For many aging adults, retirement means a new opportunity to travel. Perhaps you have busily worked your whole life, saving money, and now that you have the time, you look forward to seeing the world. Travel should generally be a fun endeavor full of new sights and experiences, along with some good food and drink. However, travel can bring with it challenges and risks. Before traveling, it is wise to do quite a bit of planning, including for travel safety. As a senior adult, you may have additional needs that you previously did not need to think about. We’ve put together this list of travel safety tips just for you:
1. Plan for travel needs
If you are going to travel, the first step is to plan for the trip you want to take. Researching a destination and selecting your accommodations is the place to start. Once you have selected a travel plan, you need to plan for your travel. This means you need to ensure you have the right things in place for your trip. Typically, you need a driver’s license or passport with your name as a match to your travel documents.
Some destinations require certain vaccines and visas before you can travel there. Be sure to look at all the requirements so you do not face any surprises that could delay or prevent your trip. In today’s world, there are also many restrictions if you choose to travel by air. Be sure to look at the luggage limits and TSA requirements, so that you can comply with all their regulations. Most cruise ships also have rules for what can be brought on board, so be sure you know what is allowed before you go aboard.
2. Plan for financial needs
Having money for your trip is essential, although your needs may vary depending on your destination. Be sure to take the right types of funds for your destination. Some foreign and international sites will accept American cash, while others will not. It is usually wise to take one or more credit cards but alert your CC holder that you will be traveling so they will not be alarmed by any unusual activity on the card.
To protect your financial investment in your trip, it is wise to take out travel insurance. Most travel planners can offer this to you. If you book directly with a cruise line or resort, they will often offer this as part of the booking package. Travel insurance is often an excellent choice because it protects you if something happens and you need to cancel your trip—you would be able to get your money back. It can often cover other unexpected expenses such as those associated with lost luggage.
3. Plan for health needs
When you travel, it can be easy to neglect your normal routine, especially those activities you usually engage in to manage your health. Unfortunately, health does not take a vacation. Before traveling, consult with your doctor about your trip and any special recommendations they may have. When you travel, be sure to take your usual medications and other healthcare devices, such as CPAP machines.
It is recommended that you keep healthcare items in your carry-on luggage when you travel by plane, to ensure you have access to them. The TSA also prefers that medications be packed in their original containers with labels. If you are traveling by plane, guard your health by getting up during the flight (when it is safe to do so) and moving about. This can prevent blood clots and deep-vein thrombosis. Given that aging adults are at higher risk of this, it is also wise to use compression socks/garments.
With careful travel safety planning, your travel should go smoothly so that you can get to your destination and enjoy your time. While you are at your destination and sightseeing, be sure to take good care of yourself with regular meals and frequent hydration. Stay aware of your surroundings and keep your personal items nearby. These simple practices will keep you healthy and your belongings safe.