Mother’s day is coming and we all want to go the extra mile to make our dearest mums feel special for all they have done for us. It could be gifting your mother a trip to the destination she never went to as she was saving up for your college or it could be just you two taking off and having some mom time together. Team Fxkart brings to you tips for looking out for your mom this summer and to make her travel memorable and safe.
Health Comes First
Be sure to take your mom to the doctor for a checkup before you embark on your travel. Health is something you should not compromise on especially when going to a foreign land. The most important decision which you absolutely must make is that of travel insurance. In my previous blog I have gone into detail about travel insurance but to sum it up here it is worth the minimal cost and especially important for seniors.
Older people are more prone to falling ill in new places and accidents due to frailty or impaired vision. Call up your insurance company and opt for a senior citizen travel insurance for more offers and better pricing rather than the regular single trip insurance. This brings me to an important point of availing all senior citizen offers out there for your mother.
Harvest Your Seniority
Be it in flights, at the airport, while booking tickets or getting tourist package deals. You must always enquire about offers available for senior citizens. Even on flights get the perks of being a senior by carrying your check-in luggage with you to be stashed in the overhead cabin.
Some airlines might allow that for the convenience of the elderly. Also call your airlines ahead and request a meal for your mum as per her health requirements such as a low salt diet in case she is a hypertensive or a diabetic diet in case of diabetes. Many airlines will offer tailor made diets as per your requirement.
In case your mom has difficulty walking about or tires easily, request for wheelchair services at the airport and opt for a golf cart for commuting within the airport. These services can usually be availed for free. It would cut the exhaustion of travelling many fold as airports these days are humungous and require a lot of walking from landing to the immigration and baggage claim.
Before heading off to your destination, research about tour packages and group tours as older people find it easier to stick with a group and follow a leader with an itinerary. Don’t forget to ask your tour operator for a senior citizen discount.
Make a list of all drugs your mom would need and get a stock of her regular meds and pack in her hand baggage and not check-in baggage. Request your doctor for a certificate for the medicines to show at the customs. Carry extra meds in case your travel gets prolonged. Carry a stash of painkillers, antacids, ORS and probiotics.
If your mom is a diabetic and crossing many time zones, then inform your medical practitioner and ask for modifications to the insulin regimen on day of travel. For example, if you end up gaining hours then you might need to take a dose of short acting insulin in the flight and resume the usual dose as per the new time zone.
Older people run a risk of developing clots in their leg veins on being seated for long hours as is in the case of long haul flights. Young people can just walk, stretch and do a couple of calf exercises but olders need to take more precautions than those. Walk frequently on the flight to avoid pooling of blood in your legs.
If already prone to Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) then inform your practitioner about the same and ask if you need to be on Aspirin or take a heparin shot. Buy elastic stockings available in most pharmacies for preventing DVT and make sure you wear those on your flight no matter how irritating you find those at first.
Avoid drinking alcohol on your flights as it causes dehydration which will worsen your jet lag and also predisposes to DVT.
Carry hats and umbrellas to protect yourself from the harsh sun. Carry an extra pair of glasses as a contingency if you misplace your glasses.
Old habits die hard. It might be difficult to convert your mother from carrying hard cash to carrying travel cards, but you must insist she do so. Older people are a target for thieves and pickpockets and even touts. Aside from some currency notes in her wallet most of her money should be loaded on the card. So in case you are sending her to her dream destination and not able to accompany her, teach her to operate a travel card and arm her with one.
Get one on Fxkart.com at the most competitive rates. Travel card is one of the best modes of carrying money for your trips as you are not at the mercy of fluctuating market rates and get all your currency at a fixed rate loaded on the card. Also it is safe and protected by a PIN. In case of loss or theft you can call up the issuing company and get the card blocked and have the money reloaded on an alternate card.
Be Alert, Be Safe
Invest in a pouch she can fasten around her body that can be worn under her clothes. Seniors are easy targets for muggers so carry a dummy wallet and your travel documents, papers, travel card, cash and passports should be in the pouch.
Even hotels are not a hundred percent safe. Do not leave a sign for housekeeping outside your room as that clearly tells thieves and no gooders that you are not in your room. Better is to call up the hotel staff and tell them to attend to your room. Use the lockers provided by the hotel and don’t leave your belongings in drawers of the hotel room.
No matter how sweet and helpful the tour guide or her new travel buddy is, warn her to never disclose her PIN to anyone or let anyone operate her credit/debit or travel card.
Back Up Her Documents
Make copies of her documents and keep at your hometown. Keep sets of copies in her check-in baggage too. Give her a list of emergency numbers in case of loss or theft of baggage.
These are some tips from our side to take care of your mother on her travel. Have a great and memorable Mother’s Day!