By Ronda Addy

Just because you reach a certain age doesn’t mean your traveling days are over. Depending on your situation, you may just need to do a little more preparation and take a few extra precautions.

Before going anywhere, make an appointment your doctor. Find out if there are any medical issues that will prevent you from taking the trip. If you have heart problems, for example, flying may add to the stress on your heart and your doctor may advise you not to go. If you require oxygen, you may have to obtain approval for transporting the tank.

If you take any medication, leave it in the original bottles with the labels on it and place it in your carryon. That way, if your luggage gets lost, you will still have your medication with you. Create a list of the medications you take, as well as the name and number of your doctor in case of an emergency. Bring a spare pair of reading glasses or a copy of your prescription.

If you have mobility issues, don’t be afraid to let others know. Call ahead and make special arrangements for boarding the plane in advance. Find a hotel with specially equipped rooms and reserve one in advance. If you need a scooter or an oxygen tank, look for a company that rents them and will drop one off at your hotel or cruise ship. Don’t exhaust yourself by overdoing your sightseeing; take it slow.

Like any other traveler, you need to be careful about the food you eat. The risk of food contamination will vary according to the countries you are visiting. Developing countries will have a higher risk of food contamination than countries like Canada or Japan. Don’t eat food prepared with contaminated water like raw fruits, vegetables or salads. Only eat food that has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot. Don’t eat food from street vendors. Stay away from drinks made with contaminated water, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Drink bottled water, carbonated water or water that has been boiled and served hot. Get a hepatitis A shot if you plan to eat fish or shellfish on the trip, as undercooked or raw fish can be dangerous.

Once you’ve made all of the arrangements, you can turn your attention to packing. You don’t want to over or under pack. You should make a list of everything you will need and stick to it. Bring loose-fitting, durable clothes you can mix and match. Select clothes that will dry quickly, such as lightweight cotton and synthetic fibers. Roll clothes so they won’t wrinkle. Hang up clothes as soon as possible upon arrival. If they do wrinkle, steam the wrinkles out while you take a shower.

Along with clothes, you will need some accessories. These include:
• Comfortable, waterproof walking shoes
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen
• Wide-brimmed hat
• Backpack or bag to carry supplies in
• Security pouch to store your valuables beneath your clothing
• Local language phrase book
• Small first aid kit with aspirin, cold medications, antibiotic lotion, anti-diarrhea medication and cotton swabs

With planning and research, there’s no reason you can’t travel like you did when you were younger. You just need to play closer attention to some things.

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