Gentle travel tips for seniors

It’s time to start thinking about an epic summer vacation. While planning is essential for all travelers, it can be especially important for seniors who want to ensure the best travel experience.

Here are some tips to make your trip go smoothly:

Take the time to plan

From finding a travel agent to creating a checklist, planning your trip can help you avoid problems before they arise. Older travelers should pay particular attention to the following details:

• Consider travel insurance.

• Map the area you are staying in and where you would like to go.

• If you are going on an excursion, discuss with the guide what accommodation you might need.

Medical necessities

No one plans to get sick while traveling, but that’s all the more reason to be prepared just in case.

• Pack enough of your prescriptions, it is necessary to get refills. Many travel guides recommend keeping your medications in their original pharmacy bottles instead of packing them in a daily pill box – that way you’ll have the prescription information with you if you need it.

• If you are leaving the country, make sure your prescriptions are legal in the country you are visiting. Many common drugs, including Ritalin, Ambien, Benadryl, Codeine, Vicks, and Sudafed, are illegal in other countries. To check the legality of your medication in your destination country, check with the country’s embassy or consulate.

• Make sure your insurance will cover you at your destination. Medicare is accepted everywhere, but if you have an Advantage plan, you may still face coverage restrictions. If you are traveling abroad, consider purchasing travel health insurance. With some very specific exceptions, Medicare will not cover treatment received outside the United States.

• For longer trips, consult your doctor and dentist before travelling. Let your suppliers know you are traveling.

Baggage advice

There’s nothing worse than airlines losing your luggage. Pack an extra pair of clothes in your carry-on along with all your medications and other items you’ll need immediate access to.

Other items to keep in your carry-on bag include a set of spare glasses, a list of medications, and an emergency contact list that includes your doctor’s information.

keep safe

The aging population is often the target of thieves and pickpockets. Be mindful when you go out at night and consider bringing a friend with you. Keeping your wallet and other items in a fanny pack or money belt under your clothes will deter pickpockets.

Always carry the emergency numbers of your friends and family, as well as the address and telephone number of the local police. If you are traveling abroad, provide contact information for the nearest US Embassy. Make sure your family and friends know your route.