Health Travel Tips for Seniors

Feb 24th, 2010 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

Holidays from Hell lists eight places in the world to avoid and tells you why.  Most of us know from wdaily news stories about these Dangerous Destinations.  If you would like more specific information as to the reasons for avoiding trouble spots, simply click on one of these countries.  While one could go on and on about things to avoid for the avid traveler, let’s look at both sides of the coin and I am hopeful that you will find some of these helpful to your planning.

Don’t ignore dental health.  Recently I was to have a gold crown replaced just days before my departure for Europe.  My dentist did not want me to travel abroad with a temporary in case it became detached while abroad.  So make sure your crowns and dental work are secure prior to departure.  Easily available dental services in developing countries may not be up to standard.  While more and more folks are traveling south of the border or to Caribbean destinations for treatment and drugs, be cautious. 

Also, water is always a concern and rightfully so.  One does not ordinarily consider water coming out of a faucet being a problem for something so minor as brushing ones teeth.  It can.  While living with a Mexican family in Cuernavaca I was very fortunate.  I asked the maid (in Spanish…) if the water was okay to drink and to brush me teeth.  Oh yes, she said.  What she meant was that the big water jug behind the door was okay as it was filtered water.   I did not know this until later when the family saw me brushing in the bathroom sink and advised me not to do this.  Doctors advise travelers that “if you can’t find potable water with which to brush your teeth in flight or on the road, at least floss.”  

I advise you to carry a first aid kit with bandages, anti-bacterial cream and plenty of antihistamines. You may be allergic to certain foreign plants or insects.  Don’t forget the sunscreen — wherever you travel.  The risk of skin cancer never goes on vacation.  My wife had a severe reaction to pollen while traveling through Oklahoma and ended up in the ER and was pumped full of shots for an allergy that she did know that she had.  Now we carry a syringe with the necessary antidote. 

I collect tips and hints for travelers.   1000 Tips 4 Travel are submitted “by people just like you!”.  You can explore their informative database with over 1000 travel tips from around the world and I am confident that you will find several very helpful.  Search through this collection of helpful information to find areas that interest you personally – or contribute your own travel tips and hints.  One that I liked and can relate to is called Keep Your Feet Happy.  Never travel anywhere with brand new shoes.  Always break them in first, and be sure to go for a long walk in your travel footwear to make sure that it will not cause blisters or hot spots. 

The first thing to do in an airplane is to take off your shoes and leave them off for the duration of the trip.  Wear socks or carry footies.  Feet swell in an airplane and circulation can be cut off and may cause leg problems.  Get up and walk around every hour on a long flight.  Rub the back of your legs and extend your feet back and forth from time to time.  Nothing should be tight at your waist, hips, legs or shoulders.  Seats on a bulkhead or exit row or an aisle seat are always best.

I keep a little book with the prime seats marked for each Boeing and AirBus aircraft and so I can be specific when asking for a seat or seats at checkin.  My daughter is a vegetarian and on our last flight I ordered vegetarian meals via the phone when I made the bookings.  You may wish to do so as well as they are usually better and not as heavy as the regular meals.  Drink lots of water. Whenever the flight attendants offer you water or juice, take one – preferably water.  Remember that the humidity is zero percent (0%) in a airplane and you need to hydrate often.   It is always wise to leave the alcohol alone as alcohol will dehydrate your body.  Same with caffeine.  Avoid it if you want to rest or sleep. 

I always carry an eyemask and earplugs, even for a short trip.   Bring a book or reading material as airplanes today do not carry freebies like they used to unless you are traveling abroad.  Then you had better grab one in English from the flight attendant soon or you will be reading in another language, an investment newspaper or financial news.

I can not everemphasis cleanliness.  Fold down trays on airplanes carry many types of germs and bacteria.  Carry handi-wipes and a small Purell hand sanitizer with you and use them often.  In a hotel room the item most contaminated with germs is the the TV control.  The telephone is second, so be cautious and use hand sanitizer everywhere you travel.  Those little packets of Wet Ones come in very handy as well.  It can be quite cool in an airplane on long hauls. If you want to be comfortable, grab one of those small blankets and a pillow shortly after you find your seat.  Carry a sweater or lightweight jacket if you want to rest or sleep comfortably.  More later.  jeb



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