As we age, our must-have items when traveling change considerably from what we would bring with us on vacation when we were much younger. Let’s be honest—gone are the days when we would go on a trip without a smartphone or a charger.
In fact, in the past, we needed nothing more than a good book, a tube of sunscreen, and a paper map to enjoy our vacation. Nowadays, however, low-key essentials and user-friendly travel gadgets can make travel to domestic and international destinations more immersive, fun, and gratifying.
Yet with the abundance of helpful accessories these days, it’s difficult to figure out what to pack and what not. So, to help your next vacation be your best one yet, we’ve made a list of some of the best travel items for seniors. Check this out!
1. Smart Phone, Apps, and Accessories
Like it or not, your smartphone is the key to having a lovely and carefree trip. Small enough to easily fit in your purse, pocket, or money belt, your phone acts as a map, ticket, boarding pass, video recorder, translator, map, and more.
Take pictures and videos and send them instantly to your loved ones on the other side of the country or the world. Seamlessly confirm reservations or check in for your flight. Navigate public transportation, find hidden gems, and look up historical facts.
You can also boost the utility of your smartphone by downloading travel apps for public transit, airline check-in, and translation, just to name a few.
Remember: Your phone is a powerful travel item, but it’s useless if the battery dies. Make sure you plug it into a charger overnight so you’ll have it fully charged at the start of the day. It’s also recommended to have a portable power bank in your purse or bag for backup battery life. This handy travel item can be a lifesaver on those days when you use your smartphone a lot.
2. Power Adapter/Outlet Converter
Another travel item you should pack in your bag is a power adapter or converter (depending on where you’re going). These travel accessories will allow you to use your gadgets in foreign countries that operate on different voltage systems and use different outlet shapes.
A power adapter is an external battery you attach to the plug of your electronics so it can fit into a foreign power socket. We highly recommend this travel item because it can be used in every place in the world.
A converter allows you to control the power flow so you can safely use your electronic devices. In the US, we use a 110-volt system. Now, if you’re traveling to a country that uses a 220V system (which is basically most of the world besides Central and North America and Japan), you’ll want to pack a converter.
Nevertheless, it’s recommendable to check the specifications of your electronics since many will work properly on 220V and 110V systems and only need a power adapter.
Printed books are obviously irreplaceable, no matter how awesome the idea of having hundreds of ebooks downloaded on a single device may be. Nothing compares with the feeling of having a book in your hands, underlining the phrases you like the most, and turning the pages.
However, we have to admit that sometimes it is easier to have an e-reader with you than a printed book. These lightweight, compact gadgets let you explore the world with a virtually endless library of books at your fingertips. These high-tech yet easy-to-use tablets can store thousands of literary works, newspapers, and magazines, which means you no longer need to worry about which novels will fit in your luggage.
Moreover, you can easily adjust the screen brightness and font size, meaning every book instantly becomes easier to read!
4. Neck Pillow
We all know that an airplane isn’t the most comfortable place to take a nap. From memory foam to neck “swaddles,” today’s neck pillows have come a long way, and we cannot but be happy about it. Not only are they more packable and travel-friendly, but they are also more ergonomic.
High-quality neck pillows nowadays are designed to better support your neck, head, and spine during long journeys, especially those by plane, when you may need to take a nap in an upright position. These travel items are definitely life-changing; they help support a good posture to reduce discomfort, strain, and tightness as you make your way to your destination.
5. Pill Organizer
Just as packing cubes help you arrange and sort your clothes, a pill organizer is a great travel item that helps you manage the multiple medications you need to take each day. Better yet, it’s a convenient way to make sure you won’t run out of medication while you’re on vacation.
This travel item is also a great visual method to remind you whether you’ve taken your pills, which, let’s be honest, can be easy to forget when you’re traveling to a new time zone and jetlag kicks in.
Here’s an extra piece of advice: pack a copy of your prescriptions along with your travel documents in case your pills get lost.
6. Neck Pouches or Money Belt
Are you about to go on vacation and you are still unsure how to ensure your cash, credit cards, and passport stay safe? Two of the most common travel items that can be used to keep your valuables safe on the road are a neck pouch and a money belt.
Money belts are ideal if you’re OK with wearing something around your waist. This way, you’ll make sure your valuables are right under your nose. To get the most out of it, wear your money belt underneath your clothing.
A neck pouch is another anti-theft travel item that can help you feel safer knowing your valuables are secure. It has a pretty similar design to a money belt, except that it hangs from a lanyard or chain around your neck instead of a strap that goes around your waist. As with the money belt, it is recommended to use your neck wallet underneath your clothing to ensure you stay out of sight of pickpockets.
7. Compression Socks
They may not be the most exciting travel items to have with you while traveling, but a good pair of compression socks will do wonders if you have blood circulation issues. Moreover, they come with several benefits that range from serious medical prevention to comfort and cosmetic factors.
While medical experts agree that compression socks aren’t absolutely vital for those with no prior medical conditions, these travel items are still considered helpful for anyone hoping to make flights a more comfortable experience.
Easily packable in your bag, we recommend wearing a pair on road trips, plane flights, and long train or bus rides.
8. Eye Mask
Finally, the last travel item you may want to have with you while traveling is an eye mask. Some people won’t even go on a flight without having eye masks with them.
They block out light, which helps you fall asleep and stay asleep regardless of where you are. They are especially great in travel situations where there’s artificial light, like on airplanes and trains. Moreover, they are also helpful if your hotel room doesn’t have blackout curtains and you want to catch up on sleep during the day.
You may also want to read 9 Must-Have Appliances EVERY Senior Should Have at Home.