Winsett: Safety travel tips for seniors

Winsett: Safety travel tips for seniors

July 14th, 2017 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Q. My parents are retired and enjoy travel. Their safety and security is always a concern while they travel. What tips may BBB provide?

A. Retirement should be a celebration of the conclusion of a successful career and the raising of a family and afford retirees more time to spend with family and loved ones.

Travel is often a desirable way for retirees to spend these golden years, but it can be stressful due to financial and health considerations. Better Business Bureau reminds seniors that with appropriate planning the stress may be minimal.

Whether you enjoy the mountains, the bright lights of big cities, the beach, historic sites, cruises or traveling abroad, the possibilities are endless. With a little planning and determination, enjoyable and safe vacations are obtainable.

BBB offers the following tips for retirees to enjoy travel:

  •  A small budget does not mean travel is out of the question after retirement. There are travel locations and options when you are on a tighter budget. One suggestion; retirees with flexible time, can travel off-season to avoid peak prices. Family-operated businesses can help with saving money as well as staying away from tourist traps. Try out a trip calculator to help determine how much you need for your trip and plan accordingly.
  •  Start With Trust®. Check out accredited travel agencies at Senior tour groups are a good option when traveling. They are a great way to make new friends and see new places. During your vacation with a tour group, you will have plenty of time to sight-see, shop, and explore without having to plan your trip yourself. Tour groups also plan your itinerary with the best things to do in the area you are visiting.
  •  Knowing what to pack, and what not to, is half of the battle when traveling. Use a checklist to make sure nothing is forgotten. Along with clothing, don't forget other essentials, including medications. Expensive unnecessary jewelry, handbags, electronics and other items should be left at home. Exceptions may be a smart phone, camera and wedding band.
  •  Let family or friends know your full itinerary; when and where you are traveling, including arrival and departure dates. It is also a good idea to scan travel documents in case they are lost or stolen. Hide money in different spots around your person to ensure that pickpockets or criminals are unable to take everything by stealing a purse or wallet.
  •  The "buddy system" is a good tool to keep you safe on your trip because being alone while you travel can make you vulnerable to accidents, theft or worse. You should consider traveling with at least one other person. A tour group is an answer to that option if you don't have anyone else to join you on the vacation.
  •  Be aware of surroundings. It can be easy to get swept up in the excitement of visiting a new place, as the culture and the sights can be very distracting. Remember that safety comes through awareness of surroundings. Never leave tour groups outside resort areas and always use tour buses or hotel vans for transportation rather than local taxis to stay safe.

Travel insurance is an option to consider for vacations. Travel insurance is good protection for a wide variety of things on your trip. If required, reimbursement of lost luggage, delayed air travel, or getting your money back if you become ill in the middle of the trip and return home. When looking at the types of travel insurance available; read the fine print carefully. Be sure to bring the travel insurance information on your trip so you have all the information available if a claim is necessary.

Visit to view consumer and business tips.

Jim Winsett is president of the Better Business Bureau in Chattanooga.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315