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Travel Tips for Seniors

  • Category: Travel
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Matt Gougler
Travel Tips for Seniors

June kicks off the summer travel season, and ATRIO Health Plans encourages older adults to join in the vacation fun. As a senior, there are certain precautions you should take. Review the following tips and then prepare to make some wonderful vacation memories.

  • Request special services–If you have a disability, request an airplane seat in sections designated for disabled travelers. If walking is difficult, request cost-free wheelchair transport at every airport juncture. Also, if you have dietary restrictions, be sure to inform reservation representatives.
  • Don't forget discounts–Getting older can be accompanied by challenges, but also by benefits–such as senior discounts. If discounts aren't posted, ask if they're offered, and this applies in America as well as abroad.
  • Double check documents–If you're traveling outside the United States, a passport is required. Passport applications are available online or at your local post office. Before heading out the door, make sure you have your Medicare and any other insurance cards, travel tickets, itinerary, and boarding pass (if printed out online).

If you're bringing prescription medications, keep them in containers provided by the pharmacy that are clearly labeled. All prescription and over-the-counter medications should be placed in one (or more) one- quart zip-lock baggies. Pack medication in a carry-on bag, not in checked luggage.

If you have a medical condition that could trigger security alarms–such as a hip or knee implant–carry with you a physician's statement documenting your medical condition.

  • Conceal cash–While most places on your travel itinerary are likely to be perfectly safe, there's no harm in being cautious. It's best to keep cash in a travel money belt that's worn under a blouse or shirt.
  • Buy insurance–While travel insurance is important for people of any age, it's especially recommended for older travelers who are more at risk from a medical perspective.
  • Forgo the bling–Sadly, older travelers are sometimes targeted by thieves, so it's best to be proactive and not wear expensive jewelry or watches.
  • Pack with purpose–Over packing should always be avoided, but limiting your luggage is particularly advisable for seniors who may not be as strong or mobile as they once were. Most hotels and cruise ships offer laundry service, and many items can be handwashed in a sink, so there's no reason to pack separate outfits for each day of your vacation. One suitcase is ideal; if a second is needed, it should be small enough to stack on top of your larger bag. And that larger bag absolutely should have wheels.
  • Get vaccinated–Prior to traveling, check with your primary care doctor to make sure you're up-to-date on routine vaccinations, including measles, mumps, seasonal flu, and rubella (MMR). These immunizations are particularly important if you're traveling outside of the United States. Depending on which country or countries you're visiting, additional vaccines–such as for hepatitis, yellow fever, typhoid fever, or polio–may be recommended.

Age absolutely doesn't prevent you from having an amazing vacation. By taking a few, simple precautions, your trip can be postcard perfect. Bon voyage!

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