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Senior Traveler’s Checklist

In addition to getting a passport, there are certain steps that all older travelers must take when going abroad to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. By following the few simple senior travel tips below, your loved one and you will be ready for an exciting and rewarding journey.

The first step is to have a valid passport, review the New Passport page for instructions.

Verify Visa Requirements

The first step that senior travelers must take when going abroad is to look into the immigration and residency laws of the country to which they are traveling. Not all countries have the same requirements. Some areas will ask US citizens to provide a visa in order to gain entrance, while others do not. Senior travel groups are recommended to check with the Department of State for specific information about their destination. Learn more in the Travel Visa section

Adjust Your Finances

Money is important when traveling. You want to make sure that you have enough money to budget any activity that interests you. Obtaining senior travel discounts through a travel agency is one way to manage your finances. Older travelers are also encouraged to review exchange rates between the US dollar and other currencies to better organize the finances of the trip.

Familiarize Yourself with Local Laws

Whether it is real estate or another type of local law, it is recommended that all senior travelers learn the rules and regulations of their destination. Consult your US lawyer or get in touch with the United States Embassy or Consulate to access the index of English-speaking lawyers available in the country you are traveling to. When it comes to travel for seniors, it is especially important that you familiarize yourself with personal liberties, traffic laws and the nation’s requirements for licensing.

Look Into the Cost of Medical Care

Travelers and senior travel companions must remember that Medicare does not cover healthcare abroad. For that reason, get to know the health system of the country you are preparing to visit. Look into eligibility for high-quality programs as a tourist before leaving the US to avoid any issues. Older travelers should also keep in mind that some countries come with unique health concerns, such as pollution in the air, higher altitudes and or poor water resources. US seniors are encouraged to read up on their country of travel beforehand, and even speak to their medical provider.

Remember Your Eligibilities

It is important that senior travelers consider their responsibilities and benefits back home before relocating to a new country. For instance, even if you decide to retire in another country, American citizens are still required to pay taxes. The US does have tax treaties with numerous nations concerning double taxation, but you will still be asked to fill out a tax return in both countries. In addition, senior travel groups who fulfill their responsibilities as citizens of the US still have the opportunity to vote absentee when living abroad, for federal and possibly state and local offices.

Be Ready for Emergencies

All senior travelers are advised to write down the information of their emergency contact on their new passport. Additionally, leave friends and family members with a copy of your passport biography page and your contact information.  Checking in with your whereabouts will be easier this way. It is also an excellent idea to have the contact information of a nearby US Embassy or Consulate when traveling with senior travel companion.

Use STEP

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which is a service provided by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, is an excellent solution for senior citizen travel.  Enrolling in the program gives personal information to the Department of State at a US Consulate or Embassy, which will contact you, your friends or family in the event of an emergency.