No matter your age, travelling overseas should be a great experience, especially if you’re prepared for it. Travelers over the age of 50 may face challenges that younger travellers do not, especially if they have chronic illnesses. The following travel tips for seniors can help older travellers prepare for taking a holiday overseas.
Consult with Your Doctor
Before booking a flight or cruise, you should make an appointment with your General Practitioner to discuss your health and ability to travel. If you have a chronic illness, you may be advised not to fly, which could limit your ability to travel too far from home. Even if you’re in good health, something as seemingly minor as slightly elevated blood pressure could be problematic when travelling.
Check the Legality of Medications
While most medications used are similar to those used around the world, you should check to see if any medications you need to take with you are illegal in the country you’re visiting. If they are, speak to your doctor about obtaining a legal substitute to take with you. Also, if you’re taking several medications, have your GP write out a letter explaining that they are necessary to maintain your health.
Buy Travel Insurance
If your GP approves of your travel plans, you should purchase a travel insurance policy if you’re travelling outside of the United Kingdom. While NHS will cover accidents and illnesses in the UK, they will not cover medical expenses in another country.
Getting travel insurance for someone age 50 or older, especially if they have chronic illnesses, can be a challenge. However, you don’t want to fall ill or get injured on your trip without having coverage, especially if you need to be hospitalised. Medical Travel Compared can help people age 50 and over find affordable travel insurance, including add-on policies with exceptions for chronic conditions.
Move Around Frequently
On long flights or cruises, you need to move around to avoid deep vein thrombosis, which causes blood clots. Clots can travel to your lungs and cause pulmonary embolisms, move to your heart and cause a heart attack, or they can cause strokes. Wear loose, comfortable clothing on flights, walk up and down the aisles of the plane when possible, and stretch your legs and feet while you’re seated.
Don’t Overdo It
Even though you’ll want to try to see as much as you can while touring a new country, don’t overexert yourself, especially the first couple of days after arriving. Schedule some down time to recover from jet lag, and be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you’re unsure of the safety of the water, drink bottled water, and don’t overindulge if there are foods you should avoid.
If you are travelling alone or with your partner and your health is questionable, consider joining a tour if you’re not visiting friends or relatives while on holiday. That way, if something happens to you, you’ll be with other people who can get help if necessary. Depending on the type of tour, you can sit back and relax while sightseeing in an unfamiliar country.