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Plan ahead and well for seamless travel experience

It’s time to start thinking about summer vacations. While planning is key for all travelers, it is especially important for seniors who want to ensure the best travel experience.

Here are tips to make sure your trip runs smoothly:

Take time to plan

>> Create checklists of tasks to complete and things to pack.

>> Consider travel insurance.

>> Map out the area you’re staying in and where you’d like to go.

>> If you’re taking a tour, speak with the guide about accommodations you may need.

Medical necessities

>> Pack enough of your prescriptions, getting refills if necessary. Many travel guides recommend keeping medicines in their original pharmacy bottles instead of using a pill box so you’ll have the prescription information with you if you need it.

>> If you’re leaving the country, make sure your prescriptions are legal in the country you’re visiting. Many common medicines — including Ritalin, Ambien, Benadryl, codeine, Vicks and Sudafed — are illegal in other countries. Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you’ll be visiting.

>> Make sure your insurance will cover you where you’re traveling. Medicare is accepted everywhere in the U.S., but if you have an Advantage plan, you may face coverage restrictions. If you’re traveling abroad, consider travel health insurance. Besides a few very specific exceptions, Medicare will not cover care outside the U.S.

>> For longer trips, visit your doctor and dentist before travel.

Luggage tips

>> There’s nothing worse than losing your luggage. Pack an extra set of clothes in your carry-on along with all your medicines (plus a list of them) and other items you’ll need immediate access to, including a spare set of glasses and an emergency contact list including your doctor’s information.

Keeping safe

>> The aging population is often a target of thieves and pickpockets. When you go out at night, be mindful and consider taking a buddy with you. Deter pickpockets by keeping your wallet in a fanny pack or under-the-clothes money belt.

>> Always carry emergency numbers of friends and family, as well as the address and phone number of local police. If you’re traveling overseas, include the contact information of the nearest U.S. Embassy facility. Make sure family and friends know your itinerary.

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