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Travel Tips for Seniors

Ensure a Comfortable and Enjoyable Trip

Leaving for vacation requires some preparation, but if you’re a resident of a life plan community like Beacon Hill, you can relax. You know your home and all of its care are looked after, one of the many benefits of living here. No need to ask a neighbor to watch for packages or arrange lawn care. That means you can focus solely on your travel plans. Before you embark on your next adventure, take some time to review your needs to ensure you feel confident and relaxed. After all, you want to fully enjoy the sights and experiences of your trip without worrying over minor details. Here are some essential tips to check before you leave.

Manage Your Medications

Maintaining your regular schedule of taking your medications is key while traveling. Make sure to pack your medications in an easily accessible location, such as a carry-on bag when flying. Medicine that requires refrigeration should be kept in a cooler pack. Always keep your medication in their original containers so it’s clear what each medicine is. And if traveling to a different time zone, check with your doctor on how best to continue your normal routine.

Familiarize Yourself with Your Accommodations and Accessibility 

Before you travel, check in with your hotel or accommodations about the accessibility offered. A quick glance at your hotel’s website can help you familiarize yourself with the layout. Are there stairs or elevators? How large is the bathroom? How convenient is it to public transportation or a car service? Knowing how to navigate before you go can help you feel more confident when you arrive.

Prevent Blood Clots (DVT)

Sitting for long periods of time can increase the risk of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). Before you leave, think about how to move your body at frequent intervals to avoid DVT. When flying, try to take frequent opportunities to move your legs by walking the aisle or even standing when safe to do so. If driving, try to stop at regular intervals for brief walking breaks to stretch your legs. If you’re unable to get up and walk, the Mayo Clinic recommends raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes on the floor, and then the opposite – raising your toes while keeping your heels on the floor. 

Advocate For Your Needs

Before your trip, try to assess what needs you may have while traveling and make a plan for how you can communicate these. Whether you are staying with family or on your own, being vocal about your needs can help make your trip more comfortable. Be confident asking for time for yourself, whether to rest or take a break from group dynamics. Staying close to your normal schedule of sleep and your regular eating habits will also help you regulate and feel at your best. Try to balance the fun of vacation indulgences. Give yourself permission to feel refreshed, which will allow you to better enjoy your travel.

Ask for the Senior Discount

Don’t be shy about asking for a discount for senior citizens!  AARP has an extensive list of travel discounts, from rental cars to cruises. Many small establishments and services offer one even if it’s not posted, and it never hurts to ask.

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Beacon Hill at Eastgate is a distinctive, not-for-profit retirement community located in Grand Rapids’ desirable Eastgate neighborhood.

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