8 Easy Tips For Safe Travel For Older Adults!
Traveling is something a lot of people talk ABOUT to me! It seems a lot of people put travel on their bucket list and travel to some pretty exotic places is a must! But, there are some things you need to be aware of when traveling to different parts of the world. Here are some tips to get you prepared for safer, more enjoyable travel!
1. Check Your Vaccinations
Depending on where you're going, you may need different vaccinations, and some are needed up to six weeks before you leave! I talk with my medical professional about any shots I may need, mainly because she keeps a good record of what I've had. You can also check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Travelers Health website to learn what measures you and your fellow travelers may be required to adhere to when traveling abroad.
2. Talk To Your Healthcare Provider
As I said above, I like to discuss my plans with my medical professional and she can check what I need for shots. Your doctor can also make sure you don't have any hidden health issues and that your prescriptions are safe to travel with. They may want you to come in for a checkup too.
3. Ask When You Should Take Your Medications
If you're traveling across multiple time-zones, you may have to adjust when you take your meds. Also, make sure you ask if any new foods you may be trying out might interact with your meds. (And after all, isn't one of the reasons we travel is to try new foods?)
4. Guard Against Deep-Vein Thrombosis
As we age, we run a higher risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) which happens when blood clots form in your veins, usually in your lefts, and block blood flow. Sitting still for a long time on an airplane, train, or boat can contribute to DVT. Some research shows that wearing compression stockings or calf sleeves can help prevent this condition. Again, check with your medical professional!
5. Get Your Medications In Writing
- Make a list of all prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medications you take. Include the dosage and what time you should take these medications. Ask your medical professional or pharmacist to help you create the list and ask them to review it for accuracy. The list should include both trade and generic drug names and the amount of each medication you need to take with you.
- Ask your medical professional for a list of current medical problems you have and how they're being treated.
Having all of this on paper can make it easier for you to get through customs, and easier to get replacement medications if you lose any while traveling. Make a copy of these lists and carry one with you and keep the other in your suitcase.
6. Keep Your Pills In Their Original Containers
Keeping the medications, both prescription and OTC medicines and supplements can make your trip through customs easier. Make sure the prescription containers have your name on them!
7. Carry Necessary Medications With You
This tip is basic! Make sure you have control of your medications. While lost luggage isn't as common as it used to be, it still happens. You don't want your needed medications going on a trip to Rome when you're headed to London!
8. Protect Yourself From Infection And Dehydration
This can be huge with traveling to some parts of the world! Some places the water isn't safe to drink and you need to be careful how food is prepared.
- Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This is a must after spending time on a crowded plane, train, or bus, and before eating.
- Use common sense when choosing what to eat and drink. The CDC travel site includes a country-by-country information on illnesses you can get from food and water and how best to avoid them.
- Drink plenty of water, especially when traveling by plane. A lot of airports now have water bottle filling stations that provide you with filtered water. The air inside planes is dry, so having a large bottle of water with you is important. You should drink whenever you are the least bit thirsty. Or, you can ask for a bottle of water every time the flight attendant offers a drink.
A person you may think of often when traveling is your medical professional, but they should have the latest information about vaccinations you need and special things you need to consider about your destination. You can do some of the research yourself using the CDC Travelers website along with Google or another search engine, but having someone who knows your medical history is priceless!