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Tips for Older Travelers PDF Email
by Collette Siemaszko,
SeniorNet Coordinator, Copernicus Senior Center, Chicago.

Book Your Ticket & Reservations Online
  • Book three to four weeks ahead for domestic travel
  • Print the itinerary even though the airline will email a confirmation later with the confirmation number on it. Print that also.
  • Airline web sites offer the option to request a wheelchair. If you have difficulty walking the long distances often required at an airport, take advantage of it.

Take a Snack or Meal
  • Most carriers don’t offer meals on short flights so you’d be well advised to pack your own. And take a bottle of water, airplane air is very dehydrating.

Confirm Your Flight
  • Visit the airline’s site 24-30 hours before you leave and check in using your confirmation number; follow the directions on the site to print your boarding pass.

At the Airport
  • At the curbside check in present your boarding pass, ID and luggage and tell the attendant that you are expecting a wheelchair.
  • Don’t lock your luggage but do mark your bags with an easily identifiable tag.
  • Keep your ID and boarding pass handy for going through Security.
  • Wear shoes that are easy to remove when you go through security and put your jewelry in a pouch in your purse to present for inspection. Put it on when you get through security.

Pack Light for Air Travel
  • Pack your medicines in your carry-on bag and keep it with you.
  • Keep copies of your prescriptions and doctors' instructions with you, too.
  • Take extra eyeglasses and their prescriptions.
  • Take a folding cane that will fit in a purse or carry-on.
  • Pack sharp items such as knitting, nail files, scissors, in the luggage you check, not in your carry-on.

Keep Medication with You
  • If you are a diabetic, for instance, keep your test kit and other supplies in your purse.

Don’t Forget to Take a Book
  • You can get a book or two to take with you on your next trip for just the price of the postage. Go to the Book Exchange in the Books & Literature discussion and just click on the person's name listed next to the book to see an email form that’s already addressed to the current book owner. You can work out the shipping details via email. It’s easy and you may find a new book-loving friend.
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