Savvy Travel Tips For Keeping Seniors Safe

Vacations introduce you to new cultures and beautiful places. Getting away can also protect your health. Studies have shown that taking frequent vacations reduces the risk of early death, and just a short getaway can improve your overall well-being.

Resist the urge to stay at home. Take a few precautions to stay healthy while traveling and protect yourself from theft or fraud. These tips from Dr. Paul Leitner will help keep you safe and secure as you enjoy your time away from the Westchester area of Los Angeles.

Avoid Travel Illnesses

Traveling on planes and encountering crowds puts you at a greater risk of catching a cold or another infection. Boost your immunity by regularly eating a diet rich in antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries, citrus, and leafy greens, at home and on the road. Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

Dry eyes often happen when you travel, especially when you’re breathing recirculated dry air flying at altitudes of 30,000-35,000 feet. Itchy, dry eyes tempt you to rub your eyes, which exposes you to many potential germs. Keep your eyes from drying out too much by wearing glasses, not contacts, on the plane. Lubricating eye drops and saline nasal spray add moisture; use them just before boarding.

People with colds should take an oral decongestant about 30 minutes before getting on a plane. If you have allergies, take your regular medication an hour before your flight. A little petroleum jelly on the nostrils helps relieve extreme dryness, too.

Time zone changes, strange food, long waits in line, and inadequate hydration can lead to traveler’s constipation. Focus on eating plenty of fiber at snacks and meals, drink lots of water, stay on top of your sleep schedule, and avoid traveling at peak, stressful times, if possible.

Don’t Forget Your Meds

Any prescriptions you take are a necessity when you travel. First and foremost, don’t leave them at home. Pack them in your carry-on luggage just in case your checked luggage has a delayed arrival. If you’re carrying liquid medication, make sure it meets TSA guidelines. If you’re not sure, check the TSA website in advance of your trip; you may need a doctor’s written approval to carry certain ones into the cabin.

Pack over-the-counter medications and first aid supplies you might need while away, too. Vacations often involve more activity as you sightsee and can leave you with new aches and pains. Different foods and water can disrupt your digestion.

Anti-inflammatories, band aids, diarrhea medication, and antacids are all good things to have in your luggage. Pack your doctor’s phone and a number for a pharmacy at your destination, too – just in case.

Manage Your Time

You may be tempted to explore as much as possible on your vacation, but remember to manage your time – and your downtime – wisely. Nap as needed or just take time to rest in your hotel or motor home after a long excursion. Pack a pillow for the plane or car ride. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water – it’ll help you maintain your energy.

Poor eating choices are another energy zapper. While you want to enjoy yourself, overindulging in fatty foods, refined carbohydrates, or alcohol can leave you feeling sluggish. Eat a healthy meal before boarding an airplane or pack your own TSA-approved snacks, such as almonds, a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread, or fresh fruit.

Keep Your Valuables Safe

Older adults are vulnerable to scams, theft, and fraud. Keep your valuables, such as your passport and credit cards, in pouches or pockets inside your jackets and pants pockets safe from the fingers of crafty pickpockets. Avail yourself of the hotel safe or deposit box; just be sure you test the code before loading in your belongings.

Maintain your home’s safety while you’re away, too. Put timers on your lights to make it appear as if you’re home. And, no matter how excited you are about your trip, avoid posting your travel itinerary on social media – especially if you’re not sure your privacy settings are up to date. Consider having a trusted friend or relative stay in your home while you’re away.

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