Summer vacations always take a bit of planning! However, if you are thinking of bringing an aging loved one along or if you happen to be a senior yourself, it doesn't hurt to plan ahead a bit more!

Below you will find some tips on how to ensure that you have the safest, most comfortable vacation despite your own age or the age of your loved one.

Plan ahead
If you're retired and can travel whenever you want, the world is your oyster! Whether you choose to visit your destination when it is least crowded, or say you decide to go during peak season, prepare ahead of time! Research weather, crowd indexes and more to discover valuable information that can help you to shape your trip ahead of arrival.

Insure your travels
While seniors will pay more for travel insurance, they are also more likely to need it. Find out exactly whether and how your medical insurance works out of area. For example, Medicare is not valid outside of the US except in very limited circumstances; check your supplemental insurance coverage for exclusions. When considering additional travel insurance, pay close attention to evacuation insurance, which covers the substantial expense of getting you to adequate medical care in case of an emergency - especially if you are too ill to fly commercially.

Pack lightly
This is especially important for seniors prepping for travel! To lighten your load, take fewer clothing items and do laundry more often. Fit it all in a rolling suitcase and forget trying to haul a large bag. Figure out ways to smoothly carry your luggage, so you're not wrestling with several bulky items. For example, if you bring a second bag, make it a small one that stacks neatly (or even attaches) on top of your wheeled bag.

Medication preparedness
It's best to bring a full supply of any medications you take regularly with you, and leave them in their original containers. This way, if an emergency arises, or in the case you might need to refill while out of town, you'll have them with you to refer to. In addition, if taking a flight, keep medications in your carry on bag.

Soaring above the rest - When booking a trip, non-stop flights are strongly preferred over connecting flights in order to minimize the chance of missed connection and to reduce the total travel time. Book a non-stop flight even if it means a higher fare or a longer trip to the airport. Cramped legroom may also be a concern for seniors, so book early to reserve aisle seats (or splurge on roomier "economy plus," or first class). Stay hydrated during long flights, and take short walks hourly to minimize the slight chance of getting a blood clot.

Accessibility and accommodations
If you have mobility difficulties or use a wheelchair, determine what the access is to areas such as swimming pools, public facilities, hotels, restaurants, bars, restrooms, etc. Determine if shopping and entertainment are accessible.

Local conditions
Extremes in climate can adversely affect the health of some travelers. So, too, can travel to high altitude locations. As you travel, ask your tour operator or hotel about local conditions, including recommendations about taxis and other transportation options, restaurants, and the safety of local drinking water.

How about a tour or cruise?
There are thousands of tour and cruise possibilities. Tours and cruises offer a unique service, in that they are totally planned, operated and staffed to deliver the promised program and destination discovery.