Peak Se­nior Travel Time Draw­ing Near

The Oakdale Leader - - PERSPECTIVE - By DAN WE­BER As­so­ci­a­tion Of Ma­ture Amer­i­can Cit­i­zens

Sum­mer va­ca­tions are the norm for full-fledged fam­i­lies with work and school sched­ules, but re­tirees pre­fer the leisurely, less costly pace of off-sea­son es­capes. Thus, the start of the peak travel sea­son for se­nior cit­i­zens be­gins af­ter La­bor Day.

While the rest of the world goes back to school and back to work, the most pop­u­lar va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tions are not so crowded and in many cases less ex­pen­sive. These are ideal con­di­tions for se­niors.

There are a lot of rea­sons travel is at the top of the lists for re­tirees. Those who can af­ford it want to see the world and fly or sail off to ex­otic des­ti­na­tions now that they have the time. Even those on lim­ited bud­gets can sat­isfy their wan­der­lust by taking road trips.

And, Pro­fes­sor of So­ci­ol­ogy and Geron­tol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Kansas, Dr. David J. Ek­erdt, says that travel is good for se­niors. He tells Forbes Mag­a­zine “it is some­thing to an­tic­i­pate, some­thing that pop­u­lates your fu­ture with a project or event. It’s an af­fir­ma­tion of good health – that you can ac­tu­ally get in a car and go two states away.” Some say travel can even help you live longer and health­ier.

But, what­ever the ben­e­fits of travel for older Amer­i­cans, there are a few tips that can help en­sure your jour­ney is en­joy­able, worry free and safe.

Early plan­ning is rec­om­mended. For one thing, you need to take note of phys­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions you may have and, if you are trav­el­ing with a wife or hus­band, what con­cerns they may have. So, be­gin by plan­ning a get­away that will not be so phys­i­cally de­mand­ing if you are not up to it. It might be a good idea to check with your doc­tors to dis­cuss your med­i­cal needs dur­ing your trip.

Once you’ve picked a des­ti­na­tion that’s right for you, here are a few tips.

Pack a suf­fi­cient sup­ply of the med­i­ca­tions you take in your carry-on lug­gage so that they will be eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble when you need them. And, make a list of the meds, just in case you run out or lose them.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial site for Medi­care “In gen­eral, health care you get while trav­el­ing out­side the U.S. isn’t cov­ered. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Vir­gin Is­lands, Guam, Amer­i­can Samoa and the North­ern Mar­i­ana Is­lands are con­sid­ered part of the U.S. So check with your in­sur­ance provider to make sure you can re­ceive in­sured med­i­cal at­ten­tion at your des­ti­na­tion if and when you might need it. If your in­sur­ance does not cover you, pur­chase sup­ple­men­tal cov­er­age that will be avail­able at your des­ti­na­tion or des­ti­na­tions.

Make sure you pack com­fort­able walk­ing shoes and, if you are headed into a sunny clime, get your­self head­wear that will pro­tect you.

Pro­vide a fam­ily mem­ber and/or a trusted neigh­bor with an itin­er­ary, com­plete with the names and lo­ca­tions of the ho­tels at which you’ll be stay­ing.

If you are fly­ing to your des­ti­na­tion and have any di­etary re­stric­tions, con­tact your air­line to en­sure they can pro­vide meals that meet those re­stric­tions.

Check that your pass­ports are in or­der if you are trav­el­ing abroad and if you don’t have a cur­rent pass­port, ap­ply for it giv­ing your­self time for it to be pro­cessed.

Take a spare pair of glasses – par­tic­u­larly pre­scrip­tion glasses, just in case of break­age or loss.

If you have a long flight to your des­ti­na­tion, be sure to pe­ri­od­i­cally walk the aisles dur­ing your flight lest you fall prey to Deep Vein Throm­bo­sis.

Use a money belt or safety pouch to carry your valu­ables, in­clud­ing your pass­port, trav­el­ers’ checks and cash. Leave ex­pen­sive jew­elry at home.

Make copies of all the doc­u­ments you carry, in­clud­ing your pass­port, air­line tick­ets, etc. Leave one set with a fam­ily mem­ber or a trusted friend; hold on to a sec­ond set – just in case you mis­place an orig­i­nal.

Dan We­ber is pres­i­dent of The As­so­ci­a­tion of Ma­ture Amer­i­can Cit­i­zens, (http://www.amac.us) a se­nior ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tion that acts and speaks on be­half of its mem­bers. The opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the au­thor and not nec­es­sar­ily those of this pa­per or its cor­po­rate own­er­ship.

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