Seniors! Are you missing adventures, friends, festivities and sights? Do you hesitate and respond negatively because you must travel alone? Why? Let’s explore some great ideas that may make you feel more comfortable and confident when you have an opportunity to do something special or you “get a bee in your bonnet” to do something different!
Senior Driving Course: The AARP Course is a must! I recently participated in this class for the first time, and found it to be most helpful. With many great ways to be a better driver, it encourages awareness, provides great tips, and motivates us. An added benefit is a possible discount on your car insurance. Check this site: AARP Driver Safety Program
The Automobile: By all means, be sure to have a “trip check” so that your vehicle is in tip-top shape. We each should have a reliable mechanic to provide regular, good maintenance and to deter car problems around home or on the road. I have also found that a “clean and tidy car” makes for a happier/safer trip! Too, I keep a basket of basics in the car at all times. Fill the basket with such things as paper towels, window cleaner, air freshener, and other supplies you may want or need whenever you are in the car. Two final important hints: Wear your seatbelt and lock your car doors whenever you are driving!
Communication: We should never be on the road without a cell phone! My children insisted on it some years ago and I purchased the simplest one I could find. It was turned on/used only when I was traveling, but oh, what a sense of security it provided me. I could check in with them whenever I stopped along the way to give progress reports, and knew that if I had car trouble or a concern on the road, I had a way to get assistance quickly. I have learned more and invested in a better cell phone, but the process is the same.
Map File and Directions: A small, current assortment of maps is another basic for any driver. A map of your own city can be most helpful at times, and a good state map may be handy. Another plus is a small magnifying glass! Often street names and highway numbers are in very small print – hard for older eyes! When driving to a new location, even in town, specific, step by step written directions are essential. It has only taken me a few times of “Oh, I will remember that turn” to realize I needed the details with me because I forgot a major point! A clipboard with large print instructions can be placed on the seat beside you as a security reference if you need to stop and check details. And a GPS is a great tool for finding where you are going. Join the electronic age and learn to use a GPS system.
Now, the essentials for senior driving are fresh on your mind! Traveling Alone – Part 2 will be added soon to challenge you to explore further. In the meantime, investigate the above for your own safety as well as that of others. Enjoy the process!