Air travel for elderly people can bring with it some advantages, such as great discounts. Elderly people often have more time to go travelling, which means it would be a shame to put off travelling just because you are concerned about your health and safety. So don’t avoid flying if you want to travel, but just follow these seven tips to ensure you enjoy a safe and comfortable flight.
1. See Your Doctor for an Assessment
The first thing that you should do is pay a visit to your doctor and tell them that you are planning to travel by plane. Do this well in advance of your trip because they may want to carry out a health consultation to find out whether you are in good health to travel.
They may ask you about your destination, the expected temperature and how long the flight is. If you take medication for any conditions, they may provide you with some advice specific to your condition.
Depending on your destination, you may have to take some vaccinations before you travel, and again your doctor will be able to advise you on these.
2. Take Care Planning When and Where to Go
When you are choosing your destination and the time of year you plan to go, always think carefully about this. The longer the flight, the more time you will have to spend recuperating and potentially getting over jetlag. If your chosen destination gets particularly hot or cold at certain times of the year, you may want to time your trip for one of the times of the year when the temperature is more pleasant.
3. Taking Medications on the Flight
When you board the flight, you may have to show your medications while passing through security. It is a good idea to take a letter from your doctor explaining what the medications are, and you may also want to take a prescription in case you need to get some more while you are overseas. Having all of this to hand can make the process of passing through security quicker and easier.
4. Know the Risks of Flying
If you have a medical condition, you should find out whether this can be affected by flying. For example, angina can become worse while flying. One thing to be particularly aware of is deep-vein thrombosis. This can affect anyone during a long-haul flight, but elderly people are more susceptible to it.
One of the ways to help reduce the risk is to keep active during the flight. Make sure you stand up regularly and walk around, and continue to do light exercises moving your feet. Wearing compression stockings can also help.
The NHS provides some good advice on reducing the risks, so take a look over this before you get on the plane.
5. Packing Tips for the Flight
To make sure you stay as comfortable as possible on your flight, make sure you pack your hand luggage carefully. This means taking any medications that you may need on the flight, and packing some water and snacks to say hydrated and avoid getting hungry.
Long-haul flights provide blankets, but you may want to take your own along with a neck pillow to travel in greater comfort. Also be aware that it can be easy to transmit germs on airplanes, so wash your hands regularly and take some hand sanitizer with you to use regularly.
Also make sure you plan all of the essentials well in advance of your trip. Double check your passport to make sure it is still valid, and look for UK passport services that can help you to get a quick replacement if you discover at the last minute that your passport is not valid.
Also think about choosing your seat online before you check-in because you may want to have an aisle seat or to be near to the entrance or bathroom.
6. Find Suitable Travel Insurance
Another essential thing to remember before you travel overseas is travel insurance. There is less choice available for elderly travellers, but you can still find companies that will insure your trip. It may be expensive, but it can save you a lot of trouble and expense if you end up requiring medical attention overseas.
7. Enjoy a Save and Comfortable Trip
Travelling is great fun no matter what your age, so don’t put off travelling just because you are older. Keep these tips in mind and prepare for your trip properly, especially if you are travelling by plane, and enjoy a safe and comfortable trip overseas.
Louise Jenkins works in the airline industry and has spent plenty of time helping travelers of all ages to make their journey as stress-free as possible. She enjoys the chance to share her tips and suggestions online and writes for a variety of travel websites.