So, when it comes to travelling, as an ageing baby boomer, I have to curtail my eagerness for adventure and accept the reality that I cannot climb that high mountain or cross that stream with wriggly rocks. But I want to do as much as I can for as long as I can.
Here are a few hints that make travelling a little easier for me.
Aspirin For Healthy Travel
First, on my doctor’s advice, I start taking aspirin a week before my flight. This thins the blood and reduces my chances of DVT (deep vein thrombosis). It’s a risk for anyone flying, but the risk becomes greater with age.
In combination with this, I wear the full compression pantyhose and try to get my legs up as much as possible. Business-class is the best option, but not always possible on a budget.
Go to the doctor
A doctor’s visit is necessary to make sure your vaccinations are all up to date. But, just because you’ve had them all, don’t assume you have completely immunity. Try travelling for 4 months with whooping cough! But that’s another story.
While you’re there, get a letter from your doctor listing all of your medications. Also ask him to write a special script for your pharmacist because under normal circumstances, only one script can be dispensed every 21 days, and you’ll need more than that for a longer trip.
Take all medications with you
You cannot get scripts filled overseas so you need to take all of your medications with you. In my case, for 5 months’ travel, that’s half my suitcase! To reduce the amount of space, empty all of the tablets in cardboard boxes into clear sandwich bags, but leave them in their alfoil packs.
As for the ones in bottles, put as many pills as possible in each bottle. Most pills are dispensed into bottles that are much larger than they need to be. Use plastic, rather than glass, bottles.
Do you need heat?
If you’re like me, your back starts to complain after sitting for a long time whether in your office chair or on a plane. I have found the adhesive heat pads work well for the entire flight keeping my back warm and comfortable.
A word of warning: be careful when using the bathroom, the heat pad may fall off and in!
At home, I use a wheat bag heated in the microwave. This isn’t a practical option when travelling: it’s too heavy and you may not always have access to a microwave.
For these reasons, I always take a hot water bottle. You can always boil a kettle. Whether travelling by bus, train or car, the old “hottie” does the trick to alleviate my back pain.
A handy hint. If you have a CPAP machine, you don’t need to pack it in your luggage. The airlines allow it as an extra piece of carryon- something about medical devices.
Need a walking stick?
I’ve always resisted the idea of using a walking stick until my daughter bought me hiking sticks in Munich.
I love them! I usually only use one at a time, leaving one hand free. I see much younger people using them, which makes me feel less old and feeble.
Believe it or not, that extra point of contact on the ground gives me so much more stability especially on uneven surfaces, for example, cobblestoned streets.
I’d love to hear other tips for staying healthy when you travel.
You may also like to read Smart Packing Ideas Every Baby Boomer Should Know