As the years roll by faster and faster, I often forget how old I am! When asked I stop and think, 30 pops into my head… no that is not right, 40…. no, eventually I come to the reality that I just turned 45. I don’t often act or feel my age, and life has only been getting better every year. In a world of travel bloggers half my age I gathered 20 something (yes, that is not an accident) travel tips from travelers over 40. Enjoy the wisdom and tips!
Travel Life Lessons
Nicole 44 years old of ThirdEyeMom
I recently was invited to attend an all women’s learn to surf camp in Nicaragua. Although I consider myself highly adventurous, having traveled all over the world with some of the highlights being climbing Kilimanjaro, tandem hang gliding in New Zealand, and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, getting into the ocean and facing the huge waves to learn to surf, terrified me. After much trepidation, I finally got on my board and did it. For me, it was such an empowering feeling overcoming my immense fear and anxiety over the ocean and learning to surf. It reminded me of the importance of getting out of your comfort zone while traveling. The older I get the more set in my ways I can be but truly doing something that scares the heck out of you is quite an exhilarating, life changing event.
Rebecca 51 years old of Where to this Time
My advice is if you’ve always wanted to travel, do it! If there’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit, go! There’s never a perfect time and never enough money. I lost my best friend and travel buddy of 30 years in 2013 to breast cancer. You never know what’s going to happen. Maybe Margaret and I should’ve saved more, but then I would never have the memories I have now. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
Jamie 40 years old of The Daily Adventures of Me
Don’t let excuses stop you from getting out and exploring the world. I don’t regret any trip I have taken, only trips that I didn’t take. If you have a chance to travel solo with a parent, do it. It will give you wonderful memories with them.
Lee-Anne 46 years old of Just Me Please
Be forever young:
• embrace change
• look after your health
• keep your mind open
• travel frequently
• make your sense of adventure last a lifetime.
The fastest way to grow old is to lose interest in the world around you.
Elizabeth 45 years old of Compass & Fork
If you want to save yourself a hassle when you land at the airport in a foreign country, work out ahead of time how you are getting to your accommodation. Sometimes the easiest thing is to have wherever you are staying organise a transfer. The driver has the address, knows where you are going, knows what time you are arriving and you will know in advance how much it costs. All issues that can become quite stressful in a foreign country, especially if you don’t speak the language, land late at night or early in the morning and have luggage.
Allison 45 years old of Sydney Fashion Hunter
People often ask me how I afford to travel so often given I’m clearly not a millionaire. The secret is simple … I never pay full price for anything. And I mean NEVER. For ANYTHING! I spend time lots of time researching the very best deals before I book to make every cent count. Here are my top three tips on never paying full price again: –
* Join Airline Loyalty Programs, sign up for emails and follow them on social media to get advanced warning of any upcoming sales.
* Be flexible in terms of where you want to go and the dates you can travel.
* Be prepared to book quickly. The deepest discounts are often on for a very short time. Make sure you have everything set so that you can book the minute you see a great deal.
Anne 42 years old of Travel the Globe 4 Less
My top tip is to never try to cut travel costs by travelling without travel insurance. From a broken collar bone to torn knee ligaments, cellulitis to motorbike accidents, I’ve had so many scrapes on my travels that to travel without it would be pure suicide!
Jayne 48 years old of Blue Planet Nomads
Whenever we travel we pack a power board so we can charge all our gadgets at once! 6 to 8 extra sockets is better than the single one you often get in your hotel room and when you have phones, camera batteries and laptops to charge that’s a lot of sockets needed. We found it particularly useful when over landing through Africa when you have to share a couple of sockets in camp grounds with about 25 of your truck mates, surprising how many free beers we scored when we pulled out the power board 😉
Travel Style Tips
Dave 61 years old of Silver Backpacker
I have been travelling solo and with sometimes with friends for over 45 years now. I have come to the conclusion that travel must be appreciated. So my top tip is to travel slowly, take time to enjoy your trip ,no matter how long it is, and immerse yourself into the culture, food and peoples of the country you are visiting. Step out of your comfort zone to experience activities you haven’t tried before. Don’t rush around trying to be everywhere at the same time. You will never see everything anyway.Not only will you enjoy yourself more, you will also create lasting memories.
Carol 52 years old of Wayfaring Views
I’ve learned through hard experience that you can’t see it all. Travelers often set a frenetic, exhausting pace in order to bag all of the “must see” sights of a particular location. Enough already. I employ two coping mechanisms to help me retain itinerary sanity. 1. I don’t feel obligated to visit the ‘must see’ sight if it isn’t my kind of thing. I skipped the gondola ride in Venice and don’t regret it. 2. I often spend an extra day in a location, even if it means I can’t go somewhere else. The extra day in Buenos Aires gave me the opportunity to see a ton of cool street art. My advice is to set your own pace and aim to be busy but not exhausted.
Ruthie 47 years old of Ruthie’s Routes
A must on my travel list, eat the local foods and learn how to say basic words in the language of the country you are visiting like; hello and thank you. Always pack light, don’t over plan, and be prepared for “culture shock.
Sabine 42 years old of The Travelling Chilli
Research your destination well and make a short list of things you must do. Save time in your schedule to relax and be spontaneous. Then ask locals where they like to go and what they like to do. Don’t just ask the people at the front desk of your hotel. Ask the local couple you see in the coffee shop, or the man working the cash register in the grocery store. Go off the beaten path, make new friends, and learn about the local culture.
No matter your age or even the length of your trip, we advise against over-planning. Most travelers agree that it’s the little surprises and chance encounters that make the best memories. So allow yourself to be flexible, open to opportunities and changes. We usually book our round trip air (our start and end dates), plus the first hotel nights, and let the rest develop as we go. If you want to add a side trip, you can. If you need a day of rest, you can take it without messing up your itinerary. Do allow extra days on your own before and after any group tours. You’re going to want the time to yourselves and the chance to follow your nose. Take intercity trains and buses. Arranging Eurail passes in advance, for example, allows flexibility for travel days and destinations. And finally, take advantage of your conversations with hotel or restaurant staff to ask them about their favorite local places.
Paul 51 years old and Carole 49 years old of Paul & Carole Love to Travel
We used to pack as much into a trip as possible but have learn’t that travelling slow and going with the flow is far more rewarding. We tend now to have loose plans and see where it takes us, this gives us time to truly absorb the surroundings and appreciate the moment. When unexpected opportunities arise take them, always be polite, respectful and smile, as connecting with the local people has bought us the best experiences.
“Travel Slow & Go With The Flow” – Don’t try to see a country in 10 days – rather, see an area in 10 days and take full advantage of what it has to offer… from the free to the more expensive travel opportunities. This photograph was taken in Nepal. I had travelled overland from India and exploring the villages by bicycle gave me an opportunity to connect with the locals (including the elephants which I followed home)
For those looking to try new adventures in the over 40 crowd, we suggest taking baby steps. Don’t go too big too soon as to scare yourself off, try something just a little bit out of your comfort zone. If you are too afraid to try a bungy jump, go for a high speed zip line instead. If you want to climb a mountain, start off doing some serious back country hiking. It’s about taking small steps and then adding onto them. Once you’ve got a few adventures under your belt, you’ll be ready and prepared to tackle more.
Andrea 53 years old of Andi on Adventure
You can experience a country and its culture even on a short visit. Don’t stay in a resort; do make up your own itinerary but don’t plan your trip to the nth degree; keep an open mind to the beauty and variety of the world; and don’t sweat the small stuff because travel challenges that arise can make for the most memorable trips!
Ron 52 years old and Michele 54 years old of Legging It
The best advice we can give to anyone planning on travelling is pack lightly. You will need to carry your bags up flights of stairs and on and off transport so the lighter the better. Many people overpack as they feel they will not have time to dry their clothes but the reality is most things dry overnight so they carry much more than they really need.
Virginie 46 years old of Travel with my Kids
I am not very specific about packing, but when it comes to the purse, that’s another story. Let’s take a quick look back on what I learned from my youth mistakes (about travel purses only, for the rest it would take too long). In my 20s = the perfect little backpack. Couldn’t be more convenient: being hands free, not holding anything, feeling so light. So light that the day I was robbed, I didn’t even notice that I strolled all day long with an almost empty bag (no more passport, no more wallet). Backpack purse is convenient for pickpockets as much as it is for you. In my 30s = the perfect huge tote bag. Obviously, far enough from a trendy little ‘pochette’, and not light at all anymore. As a young mother, the contents of my bag had suddenly double or even triple: pacifier, water, snack, cap, diaper, security blanket, and many more. This bag could hold so much. At least enough to end the day with a painful shoulder and contorted neck. In my 40s = finally came my perfect vintage-army-messenger-bag. Just the right size for my stuff, but sorry kids, too small to carry yours. Worn enough to not attract thieves in tourist spots. Hands free again. This is it. Forever. That’s one of the great things about getting older: you’ll eventually find your perfect travel purse.
It took me almost 40 years to discover this way of travelling, but now that I have, I recommend it to everyone as my best travel tip: home exchange! As the name suggests, home exchange is based on the idea that someone vacations in your house, while you vacation in theirs. It’s a sustainable, cheap way to travel and makes for a great cultural experience: you live like a local anywhere in the world and you stay in the comfort and safety of a real house all for yourself. I have already used the service a few times, both with children and without and love it. A home swap also has an additional advantage: before you travel you are in touch with your host, which means you get advice on things to see and local joints you might otherwise miss. It’s a real shortcut to insider’s knowledge!
Barbara 63 years old of Hole in the Donut
For the best travel experiences, I suggest staying in locally owned guest houses where the owners/staff speak English. Not only will you have a much more authentic experience, which can often include experiences such as sampling the family’s food or even joining them for a meal, they are a wealth of information regarding fascinating places to visit that are off the beaten path. In many cases, they have been happy to arrange drivers for me who speak at least a little English, and in some cases they have even arranged for a guide who speaks fairy fluent English. I have seen the most amazing things this way! Try searching booking services like Booking.com and selecting “Guest Houses” under the “Property Type” in the left-hand menu. Look at each of the available properties and make sure the description says “We speak your language.” Then read all the reviews, and look for comments about the helpfulness of the staff/owners.
Manejah 44 years old of No Avocados, please
Many travelers tend to cling to the creature comforts found within the four walls of a hotel or resort not realizing other housing options exist. A great tip, if you are really interested in exploring, learning and being a part of your new city, is to rent out a space for the duration of your stay. Sites like Airbnb and Homeaway allow you to choose from a list of available housing options based on your needs. Be sure to read the reviews on the space before booking.
A Roar Loud Lesson
Cathy 45 years old & Frank 49 years old of RoarLoud
We were bit hard by the travel bug on our trip to Tanzania. Our full time jobs and 6 kids do not allow for full time travel yet. We craved for the adventure of travel though! Searching out adventure locally became our way to quench our wanderlust between trips abroad. It also created our motto- Adventure Near & Far.
Share your travel tips in the comments, even if you are not over 40:)
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