Protecting Your Health When You Travel

Protecting Your Health When You Travel

Seniors today are healthier than ever, which means they can stay active longer. This leaves more time for vacations, traveling, and overseas adventures. Active older adults, however, have more to think about when traveling than some of their younger counterparts, according to the American Geriatrics Society’s Health in Aging Foundation. As many travel tips for seniors show, seniors have to consider health conditions and any physical limitations they may have in addition to the typical concerns about travel safety and budgets.

If you’re over age 65, there’s plenty you can do to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. The following travel tips for seniors include suggestions designed to protect your health and give you the resources you’ll need along the way:

  • Consider your abilities and activity level when choosing a vacation destination. If you have mobility issues, build your itinerary around relaxing by the pool and dining out. If you are accustomed to being active and on the go, a bike tour of your island paradise may be a great activity. 
  • Check your vaccinations if you’re traveling overseas. Talk with your doctor about which precautions you’ll need to take based on your destination, or check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The CDC offers a list of the vaccinations needed for travel abroad. It’s important to check this list as far in advance as possible because some vaccinations require a minimum of six weeks to administer each round of the vaccine in question. 
  • Keep your medications in their original bottles and carry copies of your prescriptions. Airlines also require that some medications be accompanied by a special certificate, so one of the biggest travel tips for seniors is to discuss your trip with your doctor on your next visit.
  • Pack your medications in your carry-on luggage if possible. If your luggage happens to get lost or is stolen, prescriptions can be difficult to replace.
  • Inform the airline and your hotel about any special accommodations you may need. In most cases, this should be done as early as possible. For example, most airlines require at least 48 hours notice if you plan to fly with portable oxygen. Wheelchair access or a room on the first floor are important considerations you may want to discuss with the hotel when you make your reservations. 
  • Steer clear of germs whenever possible. Planes, trains, cruise ships, and other similar areas pack a lot of people in a small space. That’s a lot of germs to share. Wash your hands or use liquid hand sanitizer frequently to reduce your chances of catching a bug. 

Preparing for travel, packing, and ensuring you have everything in order can create stress — regardless of your age. By following specific travel tips for seniors, you can make sure you address pertinent concerns. Being prepared for your trip and knowing that your health is taken care of will make traveling the adventure it’s meant to be.  

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