Senior Travel: What to Do to Have a Hassle-Free Vacation

senior couple on vacation

It’s common for senior citizens to have their bucket lists. Somehow, it gives them a sense of purpose. It’s a great way for them to focus on what they want out of the remaining years of their lives.

Travel is one of the most popular items on seniors’ bucket lists. Many of them can come up with at least a country that they’ve always wanted to visit. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 78.5% of seniors in the U.S. added travel to their bucket lists. If you’re a senior, you know this pretty well. You’ve always wanted to travel far away, too.

Marriage, children, and work, however, took up most of your time. And then, later on, financial difficulties stemming from mortgage payments and your children’s education took hold. And then much later on, with the children gone to make families of their own and you’re nesting, poor health came along. You didn’t have much time to do things that you enjoyed and wanted to do. You didn’t get to travel extensively.

But now you have the time. The good news is, even if you’re struggling with some level of mobility or you now have some sort of impairment, you can still travel. You just have to make a few adjustments and make a lot of preparations, especially because of the pandemic. Find out what these preparations and adjustments are in today’s article.

Get a Check-Up Before You Leave

Schedule a routine medical check-up with your physician days or weeks before you leave. If you have specific conditions, visit your specialist before you make any plans. It’s important to ask your doctors if it’s safe for you to travel. For seniors who have had a recent lung treatment or surgery, it’s best to consult your physician first. Air pressure in airplanes can aggravate your condition.

For seniors who have had a recent retinal damage treatment or any eye surgery, ask your doctor when will you be allowed to travel again. The same goes for seniors who have had surgery that affects their mobility. They may need to travel with a companion who can assist them.

Prepare Your Medications

Most seniors are prescribed different medications. You may have them, too. You depend on your medications to maintain your health, relieve pain, or keep your allergies tamed. You need your medicines to improve your quality of life. Obviously, you need to prepare them for your travel.

Have everything you need in an organized container, preferably placed in your carry-on bag so you can easily get them. If you have prescriptions, request them from your doctor in advance. Make a checklist of your medications, so you don’t forget anything. You should also bring with you medical supplies and a first-aid kit.

pile of medicine

Prepare for Emergencies

Planning ahead can prepare you for any emergencies that may arise. Keep your identification cards, credit cards, and passport in a neck pouch. Your other valuables such as your wallet and smartphone should be kept in a separate bag.

But, don’t forget to include a list of emergency numbers in your neck pouch in case your bag gets lost or stolen. You’ll know who to call in case of an emergency even if your smartphone is gone. Include the numbers of key hospitals, police stations, and embassies of the places you’ll go to in your list.

Prepare for Your Special Needs

Consider your special needs as well. You may need to go to the bathroom often because of age. It’s best to know in advance where the bathrooms are. You can include this as a note in your itinerary. To prevent accidents, wear an adult diaper.

You can register for special assistance when you book your airplane tickets. You will be provided with a wheelchair and an escort to bring you to your seat. They will also allow you through the priority lane. Don’t worry, they don’t charge for that. And, don’t forget to book a seat by the aisle where you can easily access the toilet.

You can also have your check-in baggage delivered in advance instead of carrying them around. Check your smartphone for delivery services app that transport baggage and other bulky items locally and internationally. You can save time at the customs when you get to the airport and you don’t have to carry your luggage around.

It’s Now or Never

According to a 2013 study, travel for seniors promotes healthy aging. It can help you maintain good mental and physical health. Because of traveling, you can engage in an active life.

However, because travel is still restricted in some countries, opt to go where the borders are open and there are sufficient health protocols in place. You can easily ask for more information from your local senior citizen center. And, don’t forget to get insured for your travel.

Don’t let these challenges hamper your desire to go places. There’s still so much to see and enjoy but always put your safety first.

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