You’ve worked long and hard your whole life and now you have the time to go on those vacations you’ve always dreamed of. As with anything in life a little preparation will go a long way in making your trip run smoothly so you can enjoy yourself and make those special memories.

Hopefully the following lists will help with this preparation.

Medical considerations:

1. Pick a vacation venue with your current level of health and activity in mind.
2. If your vacation involves more activity than you are currently used to consider a training period leading up to it. Most vacations require more walking than one does at home so start a daily walking routine to get in shape.
3. Even if you have not had any medical issues up until now it is always a good idea to have a medical checkup prior to any travel.
4. If you are currently being treated for any conditions it is wise to make an appointment with your GP to discuss your travel plans

  • Altitude changes may impact certain conditions
  • Eating out increases the likelihood of increased salt, fat, & sugar intake which may place some people with certain conditions at risk
  • If traveling with medical equipment (CPAP, nebulizers, etc) get a note from your PCP in case there are any questions when going through airport security
  • Oxygen use requires special consideration to make sure you will have sufficient amount for the entire trip
  • If traveling by air check their policies on O2 use & the fees involved

5. Make sure you have enough medication to last the trip & bring extra in case there are any delays in getting back home

6. Pack all prescription medications in carry-on luggage
7. Carry a list of current medications, your GP name & telephone numbers, current diagnoses and any allergies you may have in your purse or wallet
8. Wear compression stockings for prolonged sitting periods, stay hydrated and whenever possible get up & move around to prevent blood clots
9. Make arrangements for a wheelchair or use the motorized transport in the airport to make connections. Conserve your energy while traveling in order to be rested for the main part of the trip.
10. Consider travel insurance in case of any unexpected illnesses.

General preparation:

1. Alert your credit card company of travel plans

2. Make copies of your ID & passport and carry them separately on the trip
3. Leave your itinerary with family or friends and a way they can reach you if necessary
4. Print boarding passes at home to expedite check-in at airports
5. Pick luggage that is light weight, has wheels, and consider a bright color for easy identification
6. Have luggage tag on outside and put identification & itinerary on inside of luggage in case tag is ripped off & luggage is lost the airline will be able to contact you.
7. Carry-on luggage should contain medications, charging cords for phone & camera, change of clothes in case main luggage is lost, travel size toiletries, light rain jacket or umbrella.
8. Consider a purse with a shoulder strap to hang across your body for more security.
9. In general pack less and bring more money.

Before you leave home:

1. Arrange mail pick-up or stop delivery at the post office

2. Stop newspaper delivery
3. Turn off water
4. Set timers on lights
5. Give your itinerary to familyIf you follow the tips on this list, your travels will run a lot smoother and safer. Accepting opportunities when you can is a wonderful way to live, and traveling while retired is certainly one of them! So pack your bags and get to it!

– Kate Johnson writes and edits the Retirement website She is currently living the high life, retired in Northern Belize. She recently published a piece on the best places to retire in France.

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