TEN geezerTIPS – TRIP TO PANAMAPosted: December 20, 2017
I went to Panama on a Road Scholar trip. The trip includes tours of Panama City, a boat trip through the Panama Canal, and a train ride back, a chance to see how the new locks work and the chance to experience Panama. There are 10 things that made my trip easier. Fifty-five years ago, when hitchhiking through Europe, I had no money, few needs, and a lot of self-assurance. Today, at 77 I am a bit more careful, not looking for surprises, and aware of my age. So…
- No tips. Road Scholar is all-inclusive except for a few meals. I hate to worry about tipping.
- Health care. Get insurance. The real problem will be if you have to be shipped home; dead or alive. The cost for transferring your sick body back to the US can be debilitating, and may bankrupt you. If you do decide to permanently leave while abroad, consider cremation. Consider the insurance offered by the program and also look to your credit card.
- Get the American Embassy contact information. Know if there are any problems and know where to go for help.
- Take a Kindle or better an i-pad with kindle books downloaded on it. You can also adjust the size of the type. Books are heavy and a thousand plus books, including guide books, can be uploaded on a Kindle and new books ordered from your library or from Amazon while abroad. You are too old to be lifting books.
- Check your debit and credit cards and notify the card companies before you leave. You don’t want them denying your charges.
- Take two money belts. One from Eagle Creek to hold your pants up and to hold your money; and one to hold your passports, information, money and credit cards.
- Think simple and minimal. Jeans are usually fine. Wear them and take a light weight pair of pants that you can wash and use if you have to dress up. See what Road Scholar suggests. Suitcase. Rick Steves’ Rolling Carry-on.
- Wear walking shoes. Take yoga shoes/slippers for the hotel, etc.
- Light weight underwear that can be washed, or dropped off at a cleaners for a few bucks.
- Know a few practical things about Panama. They use dollars, have ATMs, English spoken in addition to Spanish, no visa required, jeans are fine.
You can really reduce your needs by packing like the geezer does for the beach.