The ‘O’ in BOLT , Part 2: BOLT Do’s and Don’ts for the Older Traveler

Last week I shared on the BOLT  philosophy on our use of the word old. This week Kathy and I have teamed up to share some of our specific experiences and lessons learned while traveling.  Since the beginning of our relationship we’ve traveled. This was usually done in three week vacation periods at most. We had jobs to get back to and my mother to care for.

 As you know, if you’ve been following this blog, everything changed for us in 2015.  My mom passed away peacefully  in December, 2014. We were then responsible for no  one but ourselves. We made a decision to retire from our jobs, get rid of our possessions and live a life of home free travel. We hit the road  (actually a cruise ship) on September 21st, 2015 and our adventures began.  The following do’s and don’ts are borne of our experiences over the past 10 + months.

Do know your limitations.  We have found that in the excitement of visiting a new city we can over schedule sightseeing activities. We have found it best to limit our visits to museums, attractions, shows, etc to one or at most two in a day. More than that we get overwhelmed and exhausted. 

Don’t forget to exercise.  We are at a point where we must be kind to our bodies. We want them to last us for many more years. Walking is our preferred form of exercise, we walk from 1 to 5 miles daily. It’s also a great way to see the sights and get to know a place. I also try to swim when I can.

Do plan your meals. We prefer to eat a filling lunch. It’s our main meal of the day, usually followed by a nice walk. Remember, lunch specials are often far less expensive for the same thing offered at dinner.
Don’t neglect your special diet. If you have dietary restrictions or needs be sure to know how to communicate your them in local language. I’m vegetarian and Kathy doesn’t eat pork. We make sure to know the phrases for this everywhere we go. Sometimes we Google it, in China we had the hotel staff write it out for us.

Do be aware of your surroundings! I was so entranced by the beauty of Ubud, Bali that I was not looking where I was going. Suddenly I found myself at the bottom of a 2 foot hole. Luckily I sustained no serious injury but it could have been the end of a beautiful trip. 

Don’t be afraid to wander aimlessly.  Some of our favorite adventures came from simply picking a direction and wandering. 

Do prepare to get lost. Make sure you have the address of your hotel and it never hurts to use Google maps to show a taxi driver where you want to go. 

Don’t be afraid of public transportation.  We have had wonderful experiences hopping on public buses, planning train trips and using the city metro systems. 

Do be aware of your physical limitations. 8 years ago we thought nothing of taking 12 hour bus rides, sleeping in tents on the ground and back packing. Today our bodies needs a little more gentleness. We choose bus rides that are no longer then 6 hours, we sleep in private rooms with supportive mattresses and our luggage is on wheels. 
Don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help if you need it. When we arrived at our hotel in Malaysia on our first visit we were dismayed to find out that there was no elevator to service our room on the forth floor. A lovely, and very strong, hotel employee saw us struggling and very kindly carried our bags up.  We’ve had great support, suggestions and assistance throughout our travels. Traveling has been just one more affirmation of the loving kindness that abounds in the world. 

Do plan days of rest. Traveling can be exhausting. After we have really full days or a day of extended travel we plan R and R time. We relax, endulge  in a special meal, watch television, read and rejuvenate. 

Thanks for letting us share with you.  We’d love to hear from you. What are some of your travel do’s and don’ts?  Please share them as well as any questions or comments you have in our comments section. 

Love and light from BOLT!


10 thoughts on “The ‘O’ in BOLT , Part 2: BOLT Do’s and Don’ts for the Older Traveler

  1. Hi. I really enjoyed reading that. Sounds like you guys are having a ball. I liked your advice. I would only add cross cultural comparison. I went to Cuba once and I really enjoyed looking at the similarities and differences I had in common with Cubans. It’s something I do everywhere I go. I did that in Jamaica, Grand Caymans, and Mexico. It’s what I love about travel. I feel connected to humans all over the world. Love you guys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Ayo! Love this one. It is one of the best ways to spend time. Seeing how other people accomplish everyday tasks. It makes you question the mundane in your own life. It also shows us that we are not so different no matter how different we may look or sound.
      Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing.


  2. So happy to have discovered your website! (Was in the LC that we received in the mail today in Michigan, USA). You speak of wheeled luggage…does that work for public transportation? We were thinking we’d need bags that can be carried as backpacks, although being older (62/73) it is also hard to carry those. Ideas for packing welcome! Thank you for sharing your adventures. They are marvelous.


    1. Hey Nancy, Thanks for reading. Yes we use our rolly or wheeled bags on trains and buses easily. In fact, the toughest place for baggage is airplanes as the companies keep changing the rules. If you are looking toward long term travel check the new guidelines (twice) and know you will be fine most other places. We gave up our backpacks a couple years ago and are very glad we have. We are protective of our luggage but more so of our bodies. Backpacks are just difficult. The other secret is to pack light. Really light. Really, really light. Rick Steves, the TV guy on PBS has good guidelines where that is concerned. We carry everything in wheeled carryon and a shoulder bag each. Please feel free to ask anything. I must send Elsie a thank you note. Please keep us informed on your travels. Enjoy.


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