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When Travel Expenses Put a Crimp in Senior Road Trips

Many seniors today have become accustomed to making travel an important part of their social lives.

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Traveling can be expensive for older adults on a fixed income. Staying closer to home is always an option for seniors, particularly with a companion to make going out more fun.

Q. I'm a 78-year-old widower who's always enjoyed being active and traveling. Planning trips and visiting friends and family across the country help alleviate loneliness since my wife died. The recent increases in travel expenses, though, have made me rethink my social life. What can you suggest for ways to economize road trips or to make the most of my money that don't involve traveling?

Many seniors today have become accustomed to making travel an important part of their social lives. There's nothing like hitting the open road to help older adults fully appreciate their independence.

Because of travel expenses such as expensive gas prices, road travel isn't always the attractive option it once was. But that doesn't mean you need to give up road trips altogether. Why not collaborate with other seniors or family members and plan a trip? Not only would you economize, but you'd have the added benefit of companionship. Just make sure you plan the trip in advance and that everyone is clear about their roles and responsibilities, including how the costs of the trip will be shared.

The increasing costs of senior travel may force you to reduce the number of trips that you make. But if you save your money and watch for travel bargains and other senior discounts, the trips you do plan may be even more memorable than those that you've experienced in the past. Contact your local AAA office for suggestions and travel tips.

If you decide you need to give up travel altogether, why not make the most of the activities available in your community. Meet other seniors at church or synagogue, or your local senior center, which may offer a variety of activities as well.

Or consider hiring a companion to accompany you on outings in your community. Home Instead Senior Care® screens, hires and trains CAREGiversSM, who are bonded and insured, to be companions to seniors as well as to help around the house with tasks such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, errands and shopping. Many of these CAREGivers are seniors themselves.

We hope you find many ways to continue to enjoy your days, whether you're navigating the open road or staying closer to home.

Last revised: February 15, 2011

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