International Golf Travel Tips for Seniors

It’s no secret that golf is a game that seniors enjoy. The average age of a golfer in the United States is 54, and that takes into account the 2.5 million junior players who were counted playing in 2010. Golf is a great game for all ages and abilities, because the pace and difficulty of play are based entirely on your own body’s needs.

But the ease of playing golf isn’t the only reason it’s a hit among seniors. Getting to see the world during retirement is another reason many older folks enjoy the sport, thanks to the numerous golf courses that dot the globe. We’ve got a few tips on how to plan the perfect international golf trip as a senior, so you can check off those bucket list courses during retirement without worrying.

Travel in the Off-Season

One of the best parts of retirement is all that freedom, including the freedom to travel whenever you please. This means you can plan a trip in the shoulder season, when there will be fewer travelers overall and accommodations and tickets will be less expensive. We highly recommend traveling to Scotland and Ireland from April to Juneor September through October to have a better chance of good tee times exactly for this reason. Beyond skipping the crowds and saving money on tickets, the weather is generally nicer at these times of year, too.

Plan Ahead for Medical Issues

Traveling with medical equipment and prescriptions is not as difficult as you may think. The TSA has an extensive listof what you can and can’t bring in your carry on, as well as tips for getting these items through security. You should plan to pack all your prescriptions in your carry on (see below) and bring enough for your entire trip.

Most airlines will help you with the hardest parts of airline travel, too, and by that we mean, getting around the airport. For instance, airlines will accommodate anyone who needs help getting to the gate by allowing you to ride on a cart through the terminal. They can also provide a wheelchairand airport employee who can take you through the terminal, all the way through security, to your gate, and even to your seat on the plane.

But there’s also the golf course to consider, too, and this is where planning can be particularly important. Unlike in America, many golf clubs in Europe don’t provide or allow golf carts. We’ve put together lists of which golf clubs in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland do allow golf carts(aka buggies), as well as any stipulations they have regarding medical dispensations. When we book a trip for our clients, we always work to find the best way to accommodate everyone in the party to play the golf courses they’ve been dreaming of.

Check Your Bags but Pack Smart

One of the best parts of international flights is that they usually allow you to check most of your luggage as part of the ticket price. Most airlines allow international travelers two pieces of checked luggage up to 50 lbs, although you should always check your airline’s particular weight limits before you get to the airport. The fee for luggage that is even just a few pounds overweight can be hefty. The best part of checked baggage, though, is that it affords you an opportunity to bring your golf clubs with you. Playing your bucket list courses with your own sticks is a feeling you won’t soon forget. As an added bonus, golf bags are a great padded place to pack a bottle or two of whiskey or wine to remember your trip by.

In terms of what to put in your second checked bag or carry on, we recommend packing as light as you can. Not only do you not want to have to lug giant bags across Europe, Africa, or the Caribbean; you’ll probably want to leave more room for shopping and souvenirs you find along the way. As we noted above, you should keep your prescription medications with you just in case, especially if you’ll have any layovers or overnight flights. Other than that, limit what you bring. You can get toothpaste, shampoo, soap, mouthwash, and other necessities at your final destination.

Traveling internationally to play golf is a definite perk of retirement. If you’re a senior who’s ready to plan that bucket list trip to Scotland, Ireland, South Africa, or the Dominican Republic, we can help you plan a trip that will tick every box on your list while taking into account any travel questions you may have. Call us today for a free quote.