Who says traveling the world is only for the younger generation? Older folks can travel too! Their pace may be slower and their vision may be poorer, but they’d love to experience the fun of discovering new sights and scenes. Nobody’s too young nor too old to fulfill their travel goals, especially when they’re set in a captivating place like Ireland.
Have you always dreamed of visiting Ireland? Don’t let your age discourage you from discovering the best of Emerald Isle.
If you’re a senior traveling to Ireland (or you’re traveling with an elderly), here are 9 tips to consider.
1. Travel during the right time
Long-haul flights can mean jet lag and exhaustion for some — and if you’re a senior, you’ll have a harder time adjusting.
If you have to spend a little more on flight times that’ll make your journey easier and more comfortable, do so. Skip those red-eye flights that can cause you to struggle to adjust to a different time zone. Instead, go for mid-morning or early evening flights.
2. Pack accordingly
Extreme weather conditions are another sly enemy. The good news is, Ireland has a milder climate. The bad news is, rainy days are common regardless of the season.
Beat the colds by packing accordingly. If you’re sensitive to the cold, bring your warm layers and waterproof footwear. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella too.
3. Assess your travel needs when booking a trip
Be realistic about your mobility. Do you get tired and sick more easily? Are you less mobile today than you were ten years ago? Recognize your travel needs and make comfort a priority.
When booking your trip, make sure your chosen hotels, attractions, and transportation services are senior-friendly, providing easy mobility and comfort. If using the stairs hurts your knees, ask if they have ramps, elevators, walkalators, and wheelchairs for easy access. Additionally, opt for shorter trips at a slower pace wherein you’ll cut down your list of places to visit while spending more time at each site.
4. Opt for accommodation near the coastline
The ocean provides a long list of health benefits for seniors, including immune system boost, stress relief, pain relief, improved sleep and mood, and reduced inflammation. It’s a good thing that counties all across Ireland and Northern Ireland are home to breathtaking coastal views.
Chances are that, you’ll see lovely seascapes during your road trips and tours. But wouldn’t it be nice to stay in a hotel with seaside views? A seaside hotel in Enniscrone in county Sligo, offering views of the breathtaking Enniscrone beach is one of them. When staying in a beachside hotel, reaping the benefits of the sea only takes one short elevator ride.
5. Rent a car driven by a local driver
If you want to travel the country like a local, public transport is the way to go. However, hopping from one bus to another can be tiring. Not to mention, navigating a new place can feel overwhelming.
Why not opt for private tours, which include driving services? You won’t just tick off your bucket list in comfort — you can also take advantage of your driver’s local knowledge.
6. Book your trip with a company you trust
Booking your trip as an independent traveler gives you freedom with your choice of hotel accommodation, itinerary, and travel time and pace. But if you’re looking for a sense of security and structure, then you’re better off booking an escorted trip through a company you trust.
When you work with a travel agency, you won’t worry about finding the best hotel accommodation and flight, hiring transportation, and booking a reservation in a restaurant, attraction, and tours. Everything is arranged for you. All you have to do is show up, relax, and enjoy the journey.
7. Look for senior-friendly tours
Some tours involve long walks, hiking, and other activities fit for travelers with stronger stamina. Other tours involve sightseeing while seated comfortably, short walks, and more rooms for relaxation. Go for the latter.
Here are some of the best tours for seniors:
- Scottish & Irish Gold Tour
- The Celtic Voyage
- Treasure of Ireland
- Jewels of Ireland Tour
- Irish Vacation
- Castle and Manors
- Odyssey Traveller
- Emerald Explorer Small Group Tour
Most of these are escorted and bus/coach tours with compact itineraries streamlined to show you the best spots in Ireland at a shorter, slower, and less-exhausting pace.
8. Ask for discounts
Getting a huge discount is one of the best privileges of being a senior citizen. When going to a theatre, museum, cinema, tour, hotel, and bus and subway, always ask for discounts available. Don’t forget to present a valid ID, like a driver’s license or passport, to prove eligibility.
9. Make it a family vacation
Instead of traveling alone or with a senior companion, why not make your Irish trip a family vacation? Involve your children and grandchildren, and let them enjoy the breathtaking sceneries and discover heritage sites. Ireland is a family-friendly destination, with unlimited attractions fit for all ages. Even their pubs allow kids.
Aside from having a great bonding experience, traveling with your family will also give you the much-needed support when it comes to navigating new territory. You can use their expertise in technology to get from one place to another faster and easier.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a foodie and travel blogger who hates being locked up at home. Her fondness for travel, food, and cultural appreciation makes it easy for her to write inspiring pieces of content about them.