No matter your age, there’s always a reason to travel – you can expand your horizons, try out new experiences, and see things you’ve never imagined before. But travel also bears its headaches, especially if you’re a senior citizen.
One way to ensure easy and fun travel is to prepare everything you need beforehand. The next time you head to Florida, keep this essential senior health and safety travel shopping list nearby!
Medications And Health
Don’t forget any necessary medications. Senior citizens are more likely to have medical conditions, and it won’t do to have your trip interrupted by a stay at the hospital. So bring your prescriptions, and if possible, bring enough to last you through your trip.
Don’t forget to speak to your doctor about your travel plans and how your medication may need adjustment. You may also want to ask your doctor for a prescription or some other letter that will let you purchase medicines from the pharmacy. This can be helpful in case of emergencies or if you have a long visit planned.
If you use a pill organizer to keep your medicines straight, don’t take it loaded onto the flight. Keep the medication in their original bottles and bring the bottles with you. This will help you get through security and will also help in case you need to go to a pharmacy. You can reorganize your pills after your flight.
For seniors with mobility gear, check if your travel arrangements can accommodate them. Speak to your airline about wheelchairs, check if your walker can go on the bus or plane, that sort of thing. Some airlines may offer alternative arrangements in case your wheelchair can’t go on the plane. Even for those without mobility issues, you may want to consider buying a walking stick, especially if you’re going outdoors.
Lastly, consider how you’ll bring your other health necessities. For example, if you need hearing aids, don’t forget to bring replacement batteries or the appropriate charger. If you have dentures or a retainer, bring the container along. Some of these may sound basic, but it never hurts to be thorough.
This list will be familiar to most travelers, but it’s even more important for seniors. Seniors are more likely to have medical conditions that require documentation, and those same conditions make them more vulnerable to emergencies. Make sure to secure these in advance:
- Tickets: Whether printed or on your phone, have these on hand.
- Passport: International travelers shouldn’t forget their passports! Make sure you have a comfortable margin between your travel dates and passport expiration date to avoid any issues.
- Visa: International travelers may need one to enter the US.
- Insurance: It’s better for you to have it instead, just in case something goes wrong.
- Numbers of Important Contacts: These should be on your phone, but it may also help to have a written copy. Grab the numbers for your hotel, tour guide, and places you’re going to. Don’t forget emergency contacts for the locality you’re visiting.
- Doctor’s Note: If you’re bringing along medication, a note explaining them can help you get through security. This is especially important if you have meds that need to be administered by a needle and syringe, as security may frown upon them.
Sun damage builds up over the course of your life. Every sunburn is an increased risk of skin cancer, which means that you should always exercise caution when going out in the sun. Pack a tube of sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sun hat.
Also, consider bringing insect repellent, especially if you’re traveling outside of the city. Bugs can bite pretty hard and may even cause disease, so it’s better to be prepared. You don’t want to pick up something that your immune system can’t handle.
Don’t forget protection from the rain, such as a raincoat, an umbrella, or both. Getting rained on can lower your body temperature enough to result in hypothermia. Since seniors don’t produce as much body heat, they’re more vulnerable to this. Cold temperatures can also cause chronic pain to flare up.
Other Useful Items
- Chargers/Spare Batteries: These are even more important for senior citizens since it’s not just your phone or laptop that needs power. You may have hearing aids, a pacemaker, or a personal alert system. Bring all the necessary chargers or spare batteries to keep them topped up.
- Plug Adaptors/Voltage Transformers: The US is a 110V country. If you’re coming from a 240V country, your devices may not work – bring the appropriate chargers and adaptors.
- Travel Pillow: Long journeys can be hard on the body. This will ease neck or back pain.
- Eye Mask: These can help you get to sleep if there’s too much light.
- Adult Diapers: Optional, but highly recommended if you have bladder issues as you may have a long time between bathroom breaks.
- Baggage: We recommend carrying two bags: a large wheeled suitcase and a smaller daypack. Put all your essentials in the daypack, and toss everything else into the suitcase. This will be easier on your back and is also easier to carry around.
- Compression Socks: If you spend a long time sitting down or on your feet, you may experience circulatory trouble in your legs. These will help alleviate deep vein thrombosis, among other things.
Just Because You’re Old(er) Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Travel
Arranging travel may be a headache, especially with so many medications and accommodations to keep track of. But airlines and travel companies can help you along, and this list will make things a lot easier. We hope that you enjoy your travels!
***Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.