Tips for Travelling Seniors

Friday May 26th, 2023


You're young at heart, body and soul - and you love to see the world! However, older generations should always take extra precautions prior to heading off on a travel adventure. These tips will help ensure you have covered all the bases in preparation for your travels! 

Pre-planning for vacation:

  • Research your destination. Getting familiar with what to expect in terms of climate, culture and language will better prepare you and make the world of a difference in your travel experience! It's always a good idea to purchase a travel guidebook for all your destinations; having it handy while you're travelling is a must!
  • Find out about medical facilities and ease-of-access to these most important 'landmarks' in all areas you'll be travelling in.
  • If you have special needs, such as a wheelchair or seeing-eye-dog, try to make prior arrangements well in advance to ensure you travel in safety and utmost comfort.
  • Last, but not least, purchase travel insurance with comprehensive coverage. If you have pre-existing illnesses, make sure your insurance covers those as well.


Pre-trip medical check-ups:

  • Consult with your doctor for a complete medical check-up. This is especially important if you have a history of heart problems, have recently undergone surgery, or if you have any chronic health conditions.
  • Discuss with your doctor any health concerns you may have and inform him / her of where your travels are taking you. Your doctor may provide helpful 'food avoidance' advice if you are travelling to an area of the world that has a common type of food that does not sit well with one's health problems! Your destination will also dictate what vaccinations you should be given.
  • If you or your travel companion(s) have diabetes, and different time-zones will be playing a role in your trip, proper medical advice on how to safely stagger medications will be extremely important.
  • It's always a good idea to visit your dentist prior to travelling; you never want to be the one who can't have desserts because of a sensitive tooth!
  • It also could be a good idea to visit other health care providers you consult with on a regular basis, such as an optometrist or massage therapist.    


Regular medications:

  • Some medications that are legal in Canada may be prohibited in other areas of the world. You can contact the Canadian embassies in the countries you intend on visiting to check.
  • Take enough regular medication with you to last the entire trip. Some drugs may not be available in other parts of the world.
  • If you purchase medications during your trip, remember that the dosages may be different from the brands you are familiar with at home.
  • If the medication you regularly take requires syringes (most commonly with insulin-dependent diabetes) you should take enough syringes to last the trip.


Your luggage:

  • Make sure your carry-on bag contains everything you will need for the duration of the flight.
  • Include a medical kit with your luggage. Items to consider include regular medications, painkillers, antacids, and band-aids.
  • It might be a good idea to bring along a pillbox with compartments for different days of the week. Being away from home (and your usual routine) could make you more likely to forget to take your medication.
  • Pack an extra pair of reading glasses. Last, but not least, it may be easier on your back if you use a suitcase with wheels.


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