More On Safety for Senior Travelers

Mar 12th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Amazon.com offers a new book called How to Vacation and Travel Safely…and Come Back Alive (Paperback).  Earnest Hart takes an in-depth look at the realities of traveling and staying safe in the new millennium. Focusing on important principles for individuals and families to help prepare themselves for real-life encounters, the author lays out a detailed yet easy-to-understand plan for the reader to follow and make a part of their traveling and everyday routine. 

It is always of importance to think of safety when traveling, but probably more so in another country.   Wikihow provides a few very important steps to insure that your trip is successful and that nothing goes awry.  Their primary focus is on knowing the country where you will be traveling including its customs, dress, the address of the embassy or consulate, the water, public transportation, etc.   

The United States Department of State has an excellent site called Tips for Traveling Abroad.  This site is similar to the advice above with a few more good ideas.  I suggest that you read both prior to your departure.  Travelers are advised to check their personal medical insurance to be sure that they are covered abroad.  They also suggest that you register with the Department of State.  This can be done online which is an easy, simple and good idea.  Registration allows you to record information about your upcoming trip abroad that the Department of State can use to assist you in case of any emergency. 

It would be wise to check the Current Travel Warnings from the US Department of  State.  Travel Warningsare issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable. A Travel Warning is also issued when the U.S. Government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained due to the closure of an embassy or consulate or because of a drawdown of its staff. Thirty-plus countries meet those criteria.  The facts are provided on this site as to why you should be aware of the potential dangers inherent in traveling in a given nation.  It is up to you to know these facts prior to international travel. 

Again the U.S. Dept. of State issues this advice directly to seniors. Seniors should review the information contained in the section Planning Your Trip:  Learn About the Places You Will Visit, consider the following tips, and discuss the trip with a physician: 

  • - Local conditions:  Be aware of any effects the local topography or climate may have on you:  If you are sensitive to altitude or to humidity, or to other attributes of your destination, consult with your physician. 
  • - Don’t over-program: The additional physical activity undertaken during travel can be quite strenuous, and sudden changes in diet and climate can have serious health consequences for the unprepared traveler. 
  • - Pack wisely:  Don’t pack so much that you will end up lugging around heavy suitcases.  Dress conservatively—a wardrobe that is flashy may attract the attention of thieves or con artists, while clothing that is very casual may result in being barred from some tourist sites overseas.  Include a change of clothing in your carry-on luggage.   

Another good Internet site to read carefully is http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/4713/1/How-to-Travel-in-Foreign-Countries-Safely.html.  This one advises seniors to carry a credit card and to use an ATM machine for foreign currency.  This has worked extremely well for me and members of my travel groups.   Just be sure that you have enough deposited to cover your expenses. Again from my experience there is a limit on how much you can ask from an ATM machine each time you use your card, so beware of this as well.  Taking the necessary precautions will help insure that your trip is a memorable one with positive memories and not a ruined vacation.  Again BON VOYAGE!  jeb



Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.