Senior Citizen Travel

Many Senior Citizens have special needs when they travel.

You can get senior citizen help for everything from transportation to medical and health assistance, and special travel arrangements that can be made for your own personal needs.

How do I find this assistance?

Who will help me?

Before you go on your trip, you need to make sure you are covered for medical, dental, injury, loss of luggage and many other areas of coverage with travel insurance

If you are taking a cruise, you may encounter bad weather, sickness on the ship, or delays that cost you more money and other problems.

Cruise ships usually have special needs assistance available for the asking. A preliminary call to the main office before booking your passage can provide many answers and some times a video with full explanations of their assistance.

Personal travel assistance should be an important part of your senior citizen travel planning.

Some cruise or airlines are better prepared for senior citizens needs than others. Ask the cruise line for their seniors information guide.

Travel safe, smart and well prepared by asking for all avenues of assistance beforehand.

Immunizations and shots

While getting shots is not very fun, you will want to make sure you are up to date. Outbreaks of diseases vary from country to country but tourists or travelers may come in contact from someone exposed to a contagious disease by just being at an airport or port of call when on a cruise.

You don't want to leave your health to chance.

Travelers' diarrhea

When you are exposed to new bacterias in water or food, diarrhea can put a stop to all of your fun.

This ailment is the most common illness affecting travelers.

Every year, 20-50 percent of international travelers, which comes to an estimated 10 million persons, develop diarrhea.

Healthy persons can just as easily get this problem, usually during their first week of travel. Some people have delayed symptoms that can begin any time when traveling, or after arriving home.

There is a higher determinant of risk in some of the developing countries including but not limited to Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

In many of these areas, chlorinated tap water is not available and hygiene and sanitation are poor. Even in a five star hotel, inconsistent chlorinated water should be avoided if possible. Brushing and rinsing teeth should be done with bottled water.

All travelers are advised by the Center for Disease Control that only the following may be safe to drink:

* Beverages, such as tea and coffee, made with boiled water.

* Canned or bottled beverages, including water, carbonated mineral water, and soft drinks.

Norwalk-Like Virus

This medical condition can be identified by symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes fever.

This is not an upper respiratory virus such as influenza.

Norwalk-like virus usually runs its course in 24-48 hours without serious or long term health effects. However, it is spread by person-to-person contact, so you are contagious when you have it.

Anyone traveling with chronic illnesses and those who are immune compromised health are at greater risk to pick this up.

Medications should always be kept in their own prescription bottle when traveling.

This is extremely important.

If you are stopped by authorities in some countries, having a prescription medication without its accompanying prescription bottle can be an arrestable offense.

In China, for instance, some medications are ILLEGAL to possess, even though you have a prescription.

At the very least, being able to prove it is a prescription for your health can keep you out of their jails. Foreign jails are much worse than American jails and you may not get American assistance since you are on vacation and not under the protection of the USA.

Most cruise ships have a doctor on board who can see you. There is a fee for this service with the possible exception of a need for sea sickness medication, or Tylenol(R) or aspirin.

Sea sickness is common on ships so it is advisable to check with your doctor ahead of the cruise and ask for suggestions, and pick up the medication for it at that time.

For actual medical emergencies, injuries and other problems that can't be handled on board a cruise, you will be evacuated, usually by helicopter, to a medical facility nearby.

Since your Medicare and most medical insurance plans do not cover a medical evacuation off a ship, you should plan ahead with either the cruise lines medical coverage for your trip or get a travel insurance policy that can cover medical needs and associated costs both off and on the ship.

If you are bringing a caregiver, please let the cruise line know in advance of all of your medical needs and assistants. Plus, a doctors letter explaining your condition, medications and other considerations for your safety and health.

Chronic medical conditions should always be reported to the cruise planner and any special assistance to get on board both at the port of exit and other ports where there may not be a convenient ramp for exiting the ship. Some ports do not have wheelchair access, for instance. It is best to know this ahead of time to see if a different cruise would be more accommodating to you.

Always bring enough prescription medicine to last through your cruise due to many medications being unavailable on the ship or in other countries.

Cruises are especially popular among seniors. Find out more about

senior citizen travel cruise planning

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