Home > GOLDEN YEARS > Common Condition > Planning for travel? What to do during the trip

Planning for travel? What to do during the trip

Introduction

Planning well before a trip will ensure you to have an enjoyable time . However, there are still some tips that may prove to be useful to take note during the proper trip itself.

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood clots developed in the veins of the legs. Risk-factors include:

  • coronary heart disease,
  • obesity,
  • sitting still for long period of time.

How to reduce the risk of DVT while travelling far:

  • avoid tight clothing.
  • do not smoke.
  • drink plenty of water unless it is prevented by your medical conditions. Avoid dehydration.
  • avoid alcoholic drinks.
  • take a stroll whenever possible.
  • bend and straighten your ankle while being seated from time to time.
  • avoid crossing legs while sitting.
  • for some people who may have other risk of DVT, you may be recommended to use elasticised stocking or get an injection of heparin during the flight. Consult your doctor.

Do not take risk

Not all activities are suitable for everyone. For example, when you are in a theme park, certain activities may not be advisable for people with heart disease. Take note of the requirement before the ride. Do not take risks.

Do not buy excessively

You may have many relatives and friends waiting for you to come home with souvenirs. Plan on what you intend to buy. Do not increase the weight of your luggage excessively if you have no means of carrying them throughout the trip.

Taking care of yourself during the trip

  • Do not engage in a packed itinerary that does not allow adequate rest. Allow an easy first or second day to recover from jet lag.
  • Jet lag may be reduced if you fly west instead of east. Consult your travel agent.
  • Avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of water. If the safety of water source is questionable, drink from bottled water.
  • Avoid food buffets, seafood, raw or undercooked meals, unpasteurised dairy products to avoid food poisoning. Food from street vendors should best be avoided as well.
  • Pack condoms and practice safe sex.

If you are taking regular medications

  • Remembering your medications. During travelling, your usual reminders on medications timing base on daily routine will no longer be present. You may need to wake up at different time, take dinner later or earlier than usual or go to bed at an odd time (if there is a change of time zone). Having pill box helps you to remember. Having written or electronic reminders may be useful too.
  • Watching out for hypoglycemia. You may have increase physical activities during your travel. Meal time may change. If you are on regular diabetic medications, hypoglycemia may be a risk. Have some sweets in your hand carry. Inform your tour guides or friends travelling together. Having a glucose-check machine may help too.
  • Having diarrhea for more than one day may reduce the effectiveness of some of your regular medications. Consult with a doctor if diarrhea persists.
  • Avoid dehydration. Some medications do not work that well when your body is dehydrated. Some may even cause harm (like anti-hypertensive medications). Drink plenty of water.
  • Do not keep all medications in one bag. In case of lost, you may still have medications in other storage.

Safety suggestions for travelling elderly

  • Elderly may be considered as easy targets to thieves and pickpockets. Be careful and practice the following:
  • Avoid night travel unless in a big group.
  • Don’t draw attention by wearing expensive jewellery.
  • Carry the contact details of the Malaysian embassy with you all the time. You will never know when you need it.
  • Consider keeping a small amount of cash in a ‘dummy’ wallet. If confronted, you can hand over this wallet and avoid further engagement.
  • Do not keep all your cash in one bag. Even if it is stolen, you will still have cash in other storage.
  • Wear valuables (such as traveller’s cheques and credit cards) on a belt worn under the clothes and next to the skin.

References

Better Health Channel. 2012. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Travel_tips_for_seniors (accessed 25 April 2013)

Last Review : 26 August 2013
Writer : Dr. Cheah Wee Kooi