Traveling light is the single best way to ensure an enjoyable and stress-free travel experience. Why is that? Here are five reasons why less is more, and I got this from Go Ahead Tours….a partner of ours and they are great.
1…It’s more secure
Packing less lets you avoid checking your luggage. By keeping your bag in your possession, you’re instantly protecting yourself against theft, damage or baggage handling mistakes by airlines.
2…You’ll save money
The less you pack, the more money you’ll save. You won’t have to pay porters to help with your luggage at hotels or the airport, and you’ll eliminate extra baggage charges. Packing light also makes it easier to travel on public transportation rather than in expensive cabs. If you pack light enough, you might even be able to walk (which is good exercise, too!).
3…You’ll be more flexible and mobile
Packing light allows for greater mobility. You won’t have to arrive at airports as early, and you’ll be among the first to leave the airport after your arrival while others wait at baggage claim.
4…It means more time to enjoy the moment
Traveling light is simply a better, more hassle-free way to go: you’ll expend less energy by not hauling a heavy bag with you, and you’ll spend less time searching through multiple bags to remember where you put that city map! With less to pack up at the end of your vacation, you can squeeze every last moment from your trip. Ultimately, you’ll spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your travels.
5…It’s good for the environment
Keeping your luggage light is an important part of traveling in an environmentally friendly way. The less you bring with you, the more you’re helping to preserve the Earth for others to enjoy it. Traveling light results in lower fossil fuel consumption and fewer vehicles required to move travelers and their baggage.
Many museums have elevators, and even if these are freight elevators not open to the public, the staff might bend the rules for older travelers. Take advantage of the benches in museums; sit down frequently to enjoy the art and rest your feet. Go late in the day for fewer crowds and cooler temperatures. Many museums offer loaner wheelchairs. Take bus tours (usually two hours long) for a painless overview of the highlights. Boat tours — of the harbor, river, lake, or fjord — are a pleasure. Hire an English-speaking cabbie to take you on a tour of a city or region (if it’s hot, spring for an air-conditioned taxi). Or participate in the life of local seniors, such as joining a tea dance at a senior center. If you’re traveling with others but need a rest break, set up a rendezvous point. Some find that one day of active sightseeing needs to be followed by a quiet day to recharge the batteries. For easy sightseeing, grab a table at a sidewalk café for a drink and people-watching.
Educational and Volunteer Opportunities
For a more meaningful cross-cultural experience, consider going on an educational tour such as those run by Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), which offers study programs around the world designed for those over 55.
Becoming a temporary part of the community can be particularly rewarding. Settle down and stay a while, doing side-trips if you choose. You can rent a house or apartment, or go a more affordable route and swap houses for a few weeks with someone in an area you’re interested in. If you’re considering retiring abroad, two good resources are the Living Abroad series (Moon Books), which offers a country-by-country look at the challenges and rewards of life overseas, and Expat This blog is part of my goal to inform travelers by those that are pros in the business. If you, or know of others, that have good thoughts about Senior Travel, or Cruise Ship traveling, or International travel in general…please let me know and I will get it out. And, for the events that can make your trip a “trip of a lifetime”…go to www.ronlargenttravel.com where you’ll find tips and resources for expatriates.