Traveling can create stress no matter how old or young you are, but for seniors and the disabled traveling can create a lot more anxiety. The good news is that there are many ways to mitigate stress and anxiety and overall plan to ensure a safer travel. Whether you are looking to travel domestically or internationally, for a few days or for several months, follow these simple tips to ensure a safe vacation:
Schedule a Visit to your Primary Care Physician (PCP)
No matter the destination, it is always a good idea to schedule an appointment with your regular care doctor. Ideally, the appointment should be scheduled well in advance to account for any issues that might arise. However, if it is a last minute travel decision, it’s a good idea to try to stop by your doctor’s office.
This is especially true of international travels where vaccines may be necessary. Additionally, let the doctor know where you intend to travel, what you intend to do, and they can make recommendations to stay safe.
High altitude locations can pose a danger to those that have shortness of breath because of the lack of oxygen. Even if you aren’t going to an exotic location, there are many things to consider that your doctor should know off hand. Additionally, make sure your PCP can check for any unusual signs or sicknesses going on. It’s terrible to get sick let alone far away from your home or in another country.
Make Sure you are Properly Vaccinated
Make sure you are properly vaccinated whether traveling domestically or internationally. Older people’s vaccines wear off faster so often a booster or an additional vaccine is needed. When traveling, most people are exposed to more people than in their usual routine.
Being in contact with more people ups the risk of disease transmission and the most effective way to prevent diseases according to the CDC, such as the flu, measles, shingles, and tetanus, is to make sure you are current on your vaccines.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
This is important advice for anyone but especially for seniors. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings. In order to stay low key especially internationally, don’t wear or bring expensive jewelry or belongings. Seniors seem like easy target to thieves due to age related limitations. It’s very important to avoid high-risk areas such as dangerous areas of a city. Also, at night, it’s a good idea to have a companion.
Make sure you are carrying your prescription in the original bottle, along with a copy of the prescription just in case. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring extra medications that will last beyond the duration of the planned stay.
Internationally, it can be difficult to find prescription refills so it’s a good idea to bring them in your carry on to ensure they aren’t lost during travel, especially critical medications.