Backpacking for older people

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11. Posted by pfsmalo (Budding Member 10 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Hi,
Do you really think that 50 is old ? Those of us in our 70's are getting real worried.......Seriously though, in Africa the situation of travelling around without a care has gone out of the window over the last few years. Morocco is one of the only reasonably safe places in the NW, plus Mauritania, although an Islam country is pretty safe. Mali that I travelled to during 10 years has now gone down the pan, Bamako has become a not very safe place and the army will not let foreigners go further than Djenné, so the Dogon country is out of the question. Burkina, Benin and Togo were considered very safe up to 8 years ago but now seem to have spiralled down into mainly no-go areas except along the coastal areas. Ghana as yet doesn't seem to be touched by any troubles.
I agree with a lot of the above that SE Asia is very well geared up to travellers, with good infrastructures and transport. Thailand is of course the biggest draw and the easiest, but consider also Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, although Vietnam is becoming more expensive than the others.
Going further afield to Central America why not Cuba or Costa Rica ? Very easy and laid back places. A bit slow to get around but doable.
Best of luck anyway.

[ Edit: Edited on 22-May-2019, at 09:59 by pfsmalo ]

12. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1722 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

If you can do it, do it and don't worry about the number of your age. It doesn't matter. Old is a state of mind.

Have fun.

13. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 3027 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I have come across little old ladies in their seventies and even eighties traveling alone overseas. On tours, walking and eating, etc. You make it sound like age "50" is almost time for a nursing home!

Try Southeast Asia for a change. You can always do Africa for a short trip at a later date.

Good luck.

14. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 1026 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I believe this sort of travel in your 50's can be better than in your 20's, to be honest. I've certainly found that to be true.

Although I am not quite at 50 (a wee 44.5 years) I can say I've seen my style and confidence evolve over the years. I also appreciate things in a different manner than I did in my 20's and that gives travel a depth I never knew of when I was younger.

Safety and ease of independent travel in certain regions or countries? All things to consider, no doubt. But thinking it may be too late at 50 could be the real danger.

Don't discount how significant it is one would consider this sort of thing at 50 - that'll carry you far.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-May-2019, at 17:13 by road to roam ]

15. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1584 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I'm only 56 - when will I be old enough to back-pack? :):):)

16. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2247 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting Borisborough

I'm only 56 - when will I be old enough to back-pack? :):):)

You just keep doing your apprenticeship and we'll tell you when you can go to South Island. ;)

17. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1584 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

You just keep doing your apprenticeship and we'll tell you when you can go to South Island. ;)

Yes, sir, thank you kindly, sir.

18. Posted by MAd4travel (Respected Member 29 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

You are from South Africa, you have an amazing country very easy to bagpack in. We’ve been doing it for year (look at our blogs).
But you can bag pack in Swaziland (or eszazini nowJ, Malawi as well and if you have a car go for Namibia.
And if it is Africa you want to stay, yes Northern Africa like Tunisia or Morocco are very easy to travel .
Have your thought of going to Mauritius Island or Reunion Island, its quite easy to go there from South Africa as there are direct flight. There is also Madagascar but difficult to travel there.
You can look at our blogs for inspiration.
And i Am late 50 and my husband is mid 60s.

19. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1921 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I am not sure of the definition of "backpack". I read the post which outlined one definition which was to do all your own planning. That is not what I would have thought was the definition. In my mind, backpacking is
a) Traveling with minimal luggage which is light enough to be easily portable without help
b) Staying in inexpensive places like hostels; eating local food and taking advantage of free or low cost attractions
c) Using the least expensive travel options, like local buses.

So anyone staying in expensive hotels, even if they have a back pack is not back packing. But I don't think that just having help in making reservations disqualifies you.

And like most of the people here, I don't think of 50 as old. (I'm 81) The problem with starting traveling at 50 is that you may have ideas of things that you cannot get along without which are really not necessary. I never actually had a backpack (and probably never will), but I've often traveled cheaply with little luggage. Starting out when I was 10 when my parents drove across the US camping with just sleeping bags and a camp stove (no tent).

I have been to Africa - I went to Tanzania in June 2018 but I was definitely NOT backpacking as I used all the help I could get, both with the planning and with the implimentation.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2019, at 16:49 by greatgrandmaR ]

20. Posted by Traveller002 (Budding Member 38 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Hold on for a minute. 50 isn't old. I drag my granny along (in her 70s) when she was still interested in long plane rides.

I do not know the condition of your body that you say you're old. But one thing I notice in "older folks". Invest in a very good pair of shoes, non-slip, do everything you can to safeguard your knees. Pad up your inner soles. Take very very minimal risks on slippery areas, always choose safety over anything else. Always relief yourself at any pit stop, even if you don't feel the need to. Wear lose comfortable clothing for better blood circulation.

There are suggestions on SEA, do note that in certain SEA countries, you are looking at squat toilets. Can you still squat? Mine can't.

That's all that I can think of and granny was a happy woman.

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