Travelling in comfort is so important in these days of bustling airports and high security. This is especially true for the over 50s when travel comfort is a greater consideration than budget. If, like me, you suffer from back problems, the thought of sitting on a plane for hours and struggling through airports with heavy luggage does not fill you with joy! Here are our top tips for getting the most relaxing holiday ever.
1. Arrive at the airport in style
Be chauffeur driven to the airport in a luxury executive vehicle or use the airport's valet parking service. You will arrive at the airport relaxed and stress-free.
2. Send your luggage ahead
Use a service to handle your baggage so you don't have to lug it around at the airport. For example Airportr can pick up your luggage from home so you can pick it up on arrival at your destination.
3. Upgrade your flight
Treat yourself to a more luxurious flight experience. With more legroom, complimentary drinks, seats that turn into flat beds and many other services, a flight upgrade is well worth splashing the cash for. Better still, make sure you are a member of an airline loyalty club, like the award winning American Airlines Advantage club. Business and first class cabins tend to be quieter than economy too, improving the chances of getting some restful sleep. Arrive more rested and refreshed with a flight upgrade - you know you're worth it!
4. Stay in quality accommodation
To ensure a relaxing stay it is important to book top class hotels, villas and guesthouses. Properties should be a blend of comfort, style, great service and value for money. Be sure to do your research on review sites, or have your travel consultant recommend the very best for your budget. Sometimes it can be worth splashing out for the best but it is always worth getting personal recommendations.
5. Use a concierge service
This could be provided by your travel consultant, your hotels, airlines, or a specialist supplier. Find out more about the services provided in this Travel Weekly article. The services offered vary wildly from obtaining tickets for shows, excursions, ferries, etc, to access to exclusive members-only events and services, such as cocktail parties and private yachts. They can even arrange to have your luggage unpacked/packed. Using a concierge can certainly take your holiday experience up a notch.
6. Visit a spa
For total relaxation you can do no better than visit a spa. If staying at a hotel with a spa it is likely that access to the facilities is included in your room price. Treatments will always be additional unless you have pre-booked it as part of your travel package. Spas come in many guises but they all have one thing in common, after a visit you feel fabulous. Should your accommodation not incorporate spa facilities then the reception desk can usually furnish you with details of a local spa. Alternatively your concierge service can certainly book a visit for you.
7. Try a yoga retreat
If you are looking to completely switch off from the hustle and bustle of daily life, check yourself into a yoga retreat. Escapes are from as little as a day and offer a truly holistic experience. Most retreats offer other activities that complement yoga, such as swimming, massage, walking and getting in tune with the surrounding nature. After your peaceful retreat you are sure to come back to everyday life with renewed vigour and optimism.
8. Book a private guide
Unless you are on a group tour with a tour manager to arrange the logistics of your holiday, you may wish to hire a private guide. Not only do you get local expertise as you travel around but it can give you peace of mind in an unfamiliar country. This takes the strain of planning your journey from your shoulders as your guide will take care of all the details to ensure you have an excellent trip.
9. Eat great food
On holiday you want to experience the local culture of your destination. This includes trying the cuisine of the region. Don't just stay in the hotel restaurant, no matter how good the food is, you will miss out on one of the reasons you travel! Ask the hotel reception for recommendations or do some research on the internet to find out the best local eateries. You can even enroll on a cooking class to learn how to make your favourite local delicacies to enjoy at home. If this doesn't appeal you could always take a food tour instead.
10. Wear comfortable clothing
It sounds obvious but it really is important to wear comfy clothes on holiday, especially for travelling. On planes particularly you should wear loose clothing and shoes (ideally wear slippers or socks during the flight so your feet are not constricted). Scheduled airlines, especially if you have upgraded, will generally provide socks, blankets, eye masks and so on to add to your onboard comfort. Otherwise don't forget to pack these essentials. When in your destination be sure to dress appropriately for the climate and local customs.
Don't forget, if you have any mobility difficulties you can book airport assistance in advance. This can be done via your travel agent or direct with the airport (check out their website for details). For inbound journeys you cannot book in advance so will need to arrange this with the airline prior to your homeward journey. If you are on a Tasteful Travel tour you will be able to do this via your tour manager.
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