Senior Train Travel – An Essential Packing List For The Elderly
The idea of travelling long-distance may be overwhelming to senior travellers since it requires a great amount of planning and preparation way ahead of time. In this article, we have listed a curated senior train travel packing list and travel tips that will allow seniors to relish a hassle-free holiday on the Deccan Odyssey.
12 Important Packing Tips For Seniors On Long-Distance Train Journeys
Senior Train Travel Tip #1: Use A Spinner Luggage
Spinner luggage are similar to trolleys with four wheels but requires lesser effort in moving your belongings around. Unlike the regular trolley bags, spinners stand upright and can be manoeuvred forward, backward and even sideways.
Spinner luggage are great for senior train travellers as they carry all the weight of your luggage with ease. This takes the pressure off your joints and wrists as it easily glides along with you in any direction. Also, once you board the Deccan Odyssey, you don’t have to move your luggage around. You can enjoy your holiday without having to worry about your carrying your luggage as the luxury train passes through different terrains of India.
Senior Train Travel Tip #2: Carry Your Medication Along
For senior train travellers coming from overseas, it is beneficial to bring your medicines in their original bottle cases or get a prescription letter along. A note of your doctor’s name and contact number along with an emergency prescription letter will be deeply appreciated. This helps in case you misplace or run out of medication while on the train.
But worry not, when that happens, the staff on the Deccan Odyssey hurry to the nearest available drug store and give them to you. The Deccan Odyssey also has a highly qualified doctor on-board, so don’t stress, you’re in safe hands.
Senior Train Travel Tip #3: Comfortable Walking Shoes
It is important to pack according to the places you’d be visiting; be it clothes, scarves, hats and even shoes. Always pack according to the season and the terrain that you’d be visiting. A good trip calls for comfortable walking shoes, which is why this the most important senior train travel tip. It is essential to wear comfortable shoes which are soft, lightweight and have flat bottoms with adequate padding to prevent bruising caused by frequent friction and avoid straining your feet on your luxury holiday. It is advisable to opt for fall-proof shoes for elderly people with balance problems. They come with a grip for the feet and have non-slip and shock absorbent soles to prevent fatal falls. Diabetic elders can also opt for spacious shoes with that are helpful for swelling feet during long hours of train travel. You may need a larger pair of shoes for the days when you have more swelling.
If you are unclear about the right shoes to buy, go to the nearest sport shoe outlet and check out what they recommend. The storekeepers will measure your feet as well as assess your gait to check whether you would best benefit from motion-control shoes or stability shoes. They may also have heat-moulded insoles that you are sure to benefit from. The best time to enter these stores would be later in the day when you sense a bit of swelling in your feet and buy the right shoes to find comfort in.
Senior Train Travel Tip #4: Compression Stockings
Compression stockings help reduce swelling while you sit for long periods of time. The Deccan Odyssey has comfortable beds equipped with memory foam mattress to rest while you travel. So sitting up for long durations shouldn’t be much of a worry. Although, it’s always advisable for senior travellers to carry ample amount of knee-high stockings to prevent possible discomfort.
Compression stockings generate pressure at the ankle, gradually reducing pressure as the stocking go up the feet, thus enabling a healthy blood circulation. There are a variety of compression socks available in the market, but its best to buy a prescribed one from your doctor which would best suit your needs.
Senior Train Travel Tip #5: Extra Pair Of Prescription Glasses & Batteries For Hearing Aids
Packing is all about the extras! You never know what could happen and it is best to be prepared for the worst. Keep an extra pair of prescription glasses just in case you lose it or break one on the go. Also, it can be difficult to get another set while you’re on the train, so better keep extras. While you’re at it, don’t forget to pack your hearing aids along with a set of extra batteries.
After all, a train journey is all about meeting new people and having a wonderful time and you wouldn’t want a lack of hearing spoiling all the fun. And while you’re outside discovering new horizons, you might as well carry extra glasses and hearing aids in a neck pouch or a money belt.
Senior Train Travel Tip #6: Personalized Toiletry Kit
The Deccan Odyssey provides essential bath and body products well within the train. They also have a spa where you can unwind after a long day.
But most of us have certain go-to products that we just can’t do without, even when we are halfway across the world. And that’s when our senior train travel tip comes in play. Carry a travel size toiletry kit that includes essentials like sunscreen, antibacterial wipes and tissues, toothbrush, mouthwash, after-shave, body lotion, deodorant, perfumes, makeup and personal hygiene products. Apply one ounce of sunscreen every two hours that you plan to be outdoors.
Senior Train Travel Tip #7: Sun Hat & A Light Jacket
Depending on the type of journey you opt for on the Deccan Odyssey, terrains change and so does the temperature. Take for example, ‘The Hidden Treasures Of Gujarat’, where you travel from the heart of Mumbai city and into the forests of the Sasan Gir; and then again venture into the cold white desert of Rann, and out into the sunny paradise of Patan, and back to Maharashtra and into the vineyards of Nasik. Every state and every city of India has its own climate, landscape and culture.
So carry your sunglasses, sun hats, umbrella, and also a fleece jacket along especially during the winters. A few seniors also tend to put on their jackets in the air-conditioned coaches of the Deccan Odyssey.
Senior Train Travel Tip #8: A Handy Bag Or Carry On
There are places of things to explore while off the Deccan Odyssey so you may want to carry your travel kit along. A small, lightweight backpack equipped with shoulder padding and adjustable straps is best for senior travellers. You can carry your camera, tissues, wallets, debit cards, extra pair of and other essentials around. Ladies can also opt for a tote bag but then again, it has to be light. By lightweight it doesn’t mean that only the things inside your bag have to be light, but the bag too.
Senior Train Travel Tip #9: Essential Documents
Our senior train travel packing list is incomplete without this one. Double check all the documents which you may require like your passport, travel insurance, senior citizen ID, visas, e-tickets, and booking details and keep an extra copy for each. Have a quick cross-check with all your travel agent a month or two before your actual travel date to make sure you have everything in place.
Keep your documents in a waterproof folder in your luggage and a copy of the same in your carry back in case you accidentally misplace anything. For seniors with a scanty memory it is advisable to make a checklist for the same. Also, have your emergency contact numbers, debit and credit card information – all in one place so you can easily find them when the situation calls for it. Better keep all your confidential info inside the ‘secret pockets’ of our luggage to prevent misuse.
Senior Train Travel Tip #10: Entertainment On The Go
The best part about travelling on the Deccan Odyssey is that every room is equipped with a television with pre-selected movies from across the world. They also have a collection of board games to keep you and your loved ones well-entertained. Besides, if you have been meaning to read a particular for a while now but haven’t had the time to do so, then you can always do it on this long train journey.
You can spend an ample amount of alone time on the Deccan Odyssey and delve into board games, art and craft or even pen your thoughts down on the go. With a decent Wi-Fi connection and lots of power sockets within the train, you can also you use your tablet devices, smart phones and gaming devices too. Deccan Odyssey also presents travellers with a well-stocked bar – Gateway, where you can mingle with fellow travellers and share your stories over evening snacks and drink. You can also head to Deccan Odyssey’s wonderful spa “Ayush”, whose well-trained masseurs incorporate ancient Indian techniques to help you to simply unwind and relax those sore muscles.
Senior Train Travel Tip #11: Electronic Devices
A good vacation calls for picture marathon! So carry along a digital camera and a portable hard drive along with you. Seniors travelling overseas can also carry their voltage converters and multi plug adapters to prevent any possibilities of damage to your device during your holiday. Make sure that you pack ample amount of batteries too. Light sleepers can also opt for comfort sleep headphones that are designed to be used while sleeping so that you can fall asleep listening to your favourite tunes. You can also carry your e-Reader or laptop along with the charging cable to pass time on your long-distance train journey.
The Bonus Section
Here’s a bonus section for our readers to help you have a great holiday with a few train travel tips. Apart from focusing only on the packing bit, there are other important factors that seniors have to consider while on the train. Here goes:
1. Speak Up
Don’t be shy to demand for what you need. If you want to request for wheelchairs or transportation by electronic cart, ask for it, if not provided. It must have skipped your guide’s mind if you had already opted for it earlier, so don’t hesitate. A few places also provides special benefits to the elderly to ask if there is any. They will be glad that you did.
2. Keep Your Food Intake In-Check
Travelling to a new country and excited to try everything on the menu? Don’t. Make sure that the food doesn’t contain any ingredients that you may be allergic to or may be difficult to digest. You wouldn’t want to ruin the whole holiday just for a moment’s weakness now, do you?
3. Carry A Pair Of Your Best Formals
This is not mandatory, but the Deccan Odyssey sometimes hosts dinner parties on board that may have a formal dress code. If you aren’t sure about carrying your tux or evening gown along, it would be best to cross-check with your travel agent first.
4. Leave Extra Space For Souvenirs
Every destination on your itinerary will have certain things that are famous and can be found only in that area. So make sure you leave ample space for souvenirs, clothes, spices and other things in your luggage to take back home. After all, we all crave to carry a piece of the place that we travel to take back with us.
5. Put A Name On It
Make sure that your luggage, carry-on and your belongings have a tag with your name, address and contact information on it. This will help the finder to contact you in case you misplace anything.
6. Medical Insurance
It’s a great idea to check how your medical insurance works in the country you’re travelling to.
7. Folding Cane
If you face problems in balancing, take a folding cane with you without thinking twice about it. Make sure the cane will help you in the terrain that you are travelling to.
8. Extras For A Smooth Travel Experience
Use waterproof vacuum-sealed shoe bags to save space and keep your belongings from getting dirty. You can also pack ear-plugs, snacks, travel umbrella, bathroom slippers, a portable makeup kit, an eye mask and a miniature travel grooming kit along.
Well, I hope this senior train travel packing list and bonus tips be helpful to you. Although this is enough to get you started, remember that you are going to be travelling with the Deccan Odyssey, so even if you miss out on a few things, it’s cool. The staff on-board will most certainly help you with anything you need.
So, where do you want to go first?
Words By: Jovita Elveera Mendonca
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