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Summer is fast approaching and many seniors will take advantage of the season to take off for new destinations. A vacation is a wonderful way to meet new people and explore different surroundings, and many seniors enjoy taking trips to countries that are new to them.

In order to make trips abroad more enjoyable, we offer the following tips:

Bring a medical information card.

Some seniors may have medical conditions or may be taking prescribed medications. For these individuals, it’s a good idea to have pertinent medical information in one place. Take an index card or other conveniently sized piece of paper and place upon it relevant medical history information; any current treatments, including current medications and prescribed use; contact information for doctor and pharmacist. (Some people may already have a laminated wallet-size card provided for them by their doctors or health providers.) In the event of an incident, having this information in one easily-accessible card is important.

Get a letter.

Some people have medical conditions which require equipment which may raise a red flag among airport security personnel – for example, syringes or pumps with metal components. Contact your doctor and get a letter from him or her that describes the equipment and explains why it’s needed.

Make sure you’re covered.

As most people are aware, there can be a huge variation in the specifics of various health insurance plans. Some plans routinely cover medical emergencies overseas; others do not. Make sure you know in which category your plan falls. If it doesn’t offer coverage abroad, you may want to look into the possibility of adding extra coverage or investigating some form of supplemental insurance for your travel period.

Be cents-ible.

Before you start on your trip, take the time to investigate monetary conversion rates. The prices you encounter in another country may seem alarmingly high or surprisingly low, but that may just be a result of that country’s currency be worth relatively little or relatively much compared to the dollar. Also, try to convert your money at a bank rather than at the airport or at independent conversion centers; most of the time, you’ll get a better deal.

Check out any checking fees.

Nowadays, most people are aware that the majority of airlines charge fees to check bags, but the fees can vary from airline to airline; find these out in advance so that you can plan accordingly. Also, some overseas carriers charge fees just to check in at the airport – and these can sometimes be substantial. Such fees can usually be avoided by checking in online.

Think about getting around.

Some seniors may have mobility issues that make walking long distances problematic. When planning a trip, take this into consideration. Plan each day’s activities so that walking requirements are limited. Investigate the local transportation options and determine which make the most sense in terms of budget, time and availability. And factor in “rest time” so that the day doesn’t become overcrowded and exhausting.

There are dozens of other things to consider when traveling to another country. Why not utilize the expertise of HomeHero staff to assist in planning trips? HomeHero staff members know the challenges that many seniors face and can raise issues that may have been forgotten. They can also help come up with ways to handle these issues and make the trip as smooth and rewarding as possible.

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