Travel light, take it easy
A GOOD travel trip can mean various different things to different people.
Some senior citizens prefer adventure, others want to shop and some just want to spend time with family and friends.
For retiree Kenny Khaw, 66, a good trip is one which does not leave him exhausted at the end. Being a keen photographer, he also prefers not to be rushed through the trip as he would like to spend time taking photos.
Khaw, who usually travels with his wife and her brothers, prefers western countries because of the cool weather.
His love for travelling has to do with “seeing different places and people, and experiencing their food and culture”.
He only started travelling after retirement and so far he has been to Indonesia (Bali, Medan and Jakarta), various parts of China, Thailand (Chiangmai, Hat Yai and Bangkok), England, Wales, Scotland, France, Italy, Germany, India and South Korea.
“I prefer to take it easy. I like to space out my visits and not rush to see everything in one go. Cities are more or less the same with lots of high rise buildings, people and more people and heavy traffic, so I prefer to go out of town, especially to villages.
“I would say the slow travel along the backwaters of Kerala, India, was the best trip for me. There were six of us staying in a houseboat with three air-conditioned rooms, four meals a day and served day and night by a crew of five. This can be considered a luxury trip!” says Khaw via email from London.
Even for a seasoned traveller, he still finds long flights can be scary especially if transits are involved.
He relates his trip to England in 2013 where he flew to Singapore to catch an Air France flight to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and then take a connecting flight to London.
“Having heard that the Charles de Gaulle Airport is huge and complicated, I searched the Internet for the details of the airport and printed out the layout map of the arrival and departure terminals. I also researched the various checkpoints for baggage and immigration and the time needed to go through the whole process.
“Because of the anxiety of travelling there, which took more than 30 hours, I did not feel jetlagged. Anyway, I’m lucky not to be bogged down by jetlag which can last up to two or three days,” he says.
3Age gets some tips from Khaw about travelling:
What to research
Check the weather, currency and costs before visiting a country.
What to pack
Depending on your state of health and the countries you visit, it is important to ensure you have all the right medication for the trip.
Khaw normally packs medications which he takes regularly like vitamins and painkillers. As a precaution, he would also bring along medication for diarrhoea and flu, cough and cold, which could ruin a trip.
He prefers to travel light and does not overpack his bags. This makes it easier to handle the baggage and there is less chance of hurting himself with heavy baggage.
It is important for seniors to know if they can easily obtain the things they need for their health at their destination. Important medication must not be forgotten.
Who to travel with
Khaw’s preference is to travel with others of the same age. “The ideas and interests of younger people can be very different from seniors,” he says.
Health should always be a priority to seniors when travelling.
“Please remember that being sick while travelling is no fun. For those starting now, I suggest they visit nearby destinations before going for long distance travel,” advises Khaw.
To read about his travels, go to Kenny’s Thoughts and Travel.