5 Air Travel Tips for Seniors

October 3, 2016

Many families are beginning to plan their travels with the fall and winter holidays coming up in a few short weeks. Seniors often forego road trips in favor of faster routes via airports and planes. This may be daunting if you have mobility issues or are unfamiliar with the latest assistance available for seniors. Read on to prepare for your next air travel trip:

1. Request Assistance

Many airports have multiple terminals and are bustling with people, especially during the holidays. You don’t have to fight through the masses on your own two feet – especially if you need a walker or a wheelchair. Even if you don’t require mobility aids, you can ask for assistance getting to your gate when you arrive at the airport. A staff member will drive you on an airport version of a golf cart, ensuring you arrive on time and not out of breath.


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2. Bring Your Prescriptions

Older individuals must bring daily prescriptions with them while on vacation over the holidays. Thankfully, this isn’t a big deal. Bring your prescriptions in the appropriate containers, and be sure to take only the TSA-allowed amount of liquid medications. You likely won’t even be stopped for medicines as just about everyone has some in their luggage, but keep your doctor’s number on hand in case of a verification issue.

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3. Dress Comfortably

Traveling can be unpredictable, with sudden delays and lots of waiting. The temperature between your home airport, the plane’s interior, and your destination will likely vary slightly. The best way to handle these changes is to dress in layers. Wear clothing that allows you to change positions frequently on the plane to avoid getting stiff and uncomfortable.


4. Consider Your Carry-on

It’s not uncommon for airlines to misplace luggage. Seniors may have more immediate needs than younger travelers and should carefully choose what they place in their carry-on luggage. The items you stash in the carry-on will be available to you regardless of the airline, so consider putting any medications in that bag. Many people also pack a change of clothes and entertainment like books or a tablet to use on the plane and in the airport. Don’t forget to bring chargers too!


5. Try tech tools

You no longer have to keep track of paper tickets while going through airport security and going to the departure gate. Instead, take advantage of the latest airline technology. You can check in for your flight up to 24 hours in advance, ensuring you have a seat. Then, pull up your digital ticket when you pass through security. They’ll scan it right from your phone and allow you to pass through. Downloading the airline app can provide you with maps of the airport and note great in-house restaurants and shops to visit on your way through. Using your smartphone while traveling by air can make your trip easier and more convenient overall.

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