• Karen McPhail, RN, MSN

Travel Tips Part 3: While Away!

There are several things to consider while away on vacation. These simple tips will help to ensure safety and good health throughout!

1. Hotel and Location Basics!

Enjoy your time away, but take precautions to ensure that you do not have major issues. Hopefully you will have done your safety homework prior to leaving by checking out not just hotel ratings, rates, room configurations, and amenities, but safety considerations for the area in which you will be staying and traveling to. This is very important and should not be taken lightly or skipped! Is it safe after dark? Are certain nearby areas not particularly safe? How is hotel security? Is the weather variable? What needs to be considered in the case of an emergency or weather related issue? Does the hotel have a house doctor in case of emergency? All these items can be checked out easily online! Check with a travel agent, travel websites, AARP, your hotel, and the U.S. State Department website which offers guidelines and specific safety information for various countries.

First, upon arrival, use the in room safe for all medications, jewelry, ID's, electronics and personal belongings of value. You may be at the finest hotel, but theft can occur absolutely anywhere and you have no real control over who is coming and going. Be safe to avoid inconvenience, heartache and disappointment!

Second, when you are out and about do not advertise that you are! Never put up the clean my room sign if one is offered! This indicates to all that you are out and your room is indeed vacant! While in your room use the do not disturb or privacy please sign along with the chain at night for added safety. Usually requesting a room near an elevator, hotel lobby, or on the main floor is the safest. Avoid ground floor rooms or those by exterior stairs or parking lot access. Be safe to avoid theft!

2. Food and Dining!
Often times when we are on vacation we try new things or branch out from our normal dining habits. We do not always make wise or healthy selections when away from home, but need to try to be mindful when dining out. Seniors sometimes have some important dietary restrictions or sensitive digestion which need to be considered. Remember that if you are mindful of your limitations, necessary restrictions and dietary basics you can have a better trip! Moderation is key when dining out. Explore, try new things, but not too many at once and within reason!

3. Tours and Exploring!

Group tours can be a fun, economical, social and safe way to see many areas of the country and world. Again do your homework before booking and closely read any cancellation policies, etc. If exploring on your own, use guide books and maps to plan out your day in advance. Most museums and galleries will have elevators and ample places to sit throughout the day. Pace yourself, be realistic, and be mindful of good spots for dining and taking a break throughout. Always be alert and confident when out and about. Do not make yourself an easy target, by appearing lost or vague about surroundings. If unsure of directions, appear confident and directly seek out assistance with a knowledgeable and trustworthy party at your hotel, a museum, restaurant, etc. Planning is key, will put your mind at ease and ensure a successful outcome!

Bon Voyage!

Here are some great senior travel links for reference:









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