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5 Travel Tips for Seniors Living an Active Lifestyle

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
07/10/17  11:52 AM PST
Travel Tips for Seniors

By Dr. Kristy Taylor, Heka Healthcare Consulting, LLC

Long ago, retirement meant staying home and quietly living the remainder of one’s life. But today’s seniors are different. Many are going on adventures to bucket-list destinations to make the most of their golden years.

While traveling is a fantastic way for seniors to enjoy an active retirement, proper planning is important to ensure that things run smoothly. Here are five travel tips for seniors to consider to help make the most of your travel:

  • Plan Ahead with a Travel Partner: Whether planning the trip with your spouse, family member, or friend, it is recommended that seniors avoid traveling alone. Having a travel partner will help to increase safety and encourage you to get out and explore your destination more. Be sure to check with the Department of State for any travel advisories as a part of your planning process. It is also recommended to check your destination’s weather for packing and planning purposes.

Working with a travel agent may be beneficial if you are not familiar with planning the details of a trip, but you also have the option to purchase trips that include an itinerary of fun-filled experiences. As a final recommendation for planning, purchasing travel insurance will help cover expenses if unexpected events occur or you end up having to cancel your trip.

(Bonus: Traveling with a partner increases your purchasing power and gives you someone to share the experience with. Many booking websites or travel agents can offer you a better deal, if you are booking for two versus one.)

  • Consult with Your Doctor: Prior to your trip, be sure to consult with your doctor. If you have a chronic illness such as heart disease or were recently discharged from the hospital, get clearance from your medical provider. In addition, make sure to bring copies of all your important medical documents, and also be aware of the types of medical facilities available to you wherever you plan to visit. Make sure to get proper vaccinations and that you have a complete list of and a sufficient amount of your medications to carry with you. You may also want to visit your dentist for a check-up, as this may help you avoid any unexpected aches and pains.
  • Communicate with Your Loved Ones: Communicating your travel plans with loved ones is essential; inform them of where you are going, how you’re getting there, and provide them with a copy of your itinerary. You should also include important contact numbers for the hotel, along with your email address and contact information about your travel partner. If traveling with your spouse, each of you may decide to use different emergency contacts when planning your trip, just in case something happens. Also, prior to leaving, let your emergency contacts know that you have listed them on your forms.
  • Practice Safety Measures: Safety should always be a priority when traveling; don’t assume that just because you are safe because you are staying in a fancy hotel. People with ill motives can steal your belongings or take advantage of you; when traveling overseas, this is especially true because you may not be familiar with the native language or local culture. Also, avoid wearing expensive, heavy jewelry and accessories such as necklaces, rings, and watches that will bring unwanted attention. Next, limit the amount of cash that you have directly on your person.

As an added precaution, do not advertise your travel plans outside of your inner circle. You should also avoid posting your travel itinerary on social media, because this serves as a playbook for potential thieves.

  • Be Comfortable: When traveling, you should be comfortable with what you are wearing, eating, and experience. First, wearing comfortable clothing and shoes helps reduce the amount of stress on your feet and body. For example, flat shoes with a good grip will keep you comfortable and balanced throughout the day. Secondly, watch what you eat. Your stomach may get upset if you eat too many foods that your body is not used to; take your time and enjoy everything in moderation. Finally, try to limit your alcohol intake and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

The most important travel tip is to simply have fun and enjoy yourself; the recommendations above will help to avoid lots of potential stress. The more that you travel, the easier it is to plan, communicate, and to implement a process that works best for you.

Check out these articles for more travel and senior tips:

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