Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easing the Stress of Travel

Senior Thursday

Traveling means different things to different people. For business travelers, it can be a chore. For students, it's an education and an experience of a lifetime. For families, it can be an adventure. For seniors, however, it can be a hassle, especially if you have physical limitations.

So how can seniors make their travels less stressful so they can enjoy their vacation?

1. Check the itinerary—Confirm all plans before leaving. Know what the restrictions are on each flight/trip, at each hotel, and at each attraction. Is identification required for discounts? Where are your seats? Do you need confirmation numbers for reservations or admission?
2. Physical Limitations—Do your hotel rooms need walk-in showers or do they need to be close to the elevator to minimize walking? Will there be difficulty in boarding modes of transportation, such as tour buses? Is there assistance at the airport? Will stairs preclude you from seeing some attractions?
3. Safety—Be aware of surroundings at all times. Keep wallets and travel documents with you at all times. Never place your purse on the floor next to your seat. If you drive, keep your car locked, and keep valuables out of sight.
4. Packing—Keep suitcases light. Pack enough in a carry-on for an overnight stay in case your luggage gets lost. Carry prescription meds in their original containers. Keep copies of travel documents in your luggage in case the originals get stolen.
5. Health—Do you have dietary restrictions? Do your destinations know of them? Do your medications need refrigeration? Will too much walking affect your health? Do you wear a medical bracelet for your condition?

It may seem like this is too much effort to put into a little trip. But think of the risks if you don't properly prepare for a vacation. Enjoying yourself is priceless. You can make it happen.

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