Jet set like a pro with these helpful hints for your next excursion.
Just about all Baby Boomers – 99% to be exact – take at least one yearly leisure trip, according to AARP travel trends. With spring and summer seasons regarded as the most desirable time to get away, you may be planning your next vacation right now. Whether arranging for a weekend getaway close to home, a multi-generational trip abroad, or something in between, consider these safe travel tips for seniors to help get the most out of your experience:
- Arrive early for your travel arrangements
- Request accommodations in advance
- Wear mostly loose clothing
- Safely pack your medications and hearing aids
- Stay hydrated and be careful about what you eat
- Protect yourself with travel insurance
- Make extra copies of important document
Let’s look at how these senior-friendly travel tips can help ensure a memorable and stress-free trip.
Arrive early for your travel arrangements
We’ve all been there—you arrive at the airport an hour or two before your flight, thinking you have plenty of time, and then you see the security line. This heart-dropping moment is why it’s always smart to give yourself a generous time buffer: better too early than too late! The same goes if you’re traveling by bus or train. Early arrivals allow time to find the departure point, chat with the staff, settle in, and prepare for the journey.
Request accommodations in advance
If you need accommodations from your hotel or mode of transport, let them know in advance so they can have it ready for you. For instance, you can reserve wheelchairs or electric carts to get around the airport faster, or research and request assistive listening devices in advance for any tourist stops you’re planning to make along the way.
Wear mostly loose clothing
This travel tip for seniors is aimed to help you stay comfortable on your journey. Have you ever had your leg fall asleep after sitting for a while, or notice swollen ankles or calves? Wearing compression stockings can help prevent that by improving blood flow. For the rest of your body, loose clothing is the way to go. Fitted or tight pants and shirts can restrict your circulation and comfort on travel day.
Safely pack your medications and hearing aids
Keeping any needed medications organized will make life easier for you and airport or other security personnel who may need to check your luggage. Pack them in their original labeled bottles. If you are traveling by plane, keep them all together in a clear bag tucked inside your carry-on luggage. If you have hearing loss, pack a container for your assistive listening devices or hearing aids so you can safely store them when you’re not wearing them, and plan to bring extra batteries, charging cables, and cleaning equipment as needed.
Stay hydrated and be careful about what you eat
Traveling is a perfect chance to sample the cuisine of other cultures, but do it with a bit of caution. Common trouble foods that can interfere with your plans include cold meat and cheese platters, seafood, unpasteurized dairy, and raw fruits and vegetables (unless you can peel them first). If you have food allergies, be sure to check labels and ask questions about preparation when you are dining out. Staying hydrated is essential (especially if it’s hot). If you’re in a developing country, avoid tap water and purchase jugs or bottles instead.
Protect yourself with travel insurance
Especially if you’re traveling internationally, travel insurance for seniors is another travel tip that can save you a lot of stress and trouble. If you encounter a health or safety concern, travel insurance may help cover a hospital stay, emergency transportation, and even canceled plans or lost luggage.
Make extra copies of important documents
Our last safe travel tip for seniors is to make sure to have printed backups of important documents – they can be a lifesaver in the event of loss or theft. Print three copies of documents including passport/other ID, insurance cards, travel tickets, and prescriptions. Keep one yourself, give one to a companion or store at your hotel, and leave one with a friend or family member at home so they can mail it to you in the rare case of an emergency.
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These safe travel tips for seniors can help you relax and enjoy the memorable and transformative experience that only a new adventure can bring. For more articles on senior living, head over to our blog.