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Although Summer may be coming to a close, seniors continue to travel. AARP reported that 99% of the “Baby Boomer” generation took at least one leisure trip in 2017. In the same report, an average of five or more trips are expected from this age group throughout the year!

Some of these senior “snowbirds” head to warmer climates for the winter. Others may travel home to see loved ones and family for the holidays, while some seniors want to travel to cross destinations off their bucket lists.

Whatever the reasons may be, seniors should keep these tips in mind while traveling this season:

Plan Ahead

The most important step for traveling in your senior years is to make sure you have clearance from your doctor. Your doctor should help accommodate tips for your trip if you have any health conditions or disabilities.

Before travel, make sure you’re up-to-date on routine vaccines such as measles, mumps, and seasonal cases of flu. Although many of these vaccines are for children, these diseases are more common in other countries than in the United States. The CDC states that more than half of tetanus cases in the United States are in people over 65. Consider getting a tetanus booster before your travel.

Watch What You Eat

As you age, many people get put on restricted diets. This is often due to an increase in sensitivity to different types of food.

Stay away from foods that are heavy, spicy, or cheesy. These items can cause irritation and sickness to those on restricted diets. If you’re traveling anywhere where it’s not recommended for you to drink the water, consider what the local food is cooked in during your stay. It might be best to play it safe, so you can enjoy your trip fully.

Educate Yourself On Your Medication

It’s important for any seniors who take medication to be completely educated as they plan their trips. Be 100% sure on when you should take your medications.

Check the TSA website about which medication is allowed in your luggage and how to communicate with an officer about medically necessary bottles or containers. Don’t have your medication taken away before your trip starts.

Try to avoid leaving your medication out in the open in your hotel room. Pack an extra day or two worth of your medication in case your flight happens to get delayed.

Lastly, make a list of your medications you take and the dosages. That way if anything goes wrong, you can replace it at your final destination.

Travel Without All Your Big Ticket Items

Often seniors have the ability to afford many nice things compared to their younger counterparts. Yet, as you travel try to keep your nice jewelry, watches, or any expensive electronics at a minimum.

Older travelers may be less aware of their surroundings. They tend to have less balance and are considered easier targets for most thieves. Thieves believe that many older people tend to carry more cash. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so leave most of these items at home.

The Importance of Sleep

The one negative of traveling involves changing typical sleep habits and patterns. Usually, the red-eye flight offers the best deal. However, it might ruin your trip. The absence of sleep could affect you for the following few days, which may chew up half of your vacation! Also, sleep deprivation leads to changes in your moods, energy levels, and decision making.

With all the other chaos surrounding a trip such as airport requirements, the lines, and changes in time zones, why add more factors to your trip? Book an extra day to settle in and get a good night’s sleep to help your body adjust for the rest of your adventures.

Notify Loved Ones

When traveling, notify important family members and loved ones about where you are going and what your general plan is. That they’ll know they can check in with you at any time to make sure your trip is going well.

If you’re traveling solo, don’t be afraid to keep your hotel concierge in the general loop. Tell them where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Always carry a cell phone on you if possible.

Get Trip Insurance

While many younger people have the ability to get away with traveling without any travel insurance, it’s essential for the older population to look into it while traveling.

What If you happen to fall and hurt yourself, get sick, or run out of your medication? There can be severe consequences, especially when traveling in a foreign country.

Look into the cost of trip insurance for your adventure, or even check out a credit card focused on travel. Some of these offer automatic trip cancellation insurance if you buy the plane ticket on the card.

Remember to understand how credit works and pay your trip off fully by your due date. As long as you follow disciplined financial habits, your trip insurance could be free.

Request Assistance at the Airport

Seniors are able to get special assistance at the airport. You can get a ride on a cart or assistance in a wheelchair from check-in until you board at your gate. Also, you can request assistance at security, where they may be able to get you through a shorter line. Go to the check-in desk and ask for help as you arrive.