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Seniors: Don’t Let Illness Ruin Your Trip

For many people, international travel is just not something you can fit into your schedule until you are older, maybe even retired. Unfortunately, when you are old enough to retire you are usually slowing down, and you may battle illnesses big and small from time to time. As we age, we usually require more medication, even more maintenance medications, and care, and so, special precautions need to be taken when traveling internationally. Just because you are slowing down or need medication doesn’t mean that you should decide not to go, or limit your traveling, instead it means that you just have to plan ahead and take care of yourself.

Prepare For Travel

When you were younger you might have been able to hop on a plane, do some sight seeing, and then hop back on a plane and go home without suffering too many effects. As you get older, you need more preparation time. In the days before your travels, don’t over do yourself; instead take extra special care of yourself. It’s not that you shouldn’t do the things that you want or need to do, but be sure to eat nutritious foods, get plenty of rest, and take all of your medications as directed. If you’ve been feeling under the weather, be sure to check with your doctor. Also, get any vaccinations that you might need in advance of your trip to be sure that you will not have any adverse reactions.

In addition to pampering yourself and making sure you are well enough to travel, you should also consider what you might need while traveling. If you have health conditions that require you to take medications daily, be sure that you have at least as much as you’ll need for your trip, preferably a week or two more on hand so that you have extra should you need it, or be delayed at all in arriving home. Also, if you need special pillows or bedding to help you sleep, be sure to pack them so that you will be well rested on your trip as well. If you occasionally suffer from acid reflux or similar conditions, even if you don’t take medications for these items regularly, you should pack them just in case. Thinking ahead about the worse case scenario will help you prevent getting ill and missing out on your international travels.

In addition to packing your medications, it’s always a good idea to pack extra prescriptions should you lose your medication. While you might have a hard time finding your medications, you’ll have a much easier time if you already have a prescription with you. A prescription will also verify to any officials who may have concerns that you are in fact supposed to have medications on your person. Remember when you do pack medications to pack them in your carry on luggage so you don’t run into a problem if your luggage gets lost in routine to your international destination.

When In Flight

When you are actually traveling to your destination, try to be as relaxed as possible. Avoid rubbing your eyes and touching the surfaces in airports and airplanes excessively as airborne illness is alive and well in these areas. Antibacterial sprays, lotions, or gels should be used before and after eating to avoid contaminating yourself with any germs that are present. As you get older your immune system isn’t nearly as strong as it once was, so antibacterial substances and even facial masks are a good idea to help you avoid illness while traveling internationally.

When you are abroad

As tempting as little restaurants may be, you must be quite careful when dining out to eat only well cooked food. Many countries do not have food and beverage regulations like we do in the United States, so be sure not to eat foods that may look or smell odd. This may not save you from food poisoning and other issues related to food, but it will decrease the chance you have of becoming ill from ill prepared food. Also, ask about the quality of the water when you visit certain areas. Drinking bottled water may be a better idea, as you know that it is not contaminated and is less likely to cause problems.

After you do eat or visit places of interest, it’s a good idea to keep that antibacterial solution handy so that you can avoid contamination of germs. Remember that when you travel internationally there may be germs and bacteria present that your body is not used to defending, so you need to respond accordingly.

Because your immune system is not as strong as it once was, it’s important that when you go back to the hotel room every night you really rest. Also, be sure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and if you haven’t, try to make up for it when you rest at night. Water and rest will keep your body in the best condition possible so that you do not get sick and you can enjoy your trip, as well as make it home healthy, too.

A weakened immune system, illness, and being a “senior’ shouldn’t stop you from traveling internationally. If you’re retired and there is traveling you want to do, you should go for it, just prepare well, take care of yourself, and you’ll have a great time. Your age should never restrict you from doing the things that you want to do, and that includes traveling internationally.

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