Originally published on Elderwellness.net by Karen Weeks
The chance to travel in your golden years is an incredible opportunity. You have more flexibility, more time, maybe even more patience. However, there’s a lot to consider and plan before you even set foot on the airplane. And if you’ve settled on the lifetime adventure of visiting Australia, it’s crucial to plan your trip carefully.
No matter how you look at it, a country as massive as Australia has a lot to take in and experience. Whether you fancy a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian Outback, or the majestic wonders of Sydney and its famed Opera House, the options are limitless. Rather than race to see everything, it might be more beneficial and fiscally advantageous to take your time and travel slowly through the Land Down Under.
For some, the definition of a successful vacation includes ticking off as many attractions as possible; for others, it could simply be a bucket list item to visit another land. One often overlooked aspect when racing through your itinerary is how exhausting it can be, leaving you more fatigued and stressed than before you left for the vacation; after all, a vacation should make you feel relaxed and recharged. To help provide a better balance of relaxation and fulfillment, adopt a style of slow travel by taking your time to absorb everything around you, rather than sprinting off to the next destination. This cathartic approach allows you to soak in the places you are visiting and better experience the culture and people around you.
Before You Begin
Before you head out on your exciting Australian adventure, it’s important to take steps to ensure that your vacation is as safe and enjoyable as possible. For example, it’s important to research the medical facilities in the area you’re visiting, just in case an emergency or accident occurs during your stay. Also, look into travel insurance that will cover you abroad, paying special attention to any pre-existing conditions you may have. While this might require some legwork on your part, taking care of your health is important, especially when you’re so far from home.
When to Travel
One of the benefits of being retired is that you can enjoy the option to travel when you want. This flexibility allows you to avoid visiting places during the expensive tourist season and paying a premium on airfare and lodging. The added benefit of off-season travel is that you’ll also avoid the large crowds and long lines that await at popular attractions you may want to visit. What’s more, climate is also worth considering, as the sweltering summers might be detrimental to your health.
Where to Stay
If you’re visiting for an extended period of time, you can look into renting an apartment or even trying a house swap. House swapping might be a cost-effective lodging option for those who have a permanent home that you’re open to letting other people use while you’re away. By staying in someone’s home, you’re able to explore your surroundings and build a more intimate connection with the location. Of course, if you wish to stay in a hotel, you’ll have plenty of options to explore. In fact, Tripadvisor breaks down some of the best hotels the country has to offer.
If you’re thinking about going on a long road trip Down Under, it might be worthwhile to explore the option of buying a vehicle instead of renting transportation. Doing so allows you to maximize your time without incurring daily rental or mileage fees. In a country that’s known for its expansiveness, you won’t have to stress over how long it may take to get from place to place. There are many services available that can help you find reasonably priced used cars, such as Gumtree. When you’re at the tail end of your journey, you can potentially recoup enough money back from selling your vehicle to make the short-term purchase worthwhile.
Sometimes, traveling with friends or family can be the most enjoyable way to go. You get the safety net of having someone to buddy up with while also making lasting memories together. If you have mobility issues, consider how far into the Outback it’s safe to travel, and do your research on the terrain and difficulty level of the journey.
Before you take flight, check with Medicare or your private health insurance plan for overseas coverage. Another option is to buy traveler’s insurance to keep you covered while you’re abroad. No matter where you’re staying, it’s always a good idea to locate the nearest medical centers in case of an accident.
At the heart of any country are its people and culture. In a country as diverse as Australia, you’ll want time to experience everything you can and to form a bond with the people you meet and the places you visit. You’ll find that by taking your time while driving across the continent, you’re not only less stressed than if you were racing through an itinerary, but you’ll have a more profound and beneficial experience.
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