One of the best ways to make your vacation truly enjoyable and memorable is to plan ahead. While some challenges are out of your control, such as security or check-in lines, other challenges are easily overcome because you are prepared. • Do your research. Reduce the possibility of costly surprises by researching airline tickets, hotel rooms and rental cars online or with your travel agent. • Book your tickets and hotel rooms in advance to get lower rates. If you don’t mind short notice, you can find great last minute deals. Ask for senior citizen discounts. • If you’re bringing a pet, be sure to tell your booking agent. • Bus and train travel often provide scenic views of the countryside and are generally less expensive than airline flights. If time is a factor or you have to cross an ocean, consider using public transportation in your destination city. It can be an inexpensive and relaxing way to get to a tourist site or preview the city. • Decide whether or not you need travel insurance. If you decide yes, look at policies designed specifically for seniors. • Leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with family or friends. • Pack enough medicine (in their original containers) in your carry-on bags to last through your trip and then some – in case you have to be gone for longer than you anticipated. It’s also handy to have a letter from your doctor explaining your conditions and the use of your medications. This may be helpful if you lose your medications. If your travel includes time zone changes, ask your doctor whether these changes will affect when you take your medication. • Jot down medical facilities in the area where you will be vacationing. Many medical facilities can be found here. • Take your patience with you. You’re traveling during the summer – the same time as everyone else. Don’t lose your cool over long lines. • Be in good health before going on a trip. Don’t start your trip stressed out because you aren’t feeling well. • Travel with a partner, whether that is a spouse or friend, for safety. If that’s not possible, consult a travel agent or find travel packages tailored to seniors. • Check the weather forecast for your destination. In addition to informing you of possible weather delays, checking the forecast can tell you what kind of clothes to bring! • Make arrangements at airports and hotels ahead of time for wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, service dogs and other medical devices. • Always take an extra pair of glasses when traveling should you lose the first pair. • Carry only the credit cards you need for your trip. Put card and bank contact information in your luggage in case your wallet/purse is lost or stolen. • Have fun! For ideas for short trips and vacation apparel, join us at Making Travel Easy & Fun.
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