Summer is here - or is it? Between the Bakersfield rain, wind, and [finally!] sun we're starting to think the weather may have us confused for the South. While the weather tries to figure itself out most public schools are on summer break and families are making plans to reunite. As a senior, travel can take extra care and consideration so we've narrowed it down to five important travel tips every senior should know before hitting the open road.
1. Schedule a Physical Before You Leave
While you may have just been to the doctor, make sure you check in with your primary care physician if you plan on traveling any distance - especially if traveling internationally. Vaccinations should be up to date and consider other precautionary vaccinations with your physicians input.
Make sure you have a print-out of all current medications, any pre-existing conditions, and allergies. Should there be any issue where you wind up in a hospital this will help expedite your care.
2. Pack Medications Separately
If you need your medication regularly never pack all your medication in your luggage. This is far too risky. Instead, keep your medication with you at all times. Keep it in a clear bag so that TSA can view them easily and keep this with prescription documentation from your doctor.
Wear a hearing aid? Remember to bring extra batteries should it fail. These can be tricky finding in some places.
Wear glasses? Consider bringing your old pair along. Nothing ruins a good vacation like not being able to see the sights!
3. Aim For the Aisle
When flying, we always suggest seniors seat themselves in the aisle. This will afford you the ability to move around and stretch your legs more often than a window seat. Remember to get up often and consider wearing compression garments if on a long flight. If you have a travel companion and want to sit together, consider booking seats across the aisle from one another. You'll both enjoy the extra space, freedom to move, and still be able to communicate easily.
4. Search For Senior Perks
Discounts and services are everywhere - just ask! Many airlines and hotels have senior rates and senior services, so before booking call and inquire. Research senior travel options online or with a travel specialist. Consider booking a senior group tour that takes all the planning out of your hands, allowing you to enjoy more of the experience. Plus, group travel is a great way to make new friends.
5. Don't Over Pack
This is much easier to say than do. But if you take time to pack and only pack necessities this make your trip much more enjoyable. If you have mobility issues, packing light will reduce exhaustion and stress.
If flying, consider only packing a carry-on for shorter vacations. Most airlines charge for luggage, but not for carry-on. Just remember to follow all the rules and regulations between the airline and TSA. These can be found on the airlines websites. Once through the gate, consider gate checking your carry-on. This can be done at the terminal.
Summer travel doesn't have to be daunting as a senior. In the end, vacations should be stress-free experience. And by doing a little planning, you’ll have the best time yet.