A MONTH ON THE BEACH – a senior’s perspective -PREPARATIONPosted: September 5, 2016
We are spending the month of September on the beach in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. My wife was raised on Long Island and grew up around beaches; but after 50 years in New Mexico is not sure she wanted to live East. Her parents lived here for 45 years so she is familiar with the area.
At 76, moving to a new place, even for a month, requires a “senior’s” perspective.
We need a purpose. We don’t swim, golf, play tennis, or do any of the usual things. We walk, do yoga and read. We like to eat out; and, most importantly we like to sit on the balcony and watch the gulf – especially if there is a hurricane. September 2016 is perfect. We rented a 4th floor condo overlooking the gulf and Hurricane Hermine hit on September 1.
The plan is that my wife will paint and I will work on geezer2go!
I hope to tell you about our experiences; day-by-day, with a 5 day lag for editing. The blog will continue its “senior twist.” I will suggest some providers, but don’t be limited by what I suggest. Use your own common sense.
Being old and fearful, preparation is everything:
- Money – cash in a money belt, two credit cards, and a debit card. Take a few blank checks with you. If you need something notarized, Bank of America will do it, at least if you are a customer.
- Prescriptions – Enough for a month with extra in case you overstay. Contact your pharmacist to arrange to have your prescriptions filled at a chain drug store where you are going if you run into problems.
- Uber – Join and experiment with Uber in advance. It is quick, cheap and safe. You don’t have to worry about a tip. See my Uber Blog.
- Airplane tickets – SouthWest. They have a senior fare, if you cancel, you get a credit, there are two bags free, and since they don’t transfer bags to other carriers, they don’t seem to lose them. Get your boarding passes on-line exactly 24 hours before your flight.
- Chargers – I only blog to old people who know how to use the internet. You need chargers for smart phones, computers and i-pads. If you do forget chargers, stop by a hotel/motel. They usually have extras that people left behind. Tip the desk clerk.
- Back-up numbers – A list of phone numbers that you need. Kids, neighbors, place you are going, favorite restaurants, etc. You can never find a phone book, and if you do, it is out-of-date.
- Auto-pay – All deposits including social security, dividends, etc. should be made electronically. You should use e-bills. If you can’t, estimate the amount that you might owe while gone and pay ahead.
- Wi-fi – make sure that where you are going has wi-fi. Even at 76, you need it. If you don’t have it, or if it is bad, learn how to use your smart phone personal hotspot. I have T-mobile and for a few bucks a month was able to hook-up my computer at places without wi-fi.
- Rent Car – Rent it off airport. Cheaper and you avoid driving on the maze of roads around most airports; especially Tampa. Enterprise as it has a free pick-up service. You can use Super-shuttle to get from most airports. You may also be able to use Uber. Try CostCo Travel for good rates.
- Join Silver Sneakers – Free and nation-wide. Access to thousands of exercise classes, yoga classes, Pilates classes and YMCA’s.
- Sick/hurt – Unless it is serious, remember urgent care facilities or the CVS Pharmacy Minute Clinics. Quick, they take Medicare and you can reserve your place in line, on-line. For minor injuries. More importantly, they can recognize serious problems and get you help.
- Packing – I am old. I need less clutter. I travel with a carry-on bag, which I check. For Florida, 7 t-shirts, 7 underpants, sandals, shoes, 3 socks, 3 handkerchiefs, 7 short-sleeved shirts, hat, umbrella, plastic rain poncho, shorts, 2 pair light weight travel pants. I will use the washer/dryer/laundry 4 times. I check the bag so I can get around in terminals and don’t worry too much if I lose it. I also have a brief-case with a notebook, an i-pad, with 600 kindle books and my favorite magazines, and my cell phone. Plus the chargers. What else do I need. Certainly not 3 large suitcases.
This is my preparation. I have high-lighted the web pages of my sources so that you can check them out for yourself. When you are old: TRUST, BUT VERIFY!