Contributed by Carole Clausen, Personal Trainer, Fellowship Senior Living
Traveling can be rewarding and exhausting at the same time. We love the excitement of embarking on a new adventure and embrace returning to our “Home Sweet Home” when the adventure ends. As we age, traveling can test our strength and endurance. These tips and careful planning will help you stay healthy and safe on your trip:
Consider your healthcare needs in advance and review plans with your physician. Your healthcare provider may advise a checkup or recommend updated vaccinations and shots for travel out of the country. (Find information about vaccines at the CDC website: cdc.gov/vaccines/index.html.) Research and reserve any special services you need on your trip.
Carry a full supply of prescription medications in their original containers. Keep a written list of your prescriptions and your physician’s contact information with you at all times. If flying to your destination, store medications in your purse or carry-on bag.
Take an extra pair of eyeglasses, if possible. A magnifying glass helps you read detailed maps or small-print schedules. A small writing pad or notebook comes in handy to help you remember details. If you wear a hearing aid and are traveling abroad, pack spare batteries.
Don’t let luggage weigh you down. Consider replacing your older and heavier luggage with smaller, lightweight bags with wheels. Be mindful of how often you’ll be hauling your luggage on your trip and make every effort to reduce bulk and lighten the load.
Planning in advance can reduce the discomfort and stress related to flying. If you’re a slow walker, request an electric cart or wheelchair when you book your seat, especially if you have a connecting flight. For extra leg room on the plane, book early to request an aisle seat or reserve a roomier economy-plus or first-class seat.
Older adults are more prone to deep-vein thrombosis — DVT — a risk on planes, trains and long road trips. Guard against dangerous blood clots by taking short walks hourly and wearing compression stockings.
Stay hydrated and avoid food sensitivities. Start your day with lots of water and sip more water or nonalcoholic beverages as you continue your activities. Consume caffeinated drinks and alcoholic beverages in moderation; they act as diuretics and do not contribute to hydration. Resist trying all the unfamiliar local foods to avoid experiencing digestive issues with sudden dietary changes.
Let the adventure begin!