Planning a vacation is an exhilarating time, but it can be stressful trying to get everything in order to make it a successful trip. While you’re planning hotels and airfare, don’t forget to make plans for your health care, however. If something goes wrong, it’s good to know you’re protected.

Should I visit my doctor?

Before you leave for any trip, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor. A physical checkup is highly recommended before a vacation for seniors so you know you’re healthy to travel. Your doctor will also make sure your vaccinations are up to date. 

While you are packing your medication, go ahead and create a travel health kit (bandages, tweezers, antibacterial ointment, etc.). You will want to pack all your medications in your carry on in case your luggage gets lost or delayed by the airline.

Look for discounts

The travel industry recognizes seniors are some of its most valuable customers, so they go out of their way to make travel affordable. Look for senior discounts with your airlines, hotels, car rentals, and especially meals and entertainment. 

If you don’t feel like renting a car and driving around a strange city, check out rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft.

Will My Medicare Travel With Me?

If you are traveling within the United States, check to be sure your Medicare plan covers you out of state. If you have Original Medicare, you will be covered if you visit any doctor who accepts Medicare.

If you are traveling outside of the United States with Original Medicare, you really don’t have any health coverage except in very limited circumstances. If you are worried about your health care and want to feel secure on your trip, look into purchasing short-term travel insurance. This is temporary coverage that pays for all your health care while you’re on vacation. It may even cover other travel issues such as lost luggage and delayed flights.

If you have a Medigap plan, you may have foreign travel coverage for up to $50,000. This is a lifetime maximum, not a per-trip limit, and there is usually a deductible. 

Part D plans usually have national pharmacy networks, so if you need to fill a prescription while you’re on vacation, you’ll probably be able to find a participating CVS or Walgreens nearby, for example. 

Traveling is one of the great perks of being retired. Don’t jeopardize your trip before it even begins by neglecting to look after your health needs before you leave home.