Being a senior traveller comes with a lot of advantages. You have the freedom to see and do all the things you’ve ever wanted on your own terms. On the flipside, there are disadvantages that come mostly from the fact your body is aging. You’re now more susceptible to injury, sickness and/or fatigue (even if it pains you to admit it!). .
However, you shouldn’t let this stop you from travelling the world. All you need to do is be a bit more careful to stay healthy and safe. Here are some top health considerations you need to make before and during your trip.
Physical conditions overseas are never going to be the same as home. The environments, food and water may not be as clean. Picking up an infectious disease is a very real possibility and getting access to medical care in a foreign country may be difficult.
This makes it all the more important to get vaccinated before your trip overseas. As a senior, viruses and infections can be devastating to your body and bring the trip you’ve been dreaming about your entire life to an instant halt. Getting vaccinated will safeguard you against unwanted bugs and sickness. More importantly, it will keep your travels going whatever the conditions may be.
To get vaccinated for your trip, make sure you visit your doctor 6 to 12 months before leaving Australia. Some vaccines take time to activate within your body and for others, you may need multiple doses.
If you’ll need medication during your trip, the first thing you should do is check if they’re legal in your destination country and if you’ll need a permit for them. Medications that are legal in Australia may be considered illegal overseas, despite being prescribed by your doctor.
Get in touch with the consulate or embassy of your destination country. If the medication you’re taking is illegal in the country you’ll be visiting, talk to your doctor to see if they can prescribe a substitute.
Never forget to carry:
Enough drugs to cover the entire period of your trip in their original packaging
A permit for the drugs (if required by the destination country)
A letter from your doctor explaining what the drugs are for
A copy of your prescription for the drugs
Lastly, carry your medication in your hand luggage. If you happen to lose your luggage, you won’t have lost all your crucial medications.
When you’re travelling, it’s tempting to try everything, especially if those foods don’t exist at home, but with the stats showing
To get ill from food poisoning or some other kind of yucky bacteria just isn’t worth it. It could ruin your trip and send you home early. If you’re ever in doubt about the food you’re about to eat, the best thing to do is find something else to put in your mouth. And if you’re in doubt about the water, stick to bottled water.
There will always be an element of risk wherever you go in the world. To stay safe, a few general rules while travelling are to always dress down, never show off your valuables and keep your traveller’s cheques and/or credit cards stored in a money belt. Also carry a dummy wallet to detract pickpockets.
Below are extra safety tips for some popular countries.
Pickpocketing and bag snatching is common in Bali. The best way to keep your valuables from being taken is to store them in the safe of your hotel room. If you must carry valuables, keep them hidden in a bag (that isn’t too flashy) while you’re out and about. As for money, divide it up. Keep some in your safe, some in your wallet and some across multiple pockets. In the unfortunate case you are pickpocketed, you’ll still have some money you can use.
Theft and pickpocketing are prevalent in Italy. Just as in Bali, dress down and never show off your valuables to avoid this problem. Watch out for drive-by thieves who will try to snatch your bag off your shoulder while riding a scooter up the street. To make it harder for these bag-snatchers, keep your bag on the shoulder which is opposite to the road. If your bag has straps for both shoulders, use both of them. Last but not least, don’t buy brand name goods being sold by street vendors. The price may be irresistible but more often than not, they’re counterfeit goods.
One of the best ways to get from A to B in Thailand is to take a tuk-tuk or taxi. Most of the time, drivers will take you to the location you want for a negotiated fee. But sometimes, they’ll try taking you to craft and jewellery stores where you’ll be pressured into buying things you don’t want. If you buy, the driver gets a commission. If you get the feeling you’re being taken somewhere you don’t want to go, raise it with the driver and be firm you’re not interested in what they’re selling.
As a final fail-safe, always carry emergency services contact numbers for any place you’re travelling. Be sure to have the numbers for police, ambulance, an Australian embassy (if there is one) and your travel insurance provider on you. If you happen to get sick, injured or have your passport and other possessions stolen, you’ll still be able to get help.
Please note that this article is written for entertainment purposes only. 1Cover does not endorse or sponsor the activities/destinations listed in this article. Always check Smartraveller for offical government advice on your chosen destination. For any information or advice related to your travel insurance policy, or to understand if your chosen destination or activity is covered by travel insurance, please check the Product Disclosure Statement.