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in your carry-on. The TSA requests that you inform the TSA officer that you have medically necessary goods prior to your screening so they can proceed accordingly.

4th of July Travel on Newsmax TV

Independence Day weekend us upon us – of the the biggest travel weekends of the year. But between gas prices being at an all time high and talk of the Delta variant, is anyone traveling this season? And what do travelers need to know before hitting the road or skies? Travel Expert Francesca Page weighs in.

 So even with Gas Prices at a high, it seems like millions of people are going to be hitting the road?

Right, we know that according to AAA, more than 47.7 million Americans will drive or fly this weekend. Still, the volume just misses the all-time high of 48.9 million travelers set in 2019. In fact, 91% of travelers this holiday weekend will be driving to their destinations. Keep in mind that since the pandemic brought on a supply and demand imbalance in the country’s rental car fleet, rates have dramatically spiked, and prices don’t look much better at the pump this holiday weekend, either. If you choose to fly rather than drive, keep in mind that airports are bracing for the largest crowds since March 2020.  Look at alternative airports in the same areas at your destination to save money – and –  don’t forget to use miles which may have built up during the pandemic, and utilize those credit REWARD cards, which may offer perks.

.So regarding the Delta what do you need to know before booking a flight, and are there any precautions should travelers take?

If you are fully vaccinated, particularly with a two-dose vaccine, there is really need to be worried. Also the C.D.C. has a global variant MAP – that shows the countries where different variants have been IDENTIFIED. It lists the RISK level by country – but you may ALSO want to look online on the – national health department website –  for the country you are planning to visit . In terms of insurance, I have mentioned before that there are air medical transport programs out there like MEDJET that, if you are hospitalized while traveling, will arrange medical transportation to your hospital at home. Most travel insurance only evacuates to a nearby hospital, while they get you moved home. MEDJET added Covid-19 transport benefits last year, for domestic travel and international destinations as they opened up. 

So finally, what destinations are going to be popular?

Americans appear to be seeking thrills from entertainment and theme parks capitals like Las Vegas and Orlando, which come in at No. 1 AAA’s tourist destination forecasts based on online search traffic, and hotel and car rental bookings.Anaheim, California — home of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park and Knott’s Berry Farm — came in at No. 2 on AAA’s list. Northern destinations like Chicago, Seattle, Denver, and Atlanta — are all up in  the top 10 too!