It’s that joyful time of the year again when people travel around the world to visit family and friends for the holidays. Preparing for a big trip may be stressful and time-consuming, but make sure you reference the following tips before travelling:
1) Tell your doctor about the itinerary that you have for your trip. She/he knows you and your limitations well and will inform you if she/he thinks any activities or plans sound too strenuous.
2) Depending on your destination, you may need certain immunizations, so make sure you are up-to-date with them. For information on immunizations, visit the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov/.
3) Pack enough medicine for yourself and make sure the medicine is in the original bottle, in case you need to call for a refill.
4) If you have a heart issue, bring a copy of your most recent cardiogram with you. In case you have an episode while travelling, the doctor will be able to use it as a reference.
5) Research doctors’ offices, hospitals, and urgent care centers that are close to your destination, in case of an emergency.
6) Make sure you pack fitness equipment, like a band or tube, and ask the Wellness Center for an exercise handout, so you can continue to exercise while away from home!
7) Stretch frequently when taking long flights and drives by moving your legs and ankles often and walking around the plane or rest areas. This will prevent blood clots that could form from not moving for long periods of time.
8) Don’t over book yourself! Planning too many activities in one day can cause exhaustion. Pace yourself by spreading your activities out and adding rest in between.
9) If you are going to be walking long distances, consider bringing a cane or walker with you. Even if you don’t use a walking device on a day-to-day basis, it might be helpful to have the extra support during a long, eventful day.
10) Contact any airports you will be using to find out, concierge, and special policies to help older adults travel smoothly.
Reference: Cornell University. Travel Tips for Older Adults. Cornell Ageing. Retrieved October 10, 2013 from http://cornellaging.org/.