When you have planned well and prepared, traveling can be a very pleasurable time and create wonderful memories. For seniors who will be traveling this summer, there are a few specific health and safety considerations they need to keep in mind to help eliminate stress and enjoy the experience.
Make Sure People Know Where You Are
Before you leave for your trip, prepare a detailed itinerary for your family and close friends. In the itinerary, include:
- Phone contacts
These include specific details about where you are going, so people are aware of your proposed destinations and when you are planning to be there. It’s also a good idea to make copies of important documents that you are taking with you like:
- Driver’s licenses
- Credit cards
- Health information, like medications
Give a copy to a loved one who can help you in case these documents are lost during your trip.
Carry Extra Prescriptions with You
If you routinely take prescription medication, make sure you have a sufficient supply throughout your trip. It’s best to carry extra medication and extra prescriptions for medications in your carry-on luggage in case your luggage is lost or you are stranded while traveling. In case of an emergency, carry your doctor’s contact information so you have it easily available.
Get as Much Activity as You Can
It’s important to move on a regular basis when traveling. Walking around will help prevent the formation of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clots that can form in your legs. When driving, try to stop at a rest stop and walk around for 5 minutes every 2 hours.
If you are flying, there will be times, obviously, when you’re not allowed to move around. You can, however, perform basic exercises, like stretching your toes up and back, rolling your feet and bringing your knee into your chest. When you are able to move about the cabin, take advantage of the time to walk around. Circulating the blood through your body and using your muscles will help you maintain your strength and balance when you land.
Especially during the summer, dehydration can become a very serious problem for seniors. Make sure you drink plenty of water by carrying a water bottle with you, which should help avoid heat stroke and dehydration.
Eat Healthy Foods
It may be tempting to grab fast food while traveling, especially if your travels have caused you to veer from your regular eating schedule, but doing so is very unhealthy. Pre-pack healthy snacks for your trip:
- Dehydrated snacks
- Energy bars
These options are all great for traveling. Pack your snacks in plastic bags so you have easy access to healthy and satisfying snacks while you’re traveling. Also, don’t forget to eat breakfast.
Book Senior Accessible Accommodations
Make sure you book hotel accommodations that are suitable for you. If stairs are an issue, request a ground-floor room. Before you book, get information on where you’ll be staying and ask about your accommodation’s accessibility.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Traveling can wear you out. While you’re on a trip remember to get enough rest. Properly resting while traveling will provide you with many benefits:
- Boost your immunity
- Improve your mood
- Lower your risk of injury due to sleep deprivation
If changing time zones, be sure to adjust your schedule according to the new time a few days before you leave. Doing so will help you avoid jet lag. When you are rested, you will be able to fully enjoy your vacation without wishing you could take a nap.
By following these tips, you should enjoy a healthy and meaningful trip. Bon Voyage!