Sunday, May 2, 2021

Plan ahead for safe, healthy travel

Now that most people considered “seniors” have been vaccinated against COVID, many are anxious to start traveling again. Whether you long to visit family from which you’ve been separated more than a year or you seek the adventure of visiting “bucket list” places that was put on hold, take some time to prepare for a safe and healthy trip.

Actually everyone, no matter your age, will have a better, healthier trip with these planning tips:

Consider your health

If you have a medical condition, the first thing you should do is check with your doctor about precautions to take and to be sure you have adequate prescriptions for the duration. If you’re traveling outside the U.S. check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the health conditions of the country you’re visiting and find out if any vaccinations are recommended or required. If you have a chronic condition, check out health care facilities in the areas you’re visiting before you leave.

Most Medicare policies do not cover health expenses outside of the U.S. (some Medicare Advantage plans do), so check your coverage carefully. Just don’t leave home without travel insurance that also provides medical benefits. I often use or to compare prices and coverage of different policies. Remember, the older you are, the higher your premiums will be.

Pack medicines in your carry-on bag, not the checked one. And include enough medication to last at least a week past your planned vacation time. It’s best to bring medicines in original containers, with your name on the labels. Make a list of all your prescriptions and dosages or download the information onto your smartphone, so you’ll have it available wherever you might be. 

Continue healthy habits

When traveling, follow the same protocols you have been doing during the pandemic: Wash hands often, use anti-bacterial wipes on airplane, bus or car surfaces, keep hands away from your mouth, and keep your distance from other people as much as possible.

Plan activities according to your physical abilities. Know beforehand how strenuous or demanding the trip will be, and plan each day so you don’t overextend yourself. Allow for jet lag the first day or two if your journey requires a long flight. If you require adaptations in your room or on tours, be sure to arrange those before you leave.

A final piece of advice that is good for every traveler to remember: Pack lightly so you won’t have to haul heavy bags around, possibly up stairs, and risk injury.

If you have prepared well, there’s no reason not to enjoy the trip—so have a great time!

Photos from free sources

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