Senior Citizens Traveling Advice – Part Two

Lug Puddle Jumper Overnight/Gym Bag

Driving around town to accomplish errands may be one small challenge, but how do you feel about being alone in your vehicle for 30 or 300 miles? Regardless of the distance you are driving, the suggestions in Part 1 are critical. Once these are in place, you should feel more confident and be ready to review and prepare for longer trips alone – if that is your choice.

There is a point when we, as seniors, should/must not drive. Then alternative travel arrangements can be made. You may think about asking a friend to drive and enjoy the adventure, take a bus, train or plane to visit relatives, or hire a driver. It may be time for family to visit you rather than your taking risks to drive and see them.

Giving up the privilege and freedom of driving is most difficult. But it is a matter that we should seriously think about and address. A good friend or two, and/or perhaps several family members, should know that you are aware of our slower response time and the reality that, at some point, other arrangements will need to be made. I have some of these in place so that one or two people will tell me if they notice driving dangers on my part, and tell me! I surely do not want friends, neighbors or family knowing, but simply talking about it behind my back. If I am not a good driver, then I am dangerous on the road –for myself and others! Say so!

However, let’s assume skills are fine, and a trip alone is on the agenda. You may want to explore interesting towns or historic locations within a hundred mile radius of your home. You may need to plan two or three days of travel to reach a more distant location. Here is my list of Betty’s Rules for the Road from my article, “Make It An Adventure”, Southern Distinction Magazine, March, 2006:

Make reservations and stay in reputable hotels/motels.

Pack one suitcase for ease at overnight accommodations.

Allow an extra hour or two for unexpected interruptions in your plans.

Take a cell phone for emergency use and don’t forget to charge it!



Have some cash—especially ones and change to cover toll roads or fees.

Follow the posted speed limit. Don’t waste your fun money on a ticket!

Step for rest, food, and gas only where there are other people.

Drive five or six hours maximum each day; stop to stretch every couple of hours.

Travel in daylight hours.

Make it an Adventure! Anticipate, Observe, Interact, Grow, Enjoy.


Betty DeLorme

About jta

South Carolina grandmother who loves to write, dance, and visit with friends and family.
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