Traveling usually evokes a sense of excitement and anticipation. However, the actual act of traveling, whether it’s by air, train, or automobile, isn’t always easy. For some, especially seniors, traveling can cause much stress and anxiety, in addition to possible complications while away from home. Here are some easy travel tips for seniors that will help to ease the stress and reduce the anxiety caused by travel, ensuring you have a safe, worry-free vacation.
Discuss Your Travel Plan with Your Provider
Before departing on your journey, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your primary care provider. Discuss with them where you will be going, for how long, and what you will be doing while away. Your doctor will inform you of any possible limitations or restrictions you may need to follow depending on your health and well-being. They may recommend getting updated shots or vaccines.
Get Your Flu Shot and Covid Booster
The best way to protect yourself is by being proactive and getting the necessary vaccinations. If you haven’t already, get your flu shot and Covid booster as soon as you can prior to traveling. It takes a couple of weeks for your body to build up immunity and for the vaccine to truly be effective, so don’t wait until the last minute.
Manage Your Medication
It doesn’t matter how you’re traveling, you want to be sure you have the proper medication and extra just in case you run into a problem. Always travel with several additional days’ worth to be sure you don’t run out. Make sure you have enough on hand prior to traveling to ensure you can get the necessary refills on time. Also, if you are flying and taking liquid medication, you will need to work with your physician to get the proper documentation to show the airlines so you can carry those medications on the plane. Keep all medications in their original bottles with labels, so you don’t take a chance of mixing or missing doses. Don’t pack important medication where you won’t be able to get to it in case your plane or travel means get delayed.
Have Copies of Travel Documents
This is especially important if you are traveling overseas. It’s always a good idea to make copies of any necessary travel documents or personal identification documents that you will be using. If something is stolen, you may not be able to use the copies, but it will help to speed up the process and assistance in getting replacements.
Stretch Your Legs
This is important no matter how you’re traveling. Long flights, car rides, and train travel can leave you stiff and cramped. Plus, sitting for long periods of time increases your risk for blood clots and deep vein thrombosis brought on by lack of movement. If you’re traveling by plane or train, get up periodically and walk the aisles to stretch your legs. If you’re driving or riding in a car, make frequent stops so you can have a chance to get out of the car and walk around, stretch, and use the bathroom. Stopping every couple of hours is a good rule of thumb when you’re driving. This will also help to keep you awake and from getting sleepy while driving.
Traveling is one of the quickest ways to become dehydrated. If you’re flying at high altitudes, you’re at an increased risk of becoming dehydrated. Make sure to always have water on hand and continuously sip on it.
One of the best travel tips for seniors is, if possible, to pack light. Try to bring just what you need. Heavy luggage and multiple bags can make traveling extremely challenging and stressful. If there are things you know you can buy or borrow when you get to your destination, that will help lessen your load. The less you bring, the easier to maneuver. Plus, lifting heavy luggage in and out of vehicles and upstairs can be dangerous and cause serious injuries.
Have an Emergency Contact List
When traveling, always have an emergency contact list with individuals who should be notified if there is a problem. And make sure you inform those individuals of your travel plans so they know where you should be and when.
Don’t let traveling take the fun out of your vacation. Follow these travel tips for seniors and be prepared for what may arise. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can eliminate much of the stress and anxiety that can accompany traveling, especially during the holiday season.