The last couple of years have been hard for most of us. People worked from home, got curbside delivery or home delivery for shopping and groceries, kids had online school, and many were living life from within the safe confines of their homes. Travelling for leisure was out of the question. Now that the situation seems to be getting better, many of us are thinking about going on vacation. I have booked a short trip for our family and am really looking forward to it. This year however, we are going to be extra careful when it comes to health and safety. So, I thought, why not share my traveling tips with my readers! Here you go:
Before you travel
Check for senior discounts at hotels, entertainment packages, hotels and even dining experiences
Print out all your bookings and reservations
Check with your doctor to see if you need any travel vaccinations
Carry some over-the-counter medications for general illnesses like motion sickness and diarrhea
If you have been prescribed restricted medications like opioids, be sure to carry a copy of your prescription to prevent any trouble at international border security checks
You might also want to ask your doctor to provide a letter about things like knee or hip implants that could set off security alarms
Arrange for transport to and from the airport, it's a safer option
Keep a copy of your passport/ID along with emergency contact details in your luggage just in case the originals get misplaced or lost. I would recommend having digital copies of important documents at home or using the passport app on a smartphone.
Get comprehensive travel insurance
Call your credit card companies and alert them on what countries will be visited during a trip. This way, the company will not put a hold on the card when used abroad
Check with your cell phone provider to see if your current plan allows for international calling, and if they don’t, see if you can activate international calling, rent an international phone, or purchase an unlocked phone (with an international SIM card) for use on your trip
Get sturdy but light weight luggage, Pack light but make sure you have all your essentials, and of course, pack for the weather!
During your holiday:
Consider guided tours
Go sightseeing early or later in the day to avoid peak time rush
Be cautious about the food and drinks you consume
Keep cash in a couple of different places in your luggage. Consider an anti-theft handbag or fanny pack designed to cover, protect, and conceal your belongings to discourage pickpockets
Wear compression stockings if you are going on a long haul flight. This will help prevent deep vein thrombosis
Keep all your medications in original containers with their labels
If you take medications, and will be crossing time zones, ask your healthcare provider whether you should take your medicines at your usual home time zone time, or switch to the local time zone of your holiday destination
Ask your health care provider if any new foods you might eat while traveling could interact with your medications or negatively impact your health
Drink plenty of water when traveling, especially by airplane. Choose a bottle of water every time the flight attendant offers a drink instead of soda or coffee, which can dry you out even more
Avoid pulling up private documents or your online banking information, when using free Wi-Fi
Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often
Travelling is an excellent way to stimulate the mind, meet new people, and rejuvenate. Getting older shouldn't keep you from having new adventures. Travelling is a great way to experience more of the world and spend quality time with loved ones, or get some much valued "me-time". So read through the list of tips above and start planning your next adventure! Keep exploring!
If you're not sure about your fitness to travel or have any health related questions, we at in4MED, can help by connecting you to local healthcare providers and being there for you as your trusted health advocates. As always, feel free to connect with me or leave a comment.
Healthcare Consultant, in4MED
The author of this blog post is a Physician with over 10 years of experience working in the healthcare system as a clinician, researcher and educator. She is passionate about healthcare for older adults and strives to be a resourceful inspiration to caregivers.
*No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.