Delicious food. Amazing vistas. Cultural exploration. Relaxing or thrill-seeking. New experiences. Life-changing accomplishments. Bucket list goals. Eye-opening and mind-expanding. Yes, there is nothing quite like travel. The gift and beauty of travel is that it allows us to open our eyes, hearts, minds, and souls to brand-new experiences and people. Travel allows us to push our boundaries, learn new skills, follow passions, and fulfill long-held dreams. Whether your ideal travel experience is a round-the-world cruise, a hike to the Everest base camp, or a week at a yoga retreat – there is something for everyone. And we want you to follow through on your travel goals, don’t let joint or mobility issues hold you back. There are no limits on the travel you do, just personal adjustments that make it possible for you to get the most out of your trip and your life. Summer is right around the corner, and all of us at SierraSil have got the travel bug. We want you to feel the same. We want you to remember that age, mobility, and joint health are not barriers on where you can go and what you can do. With a little bit of planning and honest assessment of your well-being, you can have the vacation experience you’ve always wanted. Make this the summer that you see the pyramids in Egypt, eat at a Michelin four-star restaurant in France, or take a cruise down the Danube. This is your summer and we’ve got some smart travel tips to help you make the most of your travel plans. Research Your Travel Plans While it could be exciting to throw a change of clothes in a backpack, hop on a plane, and follow your wanderlust, it could also be downright disastrous. Even for the most care-free and fluid vacation, you need to do some research and planning. Whether you like to plan and book every detail in advance or prefer to have a wide-open itinerary, it is possible to find the right balance in travel research and preparation. Think about where you want to go, who you’re travelling with, and why you want to go on this trip. These three keys can help guide your research and make travel plans that contribute to a successful experience. Think of things like hotels, dining out, getting around by car, train, foot, etc., organized tours, and the key places you want to visit in your destination. If you’re planning on driving around Europe for a few months, look into short-term car lease options. If you’re booking a cruise, research the excursion options and different pricing structures. Remember Your Health Your age, your health, and your mobility are not barriers when it comes to travel. Just as you did when you traveled with young children or embarked on a solo backpacking trip after college, you made adjustments that meshed with your abilities and needs. This same honest assessment of your abilities, health, and needs doesn’t change. Know what your body is able to do, assess your comfort level with new experiences, and be ready to make changes when necessary. Think about the health and mobility of your joints. Do you have lingering knee discomfort or sore hips? Now think about what it would feel like to go on a month-long walking trip around Spain. You can still go on this vacation, you just need to make adjustments that ensure your joint health is not compromised. Maybe you shorten the trip, take more rest days, or book with a touring group that is tailored to senior travelers. The best piece of advice we can give for travel (and it holds true for day-to-day life) is to be honest about your health. There is no rule saying where you can go and how you travel, there is just smart common sense about what you can do. Remember, travel is supposed to be enjoyable, so don’t put yourself in a situation where your overall health and mobility is compromised. Remember the Details Travel isn’t what it used to be. Now, with the Internet, you can virtually travel anywhere in the world. Yes, without leaving your living room, you can see what the street looks like in front of the hotel you’re thinking of booking or get all the details you need on the latest exhibition at The British Museum. These details can and do make travel easier and more relaxing. For example, if you’re booking a cruise, talk to your friends, read review sites, Google the cruise company, learn about the various ports – do some digging to make sure this is the right trip for you. As well, think about details such as currency, your debit and credit cards (make sure they’ll work wherever you plan on visiting), your smartphone and an affordable roaming/travel plan, your medication needs should you run out, travel insurance details, and local driving permit requirements. Remember to Follow Your Heart Most of all, we want you to have a fantastic travel experience. As we’ve stated above, there is nothing you can’t do – you just need to do it in the way that makes the best sense for you. If you have always wanted to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, rather than doing the entire 2,650 miles, break into small chunks that you can do over the course of a year. What we’re saying here is this: yes, please go on that vacation. Enjoy everything this amazing world has to offer. Come back and tell us about your travel experiences and tips on the SierraSil Facebook community page.