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If you have been "bit by the travel bug" here's some practical tips so you don't need an antidote to help keep you safe

Posted Aug 13th, 2014 in Safety, Tips

If you have been

If you have the good fortune to travel abroad, there are numerous considerations that may very well influence your choice of destination, aside from the obvious cost.

With the flurry of excitement and anticipation of a change of venue, sometimes the research rests on the number of pools, restaurants, sight seeing opportunities and climate.

If you are looking for practical tips, advisory information and knowledge that will facilitate safe passage, here is a great starting point to access information.

The Canadian Government website has a wealth of information and is simple to navigate, providing extensive updates and guidelines. Welcome to Canada.ca  www.canada.ca/en/

Subsections of interest:

Country travel advice and advisories:  Basic cautionary information is provided regarding mindful safety advice in various areas of the world.  Included are important facts surrounding entry and exit from a country, as well as security, applicable laws, and other information to assist with safe passage.  Tip: Make sure this site is checked when planning a trip and review it again prior to leaving for your vacation.

Travel Health Kit:  What a great tool to insure independent, immediate access to first aid for basic health concerns. Think: Minor injuries, managing your current health issues (especially if there are departure delays), and dealing with unexpected mild illnesses. Tip: Read the list of suggested travel first aid supplies.  

Emergency and Destination Contact Information:  The listed site provides a comprehensive list of suggested contacts at home, and abroad. Tip: Share your itinerary with loved ones and carry a copy of your hotel’s contact information with you, to have available in an emergency. (Especially when sight seeing)

Proof of Insurance coverage: Be sure to review your insurance coverage and have the appropriate contact information available.  Tip: See notes below for Ontario citizens.

Immunization records:  Carrying this updated record allows for quick and easy access to your current immunization status. It may be recommended that you have added immunizations to travel safely. Tip: If you do not have updated records call your physician's office or Public Health department.

"Registration of Canadians Abroad" is a confidential service that alerts travellers to issues of concern about areas that are being travelled to in real time.  It will also provide alerts regarding possible emergencies in your homeland. 

Tips for Seniors on the move:

If you are a senior with health concerns and using air travel, it may be wise to request priority boarding, wheelchair transport if needed, assistance entering the plane and for stowing carry on luggage: speak with your travel agent. 

Flying with greater ease may be facilitated by booking a direct flight to your destination, rather than making the transition from one plane to another.

Consider booking seats near the washroom during travel, should this be an area of concern.

Learn about your destination so as to anticipate possible needs and preparations prior to arrival. Are there numerous stairs for access to amenities?  Do you have dietary concerns or limitations?

Ensure you have an adequate supply of prescription medicines that are properly labelled and are kept with you during travel. (See the above listed Canadian travel web site for further information)

Make sure you are well informed about what items are acceptable to bring in carry on luggage when flying.

Allow for rest periods if your mode of transportation is via automobile. Take rest stops to walk, relax, hydrate etc. whereby reducing fatigue and promoting circulation.

Ontario Travellers

Check out the available attraction discounts in the province of Ontario for seniors:  www.ontariotravel.net or 1-800-ONTARIO

Access information about what OHIP covers outside of Ontario:  www.ontario.ca/ruq or call the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care 1-866-532-3161so as to be clear about the coverage limitations

Why prepare so carefully?

Although researching these tips may seem like a bit of a bother, they can assist in avoiding preventable mishaps that will put a damper on any vacation.

On my last trip to the airport, I watched as an elderly traveller was required to relinquish foodstuffs, perfumes and other gifts lovingly purchased to share with family at her point of destination. These items were neatly wrapped in her carry on luggage. She was not a seasoned traveller, and her companions had not versed her about the aviation rules. A necessary safety procedure, but a heartbreak watching the drama unfold.

So in essence, preparation before travel just makes good sense. To have the best trip possible, plan, prepare, and prevent concerns within your control.

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