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Four Great Travel Tips for Older Americans

May 1, 2023

Travel can fill the soul and widen your horizons, but it also has many challenges. Particularly for older people and those with mobility or health issues, navigating multi-city and round-the-world (RTW) travel can be tricky. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are four tips for staying comfortable - and healthy! – during multi-stop and long-haul flights, no matter what your age:

  • Take the Complications Out of Connecting Flights

If you have connecting flights, the airports you choose to make connections in can make a big difference. The world’s biggest airports – like John F. Kennedy International in New York or Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are massive. That can mean dragging your carry-on across multiple terminals to make your next flight. Also, you need to be prepared to wait in long lines at security check-ins and passport control because the TSA tend to be stricter, and it may take longer. Plus, locations like Chicago O’Hare and Boston, where inclement weather are more prone to cause cancellations and delays, can affect when your plane arrives and if you’ll have enough time to make or even miss your connection. As much as you may be eager to minimize your wait time between flights, building in time to make your connection with a minimum of potential stress (particularly if you have mobility issues) is a smart decision. Four hours or so between flights should suffice. 

  • Stop Stressing & Add A Stopover

Travel may be exciting, but the same can’t be said for jet lag. The human body simply wasn’t designed to fly across multiple time zones in a short period. For children and travelers over 60, adjusting to a new time zone can be even more difficult. But there’s a simple – and fun! - solution to this problem. Add a stopover – especially if there is a big time zone difference to your ultimate destination. A day or two stopover can help your body deal with jetlag more effectively. Even better, you get to enjoy an additional location during your travels! If you have two long connecting flights back-to-back (for example, you’re visiting the Near East with a layover in Paris), book a stopover in the connecting city for at least a night. You’ll be so much more comfortable, and your travel photos will be that much more exciting! 

  • Move Around

No matter how comfortable any chair at the airport lounge or on the plane is, traveling is hard on the body. Be sure to get up, walk around, and stretch. To keep yourself from getting stiff or sore, before, during, and after your flights is important. Moving around and stretching throughout your flight and at airports between flights will also help you prevent any problems with deep vein thrombosis. 

  • Make an Investment in Safety and Security

Here’s a smart idea for travelers of all ages. Medical Air Services Association (MASA) has been providing life-saving emergency assistance for over thirty years. MASA can protect you from catastrophic financial loss when medical emergencies arise at home or while traveling. MASA will cover your ambulance or airlift, no matter your age or medical condition. Services are paid in full, with no deductibles, co-pays or dollar limits. MASA provides coverage 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. IRTA and AMBA make getting a MASA plan easy. You can even sign up online. Learn more at www.AMBAmedtransport.com or call 877-290-3170.

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