5 of the best healthcare tips for older travellers
People don’t have to stop travelling just because they are getting older and if anything it’s in older age that people can travel more, backed up by a lifetime of knowledge allowing you to fully appreciate the experience.
However, being older means people cannot travel the way they used to as older holidaymakers may have physical limitations and need to use stairlifts at home to get around.
Fortunately, there are a number of healthcare tips that older people can follow to ensure their holiday is the best experience they could have hoped for. We’ve reached out to a number of travel experts for their recommendations for senior travellers.
Get travel insurance
Travel insurance is important for all travellers of any age, but for older travellers it is essential. Older holidaymakers with mobility problems, for example, will be more at risk of falling over and hurting themselves.
The last thing travellers want is to have had an accident abroad and then be required to pay a large medical bill.
Sheila Berrios-Nazario from the travel blog Golden Age Trips says that there is no excuse not to buy travel insurance because nowadays it is very affordable.
“First and foremost, obtain travel insurance. Nowadays, travel insurance is not only affordable but easy to purchase. However, if you have a preexisting condition, I would recommend getting on the phone with the travel insurance company of your interest before purchasing any travel so they can advise you of the type of coverage you'll need and when in advance you will need to buy it.”
Preparation is key
As Benjamin Franklin, the American revolutionary, famously once said, ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’. This is also relevant for older travellers as it is essential to prepare for your holiday.
Donna, who runs My Itchy Travel Feet, the Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel says preparation is the key to safely travelling abroad for the older traveller. She has come up with some tips older holidaymakers should follow:
- Before arriving at the airport, confirm that wheelchairs are available if you need assistance getting to the gate.
- Leave travel itinerary, emergency numbers and hotel contact information with a loved one or friend.
- Choose activities that match your fitness level.
- Wear sturdy shoes with non-grip soles when exploring historic cities with cobblestone or uneven pavement.
- Enjoy the food but don’t overindulge in dishes with ingredients that aren’t a normal part of your diet.
- Drink lots of water.
Consider booking group excursions
The old maxim of safety in numbers is certainly true and for older travellers, especially those going on holiday alone, this is something to consider.
Sheila Berrios-Nazario recommends older people to consider travelling in groups. She says, “At first glance group excursions can appear pricey, but not having to drive and worry about almost anything makes the price worth it. Most tour companies have guides that speak the local language, and who can help in many situations that might arise.”
Always bring the necessary medication
Firstly travellers should always check the rules for the countries they are visiting (even the ones that are just stop-offs) as different countries have different rules and regulations regarding medication.
Once you know what medication is allowed it is important that you pack all the necessary prescriptions and drugs that are needed.
Sheila Berrios-Nazario from Golden Age Trips tells us why it is important to take these medications in your carry-on bag.
“Always have any necessary medication in your carry-on and not on your checked bag. Make sure bottles are labelled, and there is proof that it is your prescription and why is it needed. There are instances in which some medicines are allowed in a country but banned in others, especially if they are stimulants or have codeine. If in doubt, get in contact with the embassy of the country you are going to or with a travel agent.”
Don’t underestimate the heat
Travelling to warmer climates in the winter is a popular trip amongst older people, but while getting a winter tan is great it is important that people don’t underestimate the heat.
Golden Age Trips’ Sheila Berrios-Nazario, says, “Having lived in Puerto Rico and Florida all my life what I have learned is to never underestimate the heat, especially if you're not used to it.
“Heatstroke is more common than you think, but keeping yourself hydrated, taking breaks in a place with air conditioning or under the shade for a few minutes every hour, and my favourite, taking a break from the heat at the hotel after lunch really makes a difference.”
Donna from My Itchy Travel Feet agrees that the heat can be overwhelming for some older people and she shared her top tips with us.
“Overheating and dehydration are the two biggest problems when older travellers go on holiday to hotter countries. Avoid the debilitating effects of heat exhaustion or heat stroke by following these practices:
- Wear loose clothing that allows air to flow.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid over consummation of alcohol.
- Wear a hat.
- Shield eyes from sun damage with sunglasses that protect against both UV and UB light.
- Protect skin with a sunscreen that won’t block pores.
- Bring a handkerchief or bandana that can be dipped into water. Place it over your face, neck and head when feeling overheated.
- Seek out the shade of an umbrella on the beach or under an awning or tree when touring in the city.
- Stop to rest and cool off before you think it’s time to do so.”
This news article is from Companion Stairlifts. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.