Exploring Europe: Top Tips for Travellers Over 50

50 is the new 40. And Europe is the new… well, actually, Europe is timeless!

If you think the continent is a playground for 20-something travellers, think again. Far from being crowded with boisterous youngsters, Europe is one of the most popular destinations in the world for mature-aged travellers. To help you have the ultimate adventure, take these tips for travellers over 50 into consideration.

1. Take an Escorted Tour

Travelling on your own terms is all well and good when you’re fresh out of school and backpacking during a gap year. But trying to plan a proper European holiday can be exhausting – especially when you’re trying to organise a full itinerary between a full-time job and family commitments.

Rather than planning everything yourself, consider travelling with an escorted tour. With all the logistics taken care of, you’ll have more time to relax and immerse yourself in the culture of your destination. Being accompanied by an experienced tour guide also means you won’t have to worry about getting lost or missing out on a top attraction because you got on the wrong bus and ended up in the wrong town!

Escorted tours aren’t just easy to plan. They’re also safe, cost-effective, and a great opportunity to make friends. Depending on where you want to go, you’ll have lots of options when choosing an itinerary. Take a look at some of our tours to get inspired.

Albatross Travellers, in the Skye bar in Stresa Italy - courtesy of Helen Sheenan


2. Lighten the Load

Unless you want to risk throwing your back out in the middle of a foreign country, packing light is essential for mature-aged travellers. Having a small backpack for daytrips and a lightweight suitcase for the long haul will make touring Europe much easier. Walking the cobbled streets of a historical city is much more enjoyable when you don’t have an unnecessarily heavy bag weighing you down!
 

Mostar Street with Shops

Don’t know where to start in terms of cutting down on your travel essentials? Give the following tips a try:

  • Only take 1 pair of jeans. Denim is designed to be worn multiple times between washes, so one pair should be more than enough to see you through a few weeks in Europe.
  • Choose your luggage carefully. Many suitcases are now made from lightweight, durable materials, so replace that bulky old bag you’ve had for ages with a more modern option.
  • Be disciplined when packing. Lay out everything you plan to take on your trip, then reduce the amount of items by half.
     

3. Travel Insurance

People of all ages should get travel insurance before jetting off overseas, but it’s even more important for mature travellers. Regardless of how fit and healthy you feel, the reality is that you’re a little more vulnerable to illnesses and injuries. If your holiday gets interrupted by some kind of accident or health problem, you’ll be glad to have insurance.

Even though insurance can be a bit more expensive for travellers over 50, you simply can’t put a price on peace of mind. To avoid paying more than you have to, be sure to compare the costs of different insurance providers.


4. Prepare a Mini First-Aid Kit

Forgetting to pack important medications can happen to anyone, especially when you’re caught up in the excitement of travelling to Europe. Before you get on the plane, always check that you’ve packed every kind of medication that you might need during your trip. Whether it’s an over-the-counter painkiller or a prescription drug, forgetting to take your meds on holiday can be a huge hassle – not to mention the potential health impacts.

Weeks before your departure date, pay a visit to a doctor to ensure you’ve got enough medication to last for the duration of your tour. Stocking up before you leave for Europe means you won’t have to waste time visiting doctors and chemists while you’re overseas. Also be wary of price hikes; pharmaceutical prices can vary vastly from one country to the next, so a medication that costs $10 in Australia might be much more expensive in Europe.

Another great idea is to pack a letter from your doctor specifying your medications along with a copy of any current prescriptions. Store this separately from your medical supplies just in case they get lost – this will make it easier to replace them if necessary.

If you’re over 50 and ready for an unforgettable holiday, why not join us on a tour of Europe? With our small, personal tour groups and leisurely itineraries, Albatross Tours is a great option for mature travellers. For more information on which European countries we visit, please look at our Destinations page.


Albatross Travellers, people in Cison Di Valmarino, Italy - courtesy of Helen Sheehan