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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

HOLIDAY TIPS FOR SENIORS:4 tips to reduce holiday travel stress

blog-travetips2jpgIt’s great to visit your out-of-town children, grandchildren and other loved ones during the holidays. But let’s face it. Holiday airplane travel is just no fun anymore. If you’re not a frequent flyer, you have to endure long waits in the TSA line and take your shoes off. The crowds at the airport are even bigger than they are at other times of the year. You’re constantly faced with new situations, and that can raise your stress level. You’ll find your trip more enjoyable, however, if you do some research and plan ahead. Here are some tips to smooth your holiday flight.

Pack early
Before you pack, make a list of everything you need to take—glasses, medications. If you’re going to be gone for more than a few days, bring along a spare pair of glasses, a list of your prescriptions, emergency contacts and your health information, including your doctor’s number and a record of your health conditions and allergies. If you have to take a large quantity of medications with you, get a letter of explanation from your doctor.

Put all of this information, along with your passport or license, into a waterproof container and keep track of it at all times. It’s a good idea to make extra copies of everything. Send copies to your family and keep a set at home.

Security frowns on wrapped presents, so if you’re taking gifts along for your family or friends at your destination, don’t wrap them. Don’t take or wear expensive jewelry. Keep your medications in their original containers, and check with your airline or about other security screening procedures concerning prescription medications and liquids.

Get help from the airline
Most airlines offer assistance to older travelers. You can get help with ticketing, check-in and boarding if you need it. Most major airports have shuttles or electric carts to get you to your gate. Check with your airline for other services that may be available and useful. Request assistance when you make your reservation.

Once you’re on board, ask a flight attendant to help you stow your luggage in the overhead compartment. Keep your carry-on bag between your feet. It’s important to stay hydrated during your flight. Drink water before you board, and request a couple of bottles of water once you’re seated. Avoid alcohol and beverages with caffeine.

Consider travel insurance
Does your health insurance cover illness or injuries outside your service area? You’d be surprised how many people don’t know the answer to this question. Do some research on out-of-town coverage, especially if you’re a member of an HMO. Find out what you have to do if you need health care, and take this information with you.

If your insurer provides limited or no coverage, consider travel insurance. These policies can be pricey, but they may be well worth it. You can get a travel insurance policy that covers medical care and a return trip home in an emergency.  Trip cancellation policies cover your plane fare if you get sick and have to cancel your trip or if bad weather grounds your flight. Buy travel insurance through your travel agency, and read every word of the policy. Some policies exclude pre-existing conditions.

Be aware of your surroundings
In a crowded, chaotic airport, wear a money belt to carry your cash, credit cards and important documents, or buy a Passage Wallet that you wear around your neck under your clothing. Don’t carry a purse or put a wallet in your back pocket. Stash them instead in a carry-on bag that attaches to your roll-on suitcase.

Move around in your seat as much as you can. Hopefully, you’ve booked an aisle front cabin or bulkhead seat, and you can easily get up and walk around a bit once every hour or so. Moving can help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs. You can also do simple exercises in your seat, such as flexing your calves, lifting your legs and tightening and releasing your lower-body muscles.

Happy Holidays...have a safe and pleasant trip!

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