Blogs Norfolk

Travel Safety – 6 tips for older people travelling solo

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Written by Helen Burgess

Our friends over at the UK Holiday Group have kindly given us these great travel tips!

We all know that travelling alone can be daunting, no matter what you’re age, but just because you are on your own doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on one of life’s great pleasures…holidays!

So here’s some simple tips on travel safety if you’re going it solo, to put your mind at ease, and help you take that leap if you are yet to brave a holiday on your own.

1) Know your tour Operator/Travel Agent

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You don’t need to start inviting them to dinner or Saturday coffee mornings, but some quick research into the tour operator you are booking with, or the travel agent you are booking through, should definitely be undertaken before you make your booking and part with your hard earned cash. Most importantly, you need to make sure they are reputable – the best way to ensure this is to only ever place your booking through an agent or operator who is fully ABTA and ATOL bonded.

Agents and operators who don’t boast this accreditation are putting your money at risk – if something were to happen to the business resulting in you not being able to travel, there would be no reassurance in place that you would get your money back. So top tip number one – only book through ABTA bonded agents or operators.

2) Research your destination

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Sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this only to end up finding themselves in a bit of a muddle when they reach their resort. It’s easy enough to do – a quick Google will soon bring up results of what to expect whilst on holiday. Failing that, ask your Travel Agent – it’s what they are there for and what they excel at. Remember, knowledge is power, so the better equipped you are about where you are going, the more secure you will feel.

3) Don’t carry too much cash!

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An easy rule to follow whether you are holidaying in the UK or abroad – carry as little cash as you can whilst out and about. Most hotels offer a safe (either in your room or at reception) so if you do feel the need to withdraw all of your money before your travels, make sure you lock it away whilst out and about on excursions or sightseeing trips.

4) Know your exits

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The first thing anyone should do whenever they are staying in a unknown location (including hotels) is know the safest and quickest fire escape route – it could literally save your life. Hotels have floor maps in rooms showing you where your closest exit is in case of an emergency, but our advice would always be to walk the route, make sure there are no obstructions (and if there are alert the hotel management) and ensure you are clear of where you are going, so if the worst does happen, you are as best prepared as possible.

5) Safety in Numbers

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If you are travelling alone, or as a couple but are apprehensive about feeling ‘stranded’ in an unknown place, then booking a package holiday escorted by a Tour Manager is a wonderful option. Escorted coach holidays in the UK and Europe are an excellent way to get a well-deserved rest whilst being safe in the knowledge that everything is taken care of for you – from travel to accommodation and sight-seeing excursions, what’s more, having an experienced Tour Manager accompany you throughout your holiday will mean you can really switch off and enjoy yourself, knowing you will be well and truly taken care of.

6) Insurance is important

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Our last top tip on safe travel is to make sure you take out holiday insurance, whether it be annual cover or just for the trip you have booked, it is vital you are covered. Nobody likes getting ill, least of all on holiday, but that last thing you want is to be stuck at your resort due to sickness or injury, not able to get home as you don’t have the adequate insurance cover. A small price to pay for such reassurance, and we all know the odds are it won’t happen, but never take that risk, because the one time you do, might be the time that it does happen

So that’s it in a nut-shell. Nothing revolutionary, just a bit of common sense and forward planning. We want to make sure that wherever you are going, you have the best time possible, and peace of mind goes a long way to overall enjoyment of your holiday.

For more information on Grand UK Holidays coach trips, click HERE to visit there website

Click HERE for advice on holidays with care for the elderly with limited mobility.

About the author

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Helen Burgess

Helen has worked in the charity sector for 20 years in fundraising and marketing roles. Prior to becoming Regional Manager for Age Space Norfolk, Helen was at Age UK Norwich and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience on all aspects of elderly care.