10 Tips for Senior Travelers

If you enjoy traveling, whether it's a trip to visit the grandkids, take a cruise, or simply explore a new destination, here are 10 important tips to consider:

1. Consider the destination and travel options. You probably want your trip to fulfill a dream, not to find a cheap trip.

2. Research and plan ahead. Make travel plans and reservations sooner rather than later, seeking the most direct route and shortest travel times. Enroll in the no-cost frequent flier programs to get access to the lowest fares and ability to request special services at the airport and aboard the flight.

3. Request and reserve special services. Ask for a seat in the rows designated for disabled travelers. Request free wheelchair service at every airport location. If you are traveling alone, consider having someone to assist you from the ticket counter, through security, to the gate and when boarding the aircraft.

4. Come prepared with documentation. Make four sets of copies of the passport, driver’s license, Medicare and insurance cards, travel tickets and itinerary, boarding pass, prescriptions and/or physician statements. One set is placed in your carry-on bag, another in their checked luggage, the third set is sent to family at the arrival destination, and another at home.

5. Pack practically. Try to pack everything in a rolling suitcase and a medium carry-on bag. Flight attendants will stash it in the overhead bin. All prescription and over the counter medications should be placed in a one quart zip-lock bag, along with copies of prescriptions and/or physician statements, and packed in the carry-on bag.

6. Safety, security and comfort. Pick pockets and purse snatchers are abundant in high-traffic places like airports, and you should take some precautions. Leave her purse at home, and carry your money in a money belt. Or carry your wallet in your front pocket instead of the usual back pocket, or use a money belt also. Keep your carry-on bag between your feet when standing, or loop the shoulder strap around a chair leg when sitting.

7. Coordinate medication management. Most seniors take five or more medications at least once a day. It may be wise to ask in advance that the transportation staff remind you to take your medication at a specified time. Or make sure that you have a watch with an alarm on it.

8. Security checkpoints. Getting through security may be quicker than waiting in the long line of other travelers if you are in a wheelchair when making your way through transportation centers. Be mindful of any medical condition that would set of the alarm, such as surgical hip and knee implants.

9. Consider tours and cruises. Tours and cruises are unique in that they are completely planned, operated and staffed to deliver a promised trip. There are some who cater to people with disabilities and special needs.

10. Prepare those at the destination site. If you are flying alone to visit other family members, schedule a phone conversation with them to discuss the all arrangements.

Article courtesy of ParentYourParents.com.