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  • Writer's pictureKaren McPhail, RN, MSN

Summer Travel Planning for Older Adults

We are at the beginning of summer vacation season, so I hope that some additional travel tips will be of assistance! Planning is always key to ensure a safe and fun vacation! However, with a lot to do and remember, often times we forget last minute details! Follow the guidelines below for successful planning and prep!

1. Check in with family, friends, house sitters, and pet sitters before leaving and update them on any last minute changes to your itinerary.

2. Make a checklist of items to remember for the day you leave! This will help you to feel at ease and know that everything has been handled! A vacation packing list can also be helpful!

3. Ensure that you have a cell phone and a charger packed. Most people carry one, but some tend to not rely on them as much as others! Charge your phone the night before you leave and bring a portable charger in case of emergencies. Have a cell phone with you at all times!

4. Dress for the unexpected! Even if you are expecting a short and easy day of travel, dress for the worst case scenario. Wear comfortable shoes that you can walk well in or have on your feet if you are traveling via wheelchair. Ensure that you wear flat shoes with arch support. Lace up shoes are often times best since you can adjust them for swelling, etc. if needed. If possible, do not wear heels because they can lead to tripping, injury, or straining. Dress in comfortable layers to ensure that you can adjust your temperature comfortably when needed. Wear your medic alert bracelet or necklace if you have one. If you have chronic medical issues that require immediate attention, consider purchasing one prior to traveling:

5. As always, keep your bags on your person at all times. Never ask someone you do not know to watch your bags, even for a short period of time! Remember to have your medications (ensure that they are filled before leaving), medical history, and emergency contact list packed in a carry-on bag. Never pack your medications in a checked bag! Having toiletries and one day of clothing that is not heavy or bulky packed in your carry-on is also a great idea in case luggage issues occur. Your ID should be zipped into a front pocket of your carry-on that is easy to access when needed. For trips longer than an hour, have a small snack and a water bottle in your carry-on in case of emergency. Only carry necessary items in your carry-on and keep other items in your checked baggage! Ensure that you have a light-weight suitcase that is easy to pull to avoid injury.

For more tips and wellness information search our previous blogs!

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