Get Insurance Travel insurance will help to protect you from unforeseen expenses that can occur if you should need to cancel your trip, have a fall or accident, get sick, or need medication; if you should run out because your trip is delayed.
Hotel Safety Tips Don’t put the “clean my room” sign on your hotel door. “Those signs are an open invitation to let people know that the room is empty.” Thieves know that travelers may leave their passports, extra money and jewelry in their rooms, and they know how to jimmy open locks. Call the front desk on the way out and let them know you’ll be leaving and that they can send someone up to clean the room. Put the security chain on your door whenever you’re in the room, ask for a room near the elevator (more foot traffic will deter thieves) and stay away from ground-floor rooms where window entry is possible.
Watch What You Eat Eating foods that you do not usually eat may cause digestion problems and interrupt the enjoyment of your trip. If you are taking any medication, call your doctor before you leave for a trip to find out if certain foods popular in your destination are off limits.
Mind Your Meds Don’t pack your medications in checked luggage, and don’t leave them lying in the open in your hotel room. Always make sure you’ have enough medicine to last you an extra day or two, just in case your flight home is delayed. Keep a paper with the names of any essential medicines you take and their dosages so you can try to replace them if needed. If you take a brand-name medication, write down the generic name too. Even better, try to find out the name of the medication in the language of the destination you’re traveling to. If you have any metal in your body due to a hip replacement or other surgeries, you can obtain a card from your physician, verifying this information. This may help avoid delays when going through security check points at airports.
Keep the Bling to a Minimum Carrying items like nice jewelry, gold watches and fancy cameras makes you a target for thieves. This applies to carrying cash as well. Wear a money belt or passage wallet hidden under your clothing and secured to a neck cord. A small compact camera or even a smart phone will take pretty good photos nowadays.
Secure Your Documents Make copies of your passport, license and medical insurance cards. Put copies in various travel bags. Also, you can scan them into your computer before you leave home and they will be accessible anywhere you go. Make sure your legal documents are updated; i.e. your will, durable power of attorney, advanced health directive.
Keep Others in the Loop If you’re going to be traveling solo, not with a tour, keep others apprised of your daily itinerary, including your innkeeper or hotel concierge. Tell them where you’re going and when you expect to be back; then stick to your schedule. Keep a cell phone on you at all times.
Stay Safe on Your Feet Beyond wearing comfortable shoes in order to get through full days of walking and touring, wearing flats will also help older travelers to stay steady on their feet. Heels, even small ones, can make you more prone to spraining an ankle or falling.