Savvy seniors explore the world safely

3 March 2016

Age is proving to be no barrier as Australians continue their love affair with travelling.

A 93-year-old man spent close to a month visiting Europe, the UK and Japan and a 94-year-old woman spent two weeks travelling in Australia in recent times, RACV travel insurance data shows.

Statistics showed that travellers aged over 60 made up close to half of the 45,000 people that took up RACV travel insurance in the 2014/15 financial year.

While numbers reduced with age, people travelled well into their 80s and 90s, often opting for destinations closer to home the older they got.

One third of travellers aged 80-84 travelled within the South Pacific, New Zealand and Indonesia regions, while 21 per cent of travellers aged 60 to 74 explored Europe, UK or Japan.

RACV General Manager Insurance Paul Northey said it was great to see people not letting age stand in the way of having a great time.

“Many seniors have the time and money to travel and they increasingly go on long journeys all over the world,” he said.

“Travel is an experience being promoted to older travellers and the quality of cruises and other packages has improved vastly in recent years.

“Seniors are now going on everything from five-day to five-month cruises, with river cruises in Europe proving very popular at the moment.”

Mr Northey said it was important to consider travel insurance as soon as any booking or deposit is made for a trip.

“Seniors don’t take as many risks as younger people while travelling, but they are often out-laying a lot of money at the time of booking their trip as they book more package tours and higher-end accommodation. If anything goes wrong they can lose their deposit and be financially exposed.

“As soon as you commit large amounts of money – such as a 40 per cent deposit 15 months out – you should buy your travel insurance to ensure you’re covered if circumstances change.”

Seniors have also made travel insurance claims for medical treatment, inability to travel due to health reasons, cancelled or missed flights, lost luggage and theft.

While some travel insurance providers have age restrictions, RACV will work with travellers of all ages to find them the appropriate level of cover to suit their needs.

Limits, exclusions and conditions apply. RACV Sales and Marketing Pty Ltd (ABN 11 005 258 702, AR 270432) is an authorised representative of Travel Insurance Partners Pty Limited (ABN 73 144 049 230, AFSL 360138) who arranges insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Australia (ARBN 127 740 532, ABN 18 964 580 576, AFSL 318603). This is general advice only. Please consider your own financial situation, needs and objectives and read the Combined PDS and FSG available from or by phoning 13 13 29.


Important Tips for Senior Travellers:

  • Have a pre-trip medical check-up and discuss any particular health concerns with your doctor, including whether potentially different eating habits will affect any health conditions you may have.
  • Get travel insurance as soon as you pay a deposit for your trip and make sure you disclose any medical conditions.
  • Consider having flu and pneumonia vaccinations before your trip, as well as any other vaccinations required or recommended for your destination.
  • As some medication may not be available in all countries, take enough regular medication with you to last the entire trip and pack it in your hand luggage. Ask your doctor for a note detailing both prescribed and over-the-counter medication you intend on taking.
  • Register your travel and contact details online at
  • Organise your passports and visas and have them copied – securely storing digital copies online could be very useful if you need to apply for new ones.
  • Arrange a variety of ways to access your money overseas i.e. debit and credit cards, traveller’s cheque and cash.
  • Carry a list of important contact details for the Australian embassy in the country you are visiting, your next of kin, your own doctor, Medicare, your travel insurance provider, your airline and travel agent.
  • Seniors cards are only supposed to offer benefits within your home state, but museums and attractions in other places may also provide cheaper entry if you ask.
  • Make sure your carry-on bag contains everything you will need for the duration of the flight, including your regular medications.


Destinations of RACV travel insurance policy holders in 2014/15 (by age group)

Destinations of RACV travel insurance policy holders in 2014/15 (by age group)


Europe, UK and Japan

Asia (South Pacific, NZ and Indonesia)





14% (23%)





13% (27%)





11% (29%)





11% (33%)





10% (42%)


Total for over-60s



13% (26%)


Total all travellers



15% (27%)


Source: RACV Travel Insurance

Written by Liselotte Geary, RACV Public Affairs on 9790 2717
March 03, 2016