Boomers and travel: Plan ahead and protect your health
Getting older means being a little more susceptible to a variety of health problems while traveling. However, with a little planning and some caution, baby boomers and seniors can have a safe, healthy and enjoyable trip. Here are some pre-planning tips to help get you started:
* Mention your planned travels with your physician. Discuss any medications you’re currently taking, and if you’ll need refills prior to departure.
* Carry a copy of all your prescriptions with you when you travel. When going abroad, you may also want to know the generic name of your drug in case your prescribed version isn’t available locally. Losing a pill bottle or accidentally breaking a vial of insulin – for example - can very easily happen on a vacation, and if you are touring around a foreign country, you may have difficulty obtaining a refill if you don’t have this information handy or if your drug is unavailable or sold under a different name.
* Sign up for travel assistance. Nobody plans to get sick or injured while traveling, but it can happen. And sometimes an injury or illness is severe enough to force the traveler to cut the trip short and seek medical attention. Baby boomers and seniors have trusted doctors at home, and often want to return home immediately for medical care. This is where On Call International’s medical evacuation and travel assistance memberships come in handy. The annual membership and mature membership offer medical evacuations to the hospital of the member’s choice, regardless of whether they can receive appropriate care locally. Visit www.oncallinternational.com/travel-assistance/individuals to learn more about travel assistance.
* Visit a travel medicine specialist. You may be required to get new vaccinations when traveling to specific foreign countries. Ask your doctor to recommend a travel medicine specialist who can educate you about the immunizations that are required or recommended for your destination, as well as any other health concerns specific to your destination.
* Pack over-the-counter supplies. A vacation means getting out and doing new or different activities. This change of pace may result in sore and achy muscles. A vacation also means you might be exposed to new and different germs, which could develop into a traveler’s cold or the flu. Pack some over-the-counter medications to help treat potential symptoms, so you don’t have to take time out of your vacation to search for a pharmacy or drug store. Hopefully you won’t need any of the supplies, but it’s always a good idea to have them handy.
With a little pre-planning, you’ll be able to have the relaxing vacation you deserve, while also reducing your chances of encountering common health pitfalls that could put a damper on your trip.