Check Your Vaccinations
Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site, and click on your destinations for required and recommended vaccines.
Talk To Your Doctor
Explain your travel plans, and discuss any travel precautions you should take. Your doctor may ask you to come in for a checkup or to get any necessary shots.
Ask When You Should Take Your Medications
If you take medications, and will be crossing time zones, ask your physician whether you should take your meds at your usual home-time-zone time, or switch, and how. Also ask if any new foods you might eat while traveling could interact with your meds.
Guard Against Deep-vein Thrombosis(DVT)
Older adults run a higher-than-average risk of DVT, which happens when blood clots form in your veins, usually in your legs, and block blood flow. Sitting still for a long time on an airplane or train can contribute to DVT. But some research finds that wearing special "compression stockings" can help prevent this dangerous condition. Check with your doctor.
Get It In Writing
Ask your physician to write down the following:
- Any medical problems you have and how they're being treated.
- The names (including generic names) of any drugs you're taking, the doses, and when and how you take them (whether you use a needle, for instance).
- The amount of each drug you need to take with you on your trip.
Keep Your Pills in Their Original Containers
Do this with prescription and over-the-counter medicines and supplements. This will also make your trip through customs easier.
Carry All Necessary Medications With You
Pack your medications in your carry-on bag to avoid loss or damage.
Protect Yourself From Infection
- Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based "hand sanitizer," especially after spending time on a crowded plane, train, or bus, and before eating.
- Watch what you eat, and drink. The CDC travel site includes country-by-country information on food- and water-borne illnesses and how to avoid them.
- Drink water on the plane: The air inside planes is dry, so bring a large bottle of water with you and drink whenever the least bit thirsty. Or ask for a bottle of water every time the flight attendant offers a drink.