TRAVELING WHILE OLD – 12 Senior Tips!Posted: July 22, 2017
There are a number of things to take into consideration when traveling while old; whether domestically or internationally.
- TRANSPORTATION TO AIRPORT: swap out rides with a neighbor unless it is early or late. I never trust my older neighbors to wake up or hear the alarm early in the morning. Old people go to bed early at night and don’t like to drive distances (to airport) after dark. Get an on-line parking coupon and drive yourself; or use UBER.
- BAGS: You don’t need a lot and you will have to wheel your luggage and/or hoist it into a bin (Unless, of course, you take the wheelchair option). Check your bag and mark it with something bright so you can identify it. An easy, cheap tag is the one used for cruise ships which is 3 x 6 inches and has room for whatever you need to identify your bag.
- AIRLINES: I use Southwest whenever I can because I can cancel up to ten minutes before take-off and can use the money for another trip. Southwest also has Senior Fares which you can get a few days before the trip. (Good for funerals, or emergencies.) Most important, SW is simple. One class, for $15 extra you can move up in the line; AND, if you look the part (ie. old and decrepit)you can get pre-boarding.
- WHEELCHAIRS: If you look old, you can usually get a wheel chair ride from the drop-off point to your seat in the plane. Tip the person who pushes at least $5.00. I am not sure about the ethics of this; but, if you are old……
- GLOBAL ENTRY: This is really great because you don’t have to take off your shoes or unpack your computer. (This may be changing.) You have enough trouble putting on your shoes in the morning without having to do it standing up with a line of angry young people behind you. Coming back to the US, you can breeze through customs and there are shorter lines. Pre-check which is included it always shorter.
- INSURANCE: When leaving the country, always make sure that you have hospital coverage and coverage to medevac you back to the US. It can cost $50,000 to $100,000, or more to treat you abroad and to send you and a doctor or nurse back to a hospital in the US. Your credit card may cover this, but get it.
- DEATH: Old people die. It makes no difference to you, but your spouse, traveling companions, or kids have to deal with your death.
- Contact the embassy,
- Have insurance to repatriate the body, or better Check your credit card to see if it covers repatriation of cremains. Cremation is the best way to move a dead person.get you cremated and just ship the cremains,
- Get a death certificate (translated also),
- Get wallet, jewelry, passport and any other personal items.
- You may need an autopsy(or the body), depending on cause of death and whether you plan any legal action.
- PLAN B: Plan for problems. Missed planes, bad weather, over-booking, illness, accident, etc. Know what you are going to do. Re-booking? Hotel? (You are too old to sleep on the floor in the airport) Late arrival. Local transportation. Contact numbers.
- EATING: Do you want airport food? Special meals on the plane? Do you really need food on a short flight?
- MEDICINES: Carry your medicines with you – don’t check them. Take enough medicine for your trip. Your pharmacist can get your insurance company to approve more than a 30 day supply if you are going to be gone for an extended period. Know your pharmacist’s name and phone number. You can get an out-of-state pharmacist to call your pharmacist and approve the prescription. Works best with national chain pharmacies such as Walgreens or CVS. Get copies of the prescriptions with the generic names of the drugs so that you can take them to a pharmacists in a foreign city. Call the Embassy for the name of a foreign pharmacy that speaks English. The embassy also has a list of doctors (and lawyers) that speak English and that you can call
- ELECTRICAL PLUGS AND PHONE/COMPUTER CORDS AND CHARGERS: Check and see what sort of plug the country you are going to uses. Remember to take your charging cord with you; HOWEVER, if you forget any electrical necessity, remember that every hotel has a box full of them that people have left in their rooms. The desk will be happy to give you one.
- HEARING AIDS: Most old people are deaf. If you have a hearing aid, have it checked before you leave and remember to take extra batteries. You would be surprised how hard it is to find batteries and hearing aid repair in some countries.