It is a fact well known that elderly persons provide a large market for the travel industry globally. This can be attributed to a variety of contributory factors key of them been the availability of time to take vacations and capital thanks to solid pension schemes in developed countries which improves pensioners’ financial independence and purchasing power considering that travel is not a cheap venture. However the likelihood of seniors to travel more than the younger generation cannot only be attributed to the availability of time and money alone. . Old age is characterized of numerous physical as well as mental health and psychological challenges. Scientific research has proved that travel brings with it numerous health benefits to this class of persons.
PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS
Travel and travel related activities involve numerous bodily movements. A walk through the park, the museum, historical sites, a swim in the warm ocean waters at a scenic beach, a late evening dance to some nice, slow, soft and soothing music provide the much needed exercise consequently contributing to the much needed bodily fitness.
MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS
A large percentage of persons within this class are retirees. Persons no longer engaged in active service. As such they spend most of their time idle resulting to reduced brain activity which is a major predisposing factor to mental conditions such as dementia. Viewing new sceneries and engaging tour guides while on travel to learn more increases their brain activity. Most of them are also subjected to loneliness in the event they happen to lack proper social and emotional support. This leads to depression and other related psychological conditions. Travelling exposes them to new life experiences and encounters hence reducing the chances of being lonely.
Elderly travel though advised should be precautionary. Pre-travel research and preparation is paramount. Visit your doctor for advice before travel, get the necessary prescriptions and travel insurance. Subscribe to activities that your state of health can accommodate to avoid injuries and always keep in touch with your relatives in case of an emergency.
Travel industry players benefit as much as the elderly creating a mutually beneficial relationship. As such ‘prey like capitalization’ such as asking them to pay more for travel insurance is quite regrettable and should be discouraged. Stakeholders need to be supportive and more accommodative. Tomorrow belongs to no one and since we might be beneficiaries of the same industry in future, it’s only prudent that we change it for the better today.