Vacations can be stressful. There are a lot of things to worry about, especially if you’re a senior citizen. If you’re too busy worrying, it may become impossible to enjoy your vacation. That’s why we’re sharing this series of tips today. You’ve earned a chance to relax. Here’s how you can ensure you’ll enjoy it.

Get a Checkup With Your Doctor

That’s right, talking to your doctor before your vacation is a good idea. You’ll want to verify that you’re healthy enough to travel. Your doctor will also be able to suggest things to watch for (“Don’t drink the water”) or give you health advice (“Make sure you don’t do anything too strenuous with your knee”).

Some of your medications may need certification as well. Without these certifications, it may become difficult to travel with certain medications. Be sure to ask your doctor about these things.

Inform Bank and Phone Company

Nothing is worse than being on vacation and not having access to your bank account. Many banks will lock a credit card if they find suspicious charges and nothing looks more suspicious than charges from a state or country that you don’t live in! So, let your bank know if you’re going far from home.

Your phone contract may not cover international calls, which can make emergency calls difficult or expensive.

Informing your phone company is also a good idea. If you’re leaving the country, your phone contract may not cover international calls. This can make it difficult to reach emergency contacts should you need them. If you’re leaving the country, set up international calling to protect against this.

Draw Up a Packing List

One of the most important steps in preparing for a trip is packing. The task can be stressful, and we always seem to forget something important behind. To prevent this, try creating a packing list. The list should include amount and types of clothes, toiletries, and other miscellaneous items you need.

Your packing list should include types of clothes, toiletries, and other miscellaneous items and the ammounts you need.

If you’re going to the beach, be sure to list sunscreen, beach towels, and a bathing suit. Write down everything you need, especially any important medicines.

Don’t pack more than you can handle, though. You don’t want to get stuck carrying around heavy or unwieldy luggage. If you can, pack lightly and do laundry while you’re on vacation. This can keep you from straining too much with your bags.

Research, Research, Research

The next step is to do some reading about where you’re going. The more you research, the better your vacation will be. You can use websites like TripAdvisor or Frommer’s to find restaurants, hotels, or things to do. Almost as important, you’ll find things to avoid so you don’t waste precious time on bad restaurants or bad tours.

Research can also help you account for any health concerns. For example, if you have mobility concerns, you won’t want to sign up for a demanding walking tour. Get the most out of time on your vacation with a little bit of research.

Plan as Much as You’re Comfortable

Once you’ve completed your research, plan as much as you can. Some people prefer spontaneous traveling, but even having a roadmap helps fight stress and keeps you from missing out on anything that you want to do.

Have a plan for medical emergencies. You don’t want the worst to happen and be in a strange place.

More importantly, have a plan for any medical emergency. Be able to contact your loved ones, know the local hospital or doctor’s offices, and know what you need to do if something goes wrong. You don’t want the worst to happen and be in a strange place with no plan.

That said, be flexible with your plan! If you hear about a restaurant you want to try, shift things around to fit it into your schedule. It’s your vacation, so do the things you want to do!

Prepare for Security Checks

Whether you’re flying or driving, it’s always a good idea to have updated identification. This is especially true if you’re flying or traveling across major borders. Several forms of identification, like a driver’s license or a passport, should be on hand in case you need them. If you’ve had a name change or have out-of-date ID’s, get those updated before you leave.

Many seniors are eligible for the TSA Precheck at airports. This program speeds up the screening process, cutting your wait time and putting you in a shorter security line.

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Unfortunately, vacations don’t last forever. With that in mind, you’ll want to enjoy your time away. By following these tips, you’ll give yourself the best chance get the most out of your vacation.

Further Reading

AARP — 4 Steps to Snafu-Free Travel
Medicareful Living — 5 Great Vacations for Seniors
Medicareful Living — Medicare on the Go: How My Plan Works on Vacation
Your RV Lifestyle — 77 Packing Tips for Every Type of Traveler