Plan for Unexpected Travel Hiccups

Summer long weekends create the memories that help get us through long, cold winters.  But holiday travel plans can hit a few snags due to road construction, thunderstorms that delay flights, or most recently, cancellations due to air quality concerns.  The best advice is to be prepared for unexpected changes, and check flights, weather forecasts, and traffic notices before setting out. 

According to The Washington Post, nearly 51 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from their homes over the Independence Day long weekend – with most people leaving Friday, and returning Tuesday.   Sunday and Monday traffic is expected to be less congested.  The best time of day to drive is before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. so early risers or night owls will have an easier time reaching their destination. 

Travel offers many benefits, especially if people are gathering to meet up with family and friends which is vital for good mental health.  But, keep your travel plans and photos off social media until you have returned. Advertising your absence from home can invite trouble; you may even want to have a friend or family member stay at your home while you are away to pet sit or water plants and keep an eye on things. 

Older adults who are travelling should make sure their accommodations are accessible, and pack any medications in a carry-on or purse rather than in checked luggage that can be misplaced.  Carrying a list of your medications, insurance information, emergency contact and doctor’s number is also important in a crisis.  Copies of your driver’s license and passport should be kept both at home and packed with you. 

On long trips, be sure to stay hydrated and bring along snacks, especially if you have a chronic health condition or dietary restrictions.  The National Council on Aging also recommends that when travelling abroad, consider using cash because credit card fraud is common in many tourist destinations.  If you are going to use a credit card, plan to monitor your transactions through a mobile app and call your credit card issuer ahead of time to let them know your travel plans. 

If all this planning and travel sounds like a lot, you can always plan a staycation and enjoy some of the activities in your own neck of the woods.