Regardless of where you’re going or for how long, there are certain things everyone should always pack when traveling. While we are always advocates of packing light, several of these things are especially important for seniors. Luckily, none of them really take up too much extra space. That said, here are 7 absolute travel essentials you really shouldn’t leave home without.
1. Travel Insurance
Ensuring you’ll be taken care of in the event of a medical emergency is absolutely essential. If you’re going somewhere – anywhere – that your regular health insurance might not provide coverage, medical travel insurance is a must.
There’s a good chance you’ll want to consider obtaining other types of travel insurance as well. If your trip is nonrefundable, it can be a real life-saver in the event of a delay, cancellation, or emergency.
2. Valid Photo ID
If you ever intend to travel outside of the U.S., you’ll want to make sure your passport is always valid. If it’s nearing expiration, go ahead and renew it up to 9 months before it does. The last thing you want is to have to turn down a trip simply because you’re lacking a valid passport.
Also, make copies of the informational pages in case your passport is lost or stolen. This makes the replacement process much easier.
3. Prescriptions + Backups
Not only should you always remember your medication when you travel, you should have extra as well. It also never hurts to have your doctor write up new prescriptions for any important drugs you may be taking. This way if you run out or lose your medications, you can have new ones filled at a local pharmacy.
Write down the generic names and alternatives for anything your taking, as brand names and availability may vary.
Even on a cloudy or rainy day, sunscreen is an essential. Make sure you re-apply frequently (every two hours, and always after swimming) when spending time outdoors.
5. An Emergency Contact List
Don’t rely solely on your mobile device(s) for important contact information. Make sure you have a hardcopy backup of all important information, especially emergency contacts. You’ll want to ensure you’ve got phone numbers for family, friends, doctors, neighbors, your bank, and credit card companies. If applicable, also include contact information for any house or pet sitters as well.
6. A First Aid Kit
In the case of a minor injury, headache, allergy, or illness, it never hurts to have a first aid kit. The last thing you’ll want to do is have to search for a pharmacy. Make sure to include pain relievers, diarrhea medicine, antiemetic and allergy medications, blister bandages, and anything else you might need. Use a hearing aid? Don’t forget a spare battery. Traveling to a developing country? Make sure you include a filter bottle or water purification tablets.
7. Comfortable Shoes
Blisters are the absolute worst when you’re trying to enjoy a vacation. Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes that you’ve had plenty of time to break in ahead of time. If you suffer from foot pain, talk to your podiatrist before leaving on your vacation. There may be orthotics you should wear or exercises you can do to make yourself more comfortable.