Whether you’re taking that dream vacation, visiting the grandchildren or playing in a big golf tournament chances are you’re going to need to board a plane to get there. Long flights on crowded airplanes probably aren’t tops on your list of ways to spend your retirement years but more often than not it’s a necessity. Here are a few tips for senior travelers to help make your next flight a little more tolerable.
Arrange for Wheelchair Assistance Even if you don’t normally require a wheelchair or any special assistance you can arrange to have a wheelchair ready for you at check in and to use again after you reach your destination. I always make wheelchair arrangements for my mother when she travels to visit us. She is fully able bodied but traveling in her 80s I don’t want her to have to navigate through an airport and walk long distances before boarding her flight. This is a free service offered by the airlines and they have always been more than happy to make these arrangements for me. This will afford you the luxury of having assistance at baggage claim, be able to board early and the peace of mind that the crew will check on you during your flight to ensure you don’t have any issues or difficulties once in flight. It’s well worth the phone call.
The low cabin humidity is very dehydrating so it’s important to be sure to drink plenty of water during your flight. This will also help minimize swollen legs and ankles. Try to limit your intake of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks as they tend to increase dehydration.
Choose Seats Carefully
When choosing your seats, try to sit as close to the front of the plane as possible so you can easily get on and off the plane quickly and easily. Choose an aisle seat so you can get up often without disturbing other passengers. Whenever possible, book seats with extra leg room.
It’s worthwhile to purchase a pair of airplane socks. The compression helps with the circulation in your legs. Once you arrive at your destination lie down and elevate your legs for a bit if possible.
Try to frequently stand up and walk up and down the aisle once you’re in flight. For times when it’s necessary to stay seated with your seatbelt fastened, be sure to wiggle your toes and stretch your legs.
Don’t let the thought of having to get on a plane discourage you from enjoying your retirement years. has luxury properties in 70 countries around the world including many luxury and properties to enjoy. to choose which destination you’ll be jetting off to.
Thank you to travel writer Lisa Medeiros. Follow her on Twitter @lisamedeiros_