Senior travelers are now traveling more than ever before. Most senior citizens in today’s world travel to almost any international destination. Accordingly, seniors should always take extra safety precautions when doing so. By following a few travel planning tips – potential disasters or misfortunes can be avoided.
Accidents can occur at any place, and injuries may take an extended period of time to recover from and be very costly. Being fully aware of and preparing for unforeseen occurrences is highly recommended for traveling seniors who are more likely to injure themselves or encounter a stressful experience. Planning a fun, safe, and comfortable trip is simple and easy to do!
Here are some travel tips for senior citizens that will prepare them for a safe and easy voyage while they are traveling to international destinations.
1. Select an Aisle Seat on Long Flights
When the flight is long, you don’t want to have to negotiate with your seatmates when you need to stretch, use the restroom, or ask the flight attendant a question. The freedom to move about is less restricted from an aisle seat. If you are traveling with another person, choose seats that are across the aisle from each other, so you can be nearby and still have equal mobility.
2. Keep Medicines Handy
Travelers should always have several days’ worth of their important medications in their carry-on and keep them handy, in their seat (to avoid having to get up and dig in your bag in the overhead bin). Why several days’ worth? If you check your bag and then the flight is delayed, it’s hard, if not impossible, for the airline to retrieve your bag – even if the reason is something as critical as accessing your medication. Keep plenty with you so that you can make it through the flight, in case of a potential delay to your destination.
3. Print and Share Your Travel Documents
Print and/or have your travel documents handy. Make a backup copy of your itinerary and send it to those you are visiting – so they know when your plane is arriving and can make arrangements if it is delayed – and leave a copy with a friend or family member back home. Have copies of your travel insurance, your passport ID page, your visas, emergency contacts, and medical information with you. If your flight is canceled, your passport is stolen, or your prescriptions are lost, you can call your travel insurance company for help.
4. Know What to Expect on Your Trip
Get as much information as you can about your travel, including the flight departure and arrival times, terminal maps, immigration information, etc… to avoid unexpected surprises. You may be required to complete immigration forms or customs forms during the flight. Don’t be afraid to ask the flight attendant for help before you land so your forms are ready. Make sure you understand the destination country’s customs regulations to avoid bringing items that are not allowed. For example, you can’t bring fruit, seeds, or plants into the U.S. and if you are caught you may face fines or other legal problems.
5. Navigate the Airport with Ease
Get to the airport with time to spare so that you aren’t rushed as you find your way to the right terminal (sections of the airport) and gate (where the planes are boarded). Try to avoid walking very long distances and if you need help, arrange for a wheelchair or assistance ahead of time (usually the airline can help you arrange this when you book your tickets).
6. Skip the Alcohol and Drink Lots of Water
Flying at high altitudes is extremely dehydrating and most people think as long as they are sitting quietly they don’t need a lot of water. Unfortunately, this is how many seniors get into severe trouble – they accidentally get dehydrated. Have a water bottle with you and fill it at one of the airport cafes after you pass through security. Keep sipping the water all throughout your flight. Drinking water has the added benefit of getting you up and moving too – even if it’s just to the lavatory.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Crew Members for Help
While flying has changed significantly from the roomy and comfortable flights of long ago, the crew members are there to help passengers and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help lifting your bag into place, or getting a cup of water, for example. Many passengers around you are also willing and happy to help as well.
8. Have Healthy Snacks On Hand
Don’t let yourself get too hungry either – have a few healthy snacks on hand. Some nuts, sliced fruit, or energy bars are all good options. Depending on the airline, snacks may only be available for purchase, and it’s more simple to have what you like on hand rather than taking your chances with the food carts. Pack your snacks in plastic zippered bags, so they don’t leak in your bag, and be sure they are handy to you so you don’t have to retrieve your bag from the overhead bin.
9. Stand Up and Stretch Often
One of the most critical risks for senior travelers is DVT or deep vein thrombosis – it can cause death during and after a long flight simply because a person did not move about or stretch often. When you are cramped in an airplane flying for many hours, it’s critical to wriggle, stretch, stand, and even move about when you can. Even if the seatbelt sign remains on – and you aren’t supposed to get up and stroll about the aisles, you can stretch your toes up and back, bring your knee into your chest, and roll your feet about.
10. Get Help with Your Luggage
Unless you are traveling very light, get help with your luggage. Traveling at 30,000 feet or more through the skies is hard on the human body and you may be far more tired than you think you are. If you reach for your bag on a fast-moving carousel and fall, you could be injured in a foreign country. Take it easy on yourself. Ask another passenger to grab your bag and if you don’t have family at the luggage point, get a porter to load your bags into the taxi or hotel van.
Get more information about travel tips for parents or seniors visiting USA at Parents Visiting USA. It is highly recommended to get a proper and adequate travel medical insurance for parents visiting USA to cover them against mishaps, especially in country like USA where the medical cost is extremely high.
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