is age a barrier

Dec 5th, 2004, 10:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,177
IMHO AuntNell's not-so-stellar experiences during her last European
trip could in fact happen to anyone
of any age! But they should be taken
into consideration. S*** happens!

Now that we are in our 60's we find
staying in one place for at least a
week is preferable to trekking around
one night here one night there. Also,
as others have said, preparation is
absolutely essential - read every guide
book possible and check every itinerary
over and over. Try to learn some French
- or at least pertinent phrases. Pare
your luggage down below the absolute
essentials. Lugging luggage is so
tiring! Don't try to see too much.

Well, enough yadda-ing.....when I read
what I've listed I realize (again) the
tips apply to any age!

French pharmacies are wonderful - and
plentiful! Lots of help there!

France is beautiful in the Fall - go!
llamalady is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 12:15 AM
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Oh dear, this is so 'deja vous'.
We were nearing 60 on our first trip to Europe and friends were so insistent on our taking an organised coach tour where we would be looked after all the way, or that we prebook everything ahead to relieve the stress, or that we stick to English speaking countries for the same reason, or... and so on!

We ignored them all, I'm pleased to say, and spent a month backpacking all around Turkey & the Greek Islands with nothing pre-planned, followed by 2 and a half months driving all over Western Europe and the UK - again 'winging it' as we went.

We've since been back several times to repeat the experience, taking in some punishing walks along the way (Burg Eltz, Neuschwanstein anybody?) and now, in our mid-60's, are planning to drive Rome-Paris sometime next year, stopping and walking around the hilltop villages of Tuscany, Umbria, Provence & the Dordogne.

So, go for it, enjoy yourself, you're as young as your health and fitness let you be.
twoflower is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 01:52 AM
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To ignore that with age comes an increase in maladies is to deny hard statistics. As I said, denial about age runs deep. I suppose in some ways the denial is healthy, at least until you run into a scarey situation far from the comforts of home and family. Please do not ignore this fact. You do so at your own peril if you are elderly.
AuntNell is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 04:54 AM
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Nell, you are being far too conservative -- (a major felony, here in Canada)

The bravura with which llamalady, who is in her sixties, tossed in that off-hand phrase of youth -- S*** happens! -- proves that we are only as old as we feel.

Sixty is the new forty! Rave on, momma!
tedgale is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 05:45 AM
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Yes, I know some senior travellers. My aunt is your age and I know a couple who are 88 and 90 that still travel. My mother is no longer alive but she travelled consistently in Europe in her seventies. Riddled with cancer at 79, she realized she no longer had the stamina for another trip to Italy. So she took her first trip to Vegas and stayed at the Venetian, naturally with more help than usual from others and with the encouragement, not just approval, of her doctor. She loved every minute of it!

I do have to admit that the 90-year-old is an exception. While in his sixties he held the American record for the 20K run in his age group. Earlier this year (at age 90) he had a cancerous tumor removed. He told me that his surgeon was really impressed that he did 100 pushups each day. Upon hearing that, I turned to his wife and asked if he really does that. "Oh of course not," she replied. "Now that he's had the surgery and the chemo treatments, he can only do 75." Two months later he was back to 100 each day. Unbelievable!
MikeBuckley is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 05:54 AM
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My wife and I are in our late 60's. We have traveled to Europe in each of the last 13 years. We travel sensibly, use frequent flyer miles. We have selected France, Ireland and Italy as our focus. We love Provence (St. Remy), Ireland (the west in particular) and Italy.

A typical trip would be:

Dublin 4 nights
Provence 8 nights
Paris 3 nights. We rent a car in Provence.

We pace ourselves. All travelers should do that. No frenzy. We dislike cell phones, blackberrys, etc. but, of course, to each his/her own.

If you provide an e-mail address I would be glad to share some of our recent trip reports.

As to your going, Dylan Thomas sums it up best:

"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light..."

Merry Christmas!

Powell is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 215
Wonderful that so many of you are still heading for Europe but please do take out insurance.

If you are taking an organised tour, the company will offer insurance. This can be very useful but it's worth comparing prices - you are not obliged to take it.

I recently came across one elderly American lady in London who wasn't even aware that she needed health insurance. I hate to think what could have happened to her id something had gone wrong.

I just hope I will be as active in my later years as you guys. Keep on travelling!
adamhornets is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Hi Loisco,

Since this is your frst visit to France, I suggest that you start your planning with a week in Paris and go on from there.
ira is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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Loisco, what did your relatives mean by 'it' as in 'it will be too much'? Did they actually make a reference to your age, or were they making a judgment of the intensity of your proposed itinerary that was independent of your age? (This is not to say that their opinion was based on reasonable criteria either way, just that it might help to articulate any assumptions you, as well as they, might have made.)
Sue_xx_yy is online now  
Dec 6th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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Glad to have been distinguished from Aunt Nell, but have two comments, one that might actually support her a tetch:

1. They are learning that -- all other things being equal -- the single most determining thing about aging is the "clock" that is embedded in your own DNA. Some people's clock runs down sooner than others, regardless of things like diet, exercise, "temperance," etc. Close relative who's a doctor is kind of chagrined to read how VERY powerful this natural fact is. If you feel old at 70 and your parents WERE "old" at 70 and died at, say 78, then it may not be a matter of wimpiness but sheer cellular fatigue. But Aunt Nell: some people have cellular clocks that DON'T run down so quickly, so don't jump to the conclusion that they're in denial. They're just lucky.

2. Sometimes relatives get worried that an older relative will "overdo" because they've seen it happen already; but sometimes they worry because they are anxious about what they might have to cope with if you, older relative, collapse or worse on a trip -- and I mean not just the logistics but the emotions. So, Loisco, you'll have to judge what your relatives are really saying: "you don't know your limits" or "we don't want to have to worry about you."
soccr is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 08:07 AM
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My grandparents took a trip around the world for 2 years when they were in their early 70's...and they had a person in a wheelchair with them. So yes, it can definitely be done. I do think a lot of it is personal though...meaning that if YOU feel up to it then go for it. Your relatives may just want you to think about everything and not make a rash decision. That said, it seems that people here have given lots of things to think about and if you are still game, then tell your relatives you are aware of risks and such but that you are going anyway.

I think people worry about others when they venture out and do things that they would not do themselves.
mms is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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The clock thery makes sense Soccr but AuntNell and Praline are trolls and probably the same person. They like to hear themselves talk and I'm beginning to wonder if loisco is not a third personality.
cd is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 08:15 AM
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Whoever is suggesting that US medical plans don't cover you abroad is completely confused. Any reasonable plan offers all the coverage you enjoy here. If you have a plan that does not, get another plan, a better one.
Dec 6th, 2004, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 805
Medicare does not cover outside the US, with few exceptions. I'm 72 and my 'new' husband is 78. We toured Egypt in May and are planning to visit Croatia next May. Granted, we were on a tour, however there's still lots of walking, jet lag, different foods, etc., to deal with. My husband had never traveled outside the US and handled it beautifully.

I've traveled overseas more than 20 times, starting at about age 50 and my mother traveled with me until she was 82.

My only comment would be, if you're driving, make sure a rental is available at your age. A couple years ago, when I was traveling to Great Britain with my kids, the upper age limit for driving a rental is 70.

Go and enjoy. We only go around once!
geribrum is online now  
Dec 6th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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You might be interested in doing an Untour ( You would get roundtrip airfare, a rental apartment in Provence for 2 weeks, and a rental car all for an extremely reasonable price. They would also provide you with huge amaounts of information about the area and what is happening there during that particular two weeks. In addition, they have a local person who is available should you need help, advice, information, etc..I have taken 2 Untours and have found that their clients are diverse in age, including many people your age or older.
prizren is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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People who don't travel themselves often pass on the advice that it will be overwhelming or unsafe or whatever - whether because of age, sex, traveling solo, choice of destination, etc. The stay-at-homers simply don't understand the desire for or the realities of a trip IMO.

If you yourselves feel it might be <too much>, you could consider Elderhostel tours. I have a girlfriend who is only 60 but likes to go with them because she travels solo and enjoys the comfort of the arrangements being made and the focus (more educational) of their itineraries.
suze is online now  
Dec 6th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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Well, Hell, Aunt Nell, you've thrown down the gauntlet! I'm not denying my
age - I'm appreciating it; of course
we have maladies and most of us have
survived illnesses that would have
killed off our grandparents; however,
we are part of the new reality with
better stamina, over-all health and
a more appropriate attitude to what
we can and cannot do. The thought of
someone advising me I should not travel
independently is horrifying! And having
accompanied my 78 year old mother on a
recommended bus tour where the only two
people awake were the drive et moi.....
that ain't the way I want to go!!!

Hey, tedgale, I AM Canadian!
llamalady is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 12:53 PM
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The 'driver' was the other awake
person! I'm so old I'm losing letters!
llamalady is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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Struck up a converation with a man in Santa Margherita last year in the local grocery market. He told me was staying in Italy for a month and that he goes to Europe every year for a month or more. Oh, and he mentioned that he was 86 years old.
BoulderCO is offline  
Dec 6th, 2004, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Re Powell's quotation -- here are some lines 's I like, from Tennyson (Idylls of the King):

"How dull it is to pause, to make an end
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use
As though to breathe were life...(about 20 lines omitted)
"Death closes all but something ere the end
Some work of noble note may yet be done"

llamalady: Yes, I did know you are Canadian -- from earlier posts
tedgale is offline  

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