Now that you’ve ditched that 9-5 job, you’ve pulled out the Bucket List and found foreign destinations on the agenda. Excellent! In addition to checking Expedia and those cruise line brochures. the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has a few tips for you. On their website they have an article appropriately titled “Considerations for Older Travelers“.
While I recommend taking the time to read the entire publication, here are some highlights to remember.
- Travel Documents: Make sure they are all correct and up to date. Make sure your passport will be valid for 6 months beyond the end of your trip or some countries may not let you enter.
- Sign up for the State Departments “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” where your itinerary and contact information is stored securely. This allows the embassy or consulate to contact you in case of an emergency or a security situation.
- The State Department reminds you that Medicare does not cover you out of the US and recommends that you obtain travel insurance. You can start on that project by visiting our Travel Insurance page right here on this website.
- Medications: Be sure to take an adequate supply of your prescriptions and leave them in the original, labeled container to avoid problems at customs. Also, know the generic name for your drugs as the generic may be more likely known in a foreign country.
- Financial: Be sure to know the currency of the countries you are visiting and whether you should convert prior to entering the country. Also, make sure your credit cards will be accepted where you are traveling. Finally, check the State Department’s “Country Information” page to learn about any ATM scams or other financial scams that might target US visitors.
You’ve probably spent years saving and planning for these trips so it only makes sense to be prepared. Do a little homework and plan on having the time of your life!