Emerald Heights currently has available assisted living apartments ready for move in. Click here to learn more!

Travel Adventures Can Help Keep You Young at Heart

September 30, 2022

One of the advantages of being retired is having more time to do what you want. That’s especially true when your home is in a senior living community like ours, where the staff takes care of the upkeep for you.

Many older adults choose to use at least some of that extra time to travel. Going to new places (or old, familiar ones) can be more than enjoyable. It can also be good for your health — no matter what age you are.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways traveling is beneficial, physically, mentally and emotionally. We’ll also offer some tips to make your travels safer and more satisfying.

Incidentally, you don’t have to go far to gain many of the benefits of traveling. Sometimes even a short staycation can make a big difference! 

Traveling Makes You Move!

Even if you’re going somewhere to relax and take it easy, the very act of getting there and back means you have to move around, whether you’re driving, flying or taking a cruise. You’ll also most likely be more active at your destination than you would be at home.

Depending on your level of mobility, you may want to go sightseeing, take a tour or enjoy dancing! Cruises offer plenty of opportunities to do all of these and more. If being at sea isn’t your cup of tea, you can plan an itinerary before you leave — or be spontaneous and investigate the local possibilities when you get there.

The extra physical activity will be good for your heart, alleviate stress and help you feel happier.

A Change in Scenery Stimulates Your Mind, Too

It’s easy to become comfortable with the same routine day in and day out. But getting out of your comfort zone, even if it’s just for an afternoon, can do wonders for your mental health.

Being in an unfamiliar environment makes your brain work in ways it wouldn’t otherwise. In fact, just the process of planning and preparing for a trip may engage areas of the brain that don’t see as much action in your usual circumstances.

If you’re traveling to a country where you’ll use a different currency and interact with people who speak a different language, you will challenge your mental functions even more — in good ways.

You might even think about planning a trip specifically for learning. It could be anything from visiting a historical site you find intriguing to spending an afternoon in a museum.

(Did you know there’s a ventriloquist museum in Kentucky, a mustard museum in Wisconsin and an automated musical machines museum in Pennsylvania? Pick a quirk and you’ll probably be able to find a museum somewhere in the world that caters to it.)

Your travel experiences can generate a creative spark and steer you into new interests you can take home with you. You’ll have stories to share and memories to savor, as well.

Finding Happiness Wherever You Go

Although this may sound like the title of a self-help book, the point we want to make is that traveling in retirement is not like traveling for work.

The whole point is to take pleasure in your travels, whether you’re going somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit or seeing family. Maybe you could even combine the two and travel with family members to a desired destination. 

Although there may be some travel-related stress, knowing that’s a possibility can help you prepare for it. Plan ahead, give yourself plenty of time and try to be flexible if there are last-minute changes in your plans.

Taking those travel glitches in stride can give you a sense of accomplishment and boost your confidence. It also helps to pack a positive attitude in your carry-on bag for easy access.

Additional Tips for More Pleasant Trips

You can take steps to ensure that your travels go smoothly. Here are several suggestions:

  • If you require special services, such as assistance with a wheelchair or special dietary needs, request them in advance when possible.

  • When booking flights, choose the shortest route available and book a direct flight, if possible. If you’ll have a layover, plan for enough time to use the restroom, have a snack or meal and stretch your legs before continuing on your journey.

  • Be sure to take any travel documents you’ll need, including boarding passes, itineraries, proof of vaccination and your passport or photo ID. Also take your insurance card(s), emergency contact information and phone numbers for your physicians, just in case.

  • Take extra prescription medications with you so you’ll be prepared if your stay is extended. If you’ll be flying, carry them on board with you. It’s usually a good idea to take them in the original bottle with the prescription label on it. Set an alarm on your watch or phone as a reminder to take them while you’re on the go.

  • Consider using a senior travel service when planning your trip. You can also check the options available through AARP and AAA. You may be able to get discounts, and if you don’t already have someone to travel with, some senior travel services can pair you with another older adult so that you’re eligible for additional discounts. You could wind up making new friends!

Know that many of the airlines are still dealing with problems that cropped up as a result of the pandemic. In some cases, calling on a little extra patience may be all you can do.

The Appeal of the Lock-and-Leave Lifestyle

Extra time isn’t the only travel-related advantage you’ll find in a senior living community like ours. Since the staff handles all the property maintenance, you can easily leave whenever you want — even spontaneously. You can stay as long as you like without having to worry about your home.

You don’t have to arrange for someone to tend the yard or check on your home while you’re gone. There’s even a good chance that one of your neighbors will be happy to pet sit for you, if that’s something you need.

You can see how this lock-and-leave lifestyle can significantly shorten your trip-planning to-do list — and give you peace of mind while you’re away.

Add Us to Your Itinerary!

We’ve covered some of the main benefits associated with traveling, but there are many more. It’s no wonder that traveling is among the favorite activities for seniors.

As we mentioned earlier, you don’t have to venture far from home to gain a lot of these benefits. For some ideas about staycations in Washington state you might enjoy, check out our March blog post.

We know that you have choices for assisted living and independent living in Redmond. As you explore retirement communities in Washington state to see which may be the best for your situation, we hope that you’ll include Emerald Heights on your list of possible options.

If you like what you see while you’re here on our website, we encourage you to contact us for additional information or to arrange a time to experience our community firsthand.

Happy travels!