January 27th, 2011 at 3:07 am
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Five Tips To Be a Safe Traveler

by Sue Lanza

As we enter the height of winter, most of us are dreaming of spring or at the very least, an escape from it all. I know I am as today we are facing the sixth major snowstorm of the winter here. I am getting to be quite an expert at snow shoveling but who wants to be known for that? But I will admit that doing the shoveling in moderation (to protect my back) is actually a great aerobic workout.

I am fantasizing about a wonderful, warm place to run away to soon. Yes, all the seasonal affect problems are catching up with me and the aerobic shoveling is getting very old. I have more rock salt in my house than food and even the dogs don’t want to deal with going outside to do their business. If you are in the same mindset as me, what are some tips to plan our great escape to anywhere but home?

Top 5 Safe Travel Tips for Seniors

  1. Search out last minute deals. Preferably, you would be looking for these last minute deals with either your own personal travel agent (yes, they do still exist, even in this Internet-driven world) or with an Internet travel site that specializes in senior group travel. Many travel agents and Internet sites have the pulse on places that have openings that they seriously discount at certain times of the year–you can even get package deals that include airline travel too that might be greater than half price so shop around.
  2. Make sure you are medically cleared to visit the location. If you have any recurring medical conditions, it always makes sense to contact your doctor to discuss your travel plans with him or her. You also should be sure to have plenty of your medications available before you leave including any extras in case you run into travel problems that force you to stay additional days. For example, I am planning a trip to Peru in the next year and I need to be sure that my asthma will be managed during the unique high altitudes in that area.
  3. Customize the trip to your needs. Most airlines and hotels can assist with things like special diets or the need for adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers during your travel. However, you do need to arrange these items in advance and it would be wise to double check their availability right before your departure.
  4. Check on health care options for your travel destination. In addition to bringing extra copies of all your insurance cards and health care information, you should contact your health care carrier to find out how medical care would be handled, should you require it during your trip. I always think of a friend of mine who started a European cruise with her husband only to have her husband take a nasty fall in the airport and require airlifting back to the United States for surgery. The lack of her knowledge on how to access his health insurance carrier during this emergency led to so many delays and set-backs.
  5. Be sure to purchase travel insurance. This is a no-brainer but unforeseen things do happen, so it is best to be prepared.

I’ll see you at the airport. I’ll be the one with the huge smile on my face!

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