Guest post by Ran Ash
The age of retirement allows many seniors the opportunity, maybe for the first time in a long while, to escape the rat race of life and replace work commitment with leisurely and family activities such as traveling. For the senior traveler in mind, we have put together 10 travel tips.
1. Carrying medication onboard flights – Modern medications allow many individuals to retain a high quality of life and certainly taking medication should not stop you from traveling (*unless there is a medical reason*). You must be aware of the recent restrictions that allow only a certain amount of drugs and liquids to be carried on yourself or in your hand luggage. The rest must be stored safely in your main luggage. Transportation Security Administration (part of Department of Homeland Security) offers a useful resource that explains the latest restrictions.
2. Back up your prescriptions – Prior to traveling consider making photocopies of your current prescriptions and keep one copy safely back home with a friend or family member and another copy with your other travel documents. In case your medications are lost, a local healthcare provider will be able to more easily help issue you new prescriptions.
3. Ensure you have travel insurance – Travel insurance is a necessity regardless of your age and of the duration of your travels. Nevertheless, statistically speaking it is a fact of life that as you mature, your likelihood to require medical attention grows and seeking such attention overseas can become costly.
4. Travel safely – The world has changed in recent years and places that were considered completely safe may appear more hazards now. Perhaps the most publicized examples of changes occurred in North Africa over the last couple of years. The US State Department keeps a handy on line resource in which you can check and keep informed of areas that are unsafe to travel to.
5. Reduce the likelihood of DVT – Stands for Deep Vein Thrombosis the condition causes a blood clot in a vein, usually a leg vein and can be lethal. It is often caused by immobility such as when seated on long flights. While people of all ages many suffer from DVT, research shows that as the body matures your chance of getting DVT grow. You can reduce the chances of DVT by walking around the plane every 45min, by raising your legs and by drinking plenty of water. Further tips and information on DVT is found at the National Library of Medicine.
6. Using your credit card while away – Banks and credit card companies limit fraud by checking the pattern of your use against irregularities. If your card is used in a country other than where you normally use it, then it may be blocked due to suspected fraudulent activity. Having no money to spend on holiday will surely spoil your plans. To avoid this situation you should inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans a few days prior.
7. Take your driving license – Even if you haven’t booked ahead or planned to, during your holiday you may decide to travel by car. A driving license will be essential when renting a hired car. Additionally in many countries a driving license acts as a form of identity document, which is safer to carry on the go as opposed to carrying your passport.
8. Take forms of ID – Senior discounts are available across many parts of the world and yes even on holiday you can save here and there. These discounts can vary from discounts on your local travels to cheaper museum tickets. If you have a senior card, make sure to bring it along.
9. Get a helping hand – If you tend to carry your entire world in your luggage, you should ask for a helping hand when carrying your heavy luggage. Do not hesitate to ask for help with the luggage at airports, train stations, hotels, and even at car rental outlets.
10. Take your medical condition into account – If you suffer from any medical condition(s) that may limit your travels, take that into account. Start by planning the duration of the holiday in conjunction with the suggestions of your doctor and check that the destination country has suitable medical facilities just in case.
Enjoy your holidays. Age should not restrict you from exploring more often and further away as long as you plan accordingly.