If you are planning to travel in the near future, Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique has these tips to make sure your trip is as comfortable and stress free as possible for you and those that care about you.
1. Research and Plan Ahead
Whether you will travel with someone or solo, planning, reserving and confirming must be accomplished sooner rather than later. When the destination is resolved with target dates, research airlines, VIA Rail, buses, cruise lines. For air and land transportation, seek the most direct and shortest travel times.
If there is a choice of three airlines, for example, enroll in the no-cost frequent flier program for each. This should give you access to the lowest fares and possible benefits at the airport and aboard the flight, as well as for requesting special services.
Know that once very common, most senior discount fares are history except for Southwest Airlines and VIA Rail. To find other senior-special offers, go online to SmarterTravel.com.
2. Request and Reserve Special Services
Request seat assignment in the rows designated for disabled travelers. And, importantly, request cost-free wheelchair service at every airport origination, connection and arrival location. If there is meal service aboard, advise the reservation system of any dietary needs.
If traveling alone, ensure you will have human assistance from the counter, through security, to the gate and then to aboard the aircraft. If staffed by an airline employee, there is no cost for wheelchair or assistance. If staffed by Red Cap-type personnel, you will be expected to tip for that assist. If you are traveling with someone, you can offer to handle the wheelchair.
If you don’t make and confirm all of these requests at the time of reservation, the airline, train or bus line has no obligation to make them available on check-in or while en route.
3. Prepare Documentation
A government passport is accepted as the highest level of identification by federal TSA security officers. If you do not already have a passport, consider applying for such months prior to your travel. Your local post office will have the application forms; or you can go online to access the information and forms. Official photographs are available at CAA offices and at many large drug and department stores. Personal photos are not acceptable. Two copies of the photograph must be sent with your application.
Request copies of prescriptions and/or statements of medical conditions from each physician and medical treatment center.
Make at least four photocopy sets of the passport, driver’s license, health care and insurance cards, travel tickets and itinerary, boarding pass (if secured in advance online), plus any physician prescriptions and/or statements. One complete set is placed in your hand-carry bag, another in his or her roll-aboard luggage. One set is forwarded to family at the arrival destination, and one is left at home.
Take a telephone calling card or cellphone so that you can maintain contact. Program in your telephone number as the first emergency number.
4. Be Practical When Packing
Pack light. For a person traveling with at least some limitation, aim to pack everything necessary in a roll-aboard suitcase plus a medium-size over-the-shoulder carry-on. Do not check the roll-aboard as luggage, as in-cabin flight staff will gladly stash it in the overhead rack. Such will save a lot of time at the final destination airport.
All prescription and over-the-counter medications should be placed in a one quart zip-lock freezer bag, including also copies of any prescriptions and/or physician statements in the hand-carry bag. Enclose also any medical appliances such as extra braces or first-aid needs. If you are toting gifts to relatives, do not wrap them. Place the items in the roll-aboard luggage.
5. Think about Safety, Security and Comfort
You should always be aware of your surroundings and, particularly, in high-traffic travel centers. Don’t give anyone any opportunity to take an unattended bag or item, but not being aware of who may be targeting you.
Try not to carry valuables or documents in a purse but, instead a money belt worn under a blouse or a neat Passage Wallet hidden under her coat by a neck cord. Men should not carry a wallet in his back pocket but, instead, the same Passage Wallet from the neck cord or as a hidden wallet tucked into his pants and secured by a cord to his belt.
If traveling alone, always to keep their carry-on between their feet when standing, or with the shoulder strap looped around the leg of a chair when seated.
For comfort, consider the purchase of a travel pillow, a c-shaped balloon that supports the neck and head when resting aboard transportation. Dress in layers and prepare for the weather at your destination. If it is a cold climate, carry on a warm jacket and accessories. If it is hot and humid, wear clothes that can be taken off when you arrive.
6. Use a Travel Agent when planning a trip
Use a travel agent whenever you can. Most travel agents will book your hotel, resort, tour or cruise without charging a fee. They may charge a small fee for booking air travel or a complicated trip. Check for the charges upfront.
7. Purchase Travel Insurance
Make sure that you have adequate out of province medical insurance coverage. In Canada, many provincial health programs have limits on the coverage that is covered when traveling out of the province. The cost of medical services, especially in the US can be extremely high and emergency evacuation can be more than most people can afford. Consult a travel insurance expert if you are unsure of your situation. Most travel agencies are certified to sell travel insurance and are trained to advise you about the appropriate coverage for your trip.
Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique is a Mississauga, Etobicoke, Brampton, Toronto area based cruise travel agency serving clients anywhere in Canada and the USA focused on river and ocean cruises, luxury resort and hotels, custom tours, beach vacations and specialty travel for groups and individuals as well as accessible travel for persons with physical disabilities. Cruise Holidays | Luxury Travel Boutique can be reached at 905-602-6566, 5160 Explorer Drives, Suite 38, Mississauga. email: [email protected], TICO# 50020180