There are lots of predictions floating around about how travel will change after the COVID-19 pandemic – countries introducing tighter control of visitor numbers, fewer people being willing to fly leading to fewer flights, domestic holidays becoming more popular.
But one thing that most commentators agree on is this – travel is likely to be more expensive post-pandemic. Whether it’s fewer flights pushing up the cost of a ticket or increased demand for ‘staycation’ holidays leading to a hike in domestic hotel rates if you want to get away from it all in 2022 and beyond, you are likely to have to pay more than you have been used to.
Any price increases are likely to hit older travelers hardest. The over-70s in particular are more likely to pay over the odds for their holidays compared to younger groups, for a variety of reasons ranging from higher insurance costs to being less likely to access discounts.
The worry is that if prices increase further, many older people will be put off traveling altogether.
On the other hand, there are a number of steps senior citizens can take to reduce the cost of a holiday which will help them keep things affordable even if prices do rise in the wake of COVID-19. Here are some top tips to follow.
1. Speak to a specialist about travel insurance
The older you get, the more travel insurance costs. Unfortunately, that’s just an unavoidable fact of the way insurance works. One of the main things travel insurance covers you for is potential medical costs if you fall ill while you are abroad. Older people are more likely to make a medical claim, so insurance companies hike up their prices accordingly.
However, the way that many high street insurance providers do this is disproportionate and leads to travel policies becoming prohibitively expensive, especially once you reach the age of 70. There are some horror stories out there about people seeing the cost of travel insurance quadruple in a single year and ending up being more than the cost of their actual holiday.
Fortunately, not all travel insurance providers behave like this. There are specialists out there who make it their business to sell travel policies to older people, and at reasonable rates. One of the things these companies will also do is take into account any pre-existing medical conditions you have and offer you a policy that covers the possibility of needing treatment for that, too, which many standard policies simply wouldn’t include.
You can view more here to get full details about how an over-70s travel insurance policy can protect you and save you money.
2.Look online for holiday deals
One of the reasons why older people often end up paying more for their holidays is because they are used to making their bookings through a travel agent, either in person or over the phone. While there is a lot to be said for this – you get helpful, personal service and all the administration is taken care of for you – it often means you are missing out on cheaper offers that are available online.
Now that the majority of holidays are booked online, travel agents and holiday companies target their best package deals either on their own websites or on third-party booking sites where they hope to out-compete their rivals. If you don’t have access to the internet, ask a family member or friend to help you find a holiday. You might be surprised how much you can save!
3.Plan a Do-It-Yourself holiday
Another big change that online holiday bookings have introduced is the rise of ‘DIY’ travel planning. Instead of going through travel agents to book a full holiday package that includes flights/travel and accommodation, many people use specialist booking sites like CheapOAir and Booking.com to arrange travel and a place to stay separately.
Although it is still perfectly possible to find package holidays at bargain prices, generally speaking, it is cheaper to book everything yourself directly. After all, you’re taking the travel agent’s mark-up out of the equation. Yes, it means matching updates for your flights and hotel, etc, but online booking systems are extremely user-friendly.
A good tip is to choose your destination and book flights (if you are planning on heading abroad) first. If you can, be flexible about your dates – traveling out of peak season, or even at certain times and on certain days of the week, can save you money. There will be fewer flights available than hotels or other accommodation, so get a good price on your travel first, and then you will easily be able to find dozens of options for a place to stay for the dates you need.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Avanti Travel Insurance.