Travel Tips for the Elderly

The great pleasures to be derived from travelling don’t have to end just because we happen to be getting older. People in their senior years regularly continue to cruise, fly and take road trips all over the world and have fabulous holidays. But of course they have to factor in a few additional considerations and take a bit more care on some aspects of their travel plans, from homelifts to packing, especially if they have a medical condition.

Bali - Indonesia

Before leaving


It’s a good idea to research the travel agents a bit, as many of them now specialise in travelling for seniors, and also to check out the medical facilities that are available at the destinations you’re considering. If you use a wheelchair or guide dog, make all the necessary arrangements such as seating on the plane. Your travel insurance also needs to cover any medical conditions to remain valid.

Luggage


Make sure you take a bag into the cabin that contains all the medication you’ll need during the flight. A pill-box is always a good idea too, because on holiday routines tend to get disrupted and you’ll need to know what you’ve taken each day of the week. Use a suitcase that has wheels to lighten the load.

Disabilities


You can call the airport well ahead of your flight to make arrangements about seating, services, meals and shuttles, and the travel agent should also have been informed of any disabilities. Try to book only direct flights, but where this is not possible give yourself plenty of time for transfers.

At the destination end, you or your agent can contact the local authorities to see whether the transport system can handle your particular disability. You can also contact the local embassy to check the availability of things like wheelchairs, relevant medications or guide dogs.

Bali - Indonesia

Medication


Before booking a trip, ensure that your medication is legal in that destination country by contacting the consulate or embassy, and take a doctor’s letter confirming dosages and the fact that your medicine is purely for personal use. Always keep it in its original packaging, and take this with you even if you’re using a pill-box. Take a supply of needles and syringes to last the length of your stay.

Clothing


With clothing, go for comfortable attire that allows for free blood circulation, and ensure beforehand that your body can handle a long flight as sitting motionless for prolonged periods can cause blood clots under certain conditions. Compression stockings are often recommended to stimulate circulation in the lower legs.

Infection avoidance


Use an alcohol-based hand cleanser for your hands, especially before eating or after being in crowded places like a bus, plane or train.

Photos via Flickr Creative Commons