Taking a Trip? Be Prepared
Healthy Senior Travel
'To Do' List for Traveling Seniors
Here's what the CDC says seniors should do before
Get a travelers' health policy to cover insurance gaps. This is
especially important for those on Medicaid and Medicare, which may not pay for
On long plane trips, walk around periodically and drink lots of
water. A rare but potentially dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis
can develop in those who have spent long periods of time in the cramped spaces
of airliners. Simple movement will prevent it in those susceptible, mainly
smokers, people who are overweight, or those who have had recent surgery.
Ask for help at any U.S. embassy or consulate. The staff will
give you a list of local medical professionals. A consul can also inform your
family or friends if you become ill.
Bring enough of your medications for the entire journey. Pack
each type of medication in its original container. Also take a copy of your
prescription. It is also a good idea to take note of the generic names of your
medications, in case you have to buy more while traveling.
Pack medicines and extra eyeglasses in your hand luggage.
Especially if your medication is crucial, have a backup supply in your checked
If you have a unique medical condition or suffer from
allergies, wear a bracelet marked with the appropriate information. Some
travelers advise having your doctor write down instruction for your treatment
if you become incapacitated.
Air pollution in other countries can sometimes be severe. The
combination of air pollution and high altitude is a particular health risk for
Avoid drinking tap water outside North America. Drink bottled
water; or if you must drink tap water, boil it for 20 minutes first. Avoid
eating vegetables and fruit that don't need to be peeled before eating.
In case you get traveler's diarrhea, bring an antimicrobial
treatment. Many people plan ahead and pack some, just in case. If the diarrhea
is severe or lasts for more than a couple of days, visit a doctor.