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Why should George Clooney have all the fun? Senior traveller holiday tips
These days world travel is not simply the preserve of the Hollywood jetset. But if you, and/or your parents feel like taking a trip abroad, the choice can be daunting.
Your holiday destination will be dictated by your budget, health and sense of adventure. So at Budget Direct Insurance we’re covering all the bases. Here are suggestions for a weekend mini break, the holiday of a lifetime and the relaxed getaway. Happy holidays!
1. Relaxed getaway
Take a cruise
Singapore is one of the best places in the world to sail off into the sunset. Multiple cruise companies operate out of Singapore. Some of the best locations to head for include Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, Bali, Phuket, Langkawi, Port Blair or Ha Long Bay. Part of the fun of cruising is exploring the boat, so make sure you pick the right one. Look at the facilities on offer and whether dining is relaxed or formal. Many boats offer shows, concerts, casinos and fancy restaurants, or you may want to just relax on deck and watch the world go by.
2. Weekend mini break
HK is one of the most populated cities in the world but is a great place to visit for the more senior traveller. Pick up a Senior Octopus Card at the airport and get discounts all over town together with cheap travel on the buses - one of the best and most enjoyable ways to get around. Trams, the MTR and taxis are all very cheap. Most museums like the HK Museum of Teaware or the HK Museum of Art are free or very reasonable.
Travel up to the Peak either by bus (15) or tram and The Peak Tower Sky Terrace offers a discount at age 65. HK is probably the best city in Asia for wheelchair accessibility, and around half the buses have a wheelchair lift. There’s also a special "65 and Older" gate at HK airport that will whisk you through faster than the regular gate. Wheelchairs are also free at the airport.
Several reasonably priced flights a day leave Changi for Phuket, in a couple of hours you’ll be on that beautiful Thai island with white sand between your toes! Accommodation is good value with plenty of choice, as well as cheap massage, hairstyling and personal grooming. The best time to go is December to March, when the weather isn’t so humid, and there’s a cool breeze. Avoid the rainy season of September to October. The best way to get around is by private taxi; get your hotel to recommend a driver. Many senior travellers recommend the Kata Beach Resort; it’s flat, near the beach with good shopping and restaurants nearby. Thai people have great respect for society’s seniors and you’ll be treated to their famous hospitality!
Step back in time
Discover a period of Singapore’s history from 1826 to 1942 as part of the Straits Settlements. Visit Malacca on the west coast of Malaysia. Penang was also part of the Straits Settlements, another great place for a short trip. Malacca is a pretty town with weaving alleyways littered with small shops and historical buildings. Easy to walk around, and if you need refreshment you can always head to one of the many teahouses to sip tea the ‘proper’ way. Experience colonial charm at the Majestic Hotel, or historical ambience at the Baba House with it’s unique Baba and Nyonya decor. You can take a coach direct from Singapore at a reasonable cost and be in Malacca in around 4 hours.
3. Holiday of a lifetime
Europe – Rome
For the sheer number of historic sites in one city, great food and a pleasant climate (avoid the summer months of June, July and August) it has to be Rome. At one time the greatest and most powerful centre of civilisation in the world. Rome is for the mobile and you should be prepared to walk to get the most out of sights like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and The Vatican. Read up on what’s suitable for you, the Coliseum has a lift to save you walking up the many stairs, while the Roman Forum is hilly and has uneven pathways.
Asia – Xi’an
History and culture abound in the capital city of central China’s Shaanxi Province. Famed for the Terracotta Army - the thousands of life-size, hand-molded figures buried with China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. Xi'an was also home to the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties' ruling houses. If you are fit and up for it, you can cycle 14 kilometres on top of the old city wall for incredible views. Bikes and tandems can be rented, but if you prefer to take it easy there are also electric cars to hire. Escorted tours to Xi’an are popular, or don’t be afraid to go it alone. Avoid the winter months when the city is most polluted.
4. Remember to always carry on your trip
A copy of your insurance policy and the phone number of Budget Direct Insurance
Medical records and medication
Contact number for a family member or friend
Your hotel’s business card
Not too much money, and decrease the number of credit cards you carry
Wherever you go, whatever you do, remember it’s vital to have good Travel cover.
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