Over 70s guide to travel - Italy

11:38AM 23/01/2013

over 70's travel guide to Italy

After retirement, many people plan to spend much of their time travelling. In the past, time constraints due to work, and the financial commitments of raising a family may have hindered travelling opportunities, so once you are free of these limitations, travel seems like an extremely attractive proposition.

Why is Italy popular with over-70s?

Italy is a very popular travel destination for over-70s. Just a short-haul journey away, it is easily accessible, and has a lovely warm climate. It sounds clichéd, but with Italy there really is something for everyone. Travellers can choose between basking on its gorgeous golden sands, taking a rural cottage and enjoying the wild Italian countryside, or visiting one of its cultural cities, where there are plenty of things to do and see.

We spoke to Sean Tipton, media relations manager at ABTA - The Travel Association, about the appeal of Italy for over 70s.

He explained that a beach holiday tends to be a bit old hat for this age group, who will want to do more cultural things. "They enjoy coach tours and Italy has led the way on that – particularly in the north with the lakes," he added, saying this makes Italy "particularly appealing".

What to remember when travelling to Italy

Sean explained that the number one thing older people need to remember when travelling to Italy is to get a good travel insurance policy, as well as a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

He explained that the EHIC "makes European destinations attractive." This card entitles people travelling within Europe to the level of medical care that nationals of that country would receive. While it is important to pick up one of these cards before you jet off, it is definitely an accompaniment to travel insurance rather than a replacement.

While it is essential for people of all ages to take out travel insurance, the expert explained: "If you are over a certain age then it is extremely important that you do take out insurance for a number of different issues. When you do, always disclose pre-existing medical conditions.

"It can be tempting not to do so once you get past a certain age purely because premiums do increase."

However, Mr Tipton added that it is not all bad when it comes to over-70s and insurance. "Insurance companies are more sympathetic than they used to be," he said.

"They have said to us that they are making more of an effort to approach individuals on a case-by-case basis. It is still incredibly important that you do consider that carefully before you travel."

As well as the EHIC and travel insurance, there are a number of other measures over-70s can take to make their holiday go more smoothly.

For example, while some people of this age will still be very active, if you have mobility issues it can be a good idea to check out your accommodation on the internet and speak to a good travel agent before you get there. Not only will this make you more familiar with the area before you arrive, which is always handy, it will also help you to select accommodation suitable for your requirements.

Deep vein thrombosis and blood clots are always a worry with people who are flying, but there are measures you can take to combat this. Staying hydrated at all times, avoiding any alcohol during the flight, and using compression stockings can all help you to keep healthy at 30,000ft.

Furthermore, Italy has an extremely hot climate and it is easy to overheat. Taking a large sunhat to shade the face, applying plenty of sun cream, using a handheld fan and drinking plenty of water will help you to avoid getting sunburn, sunstroke or overheating and will ensure you enjoy your holiday to the full.

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