Tips for Seniors Handling a Long Flight
Spring is right around the corner and as the weather starts to heat up, more and more people are going to start to be planning big trips and long flights to their favorite getaway destinations. However, while some people are frequent fliers, for many seniors, the process of a long flight can be overwhelming and more taxing than its worth—even when traveling to a fabulous final destination.
So, for seniors with a long flight in their future, whether they are traveling for fun, or visiting family or friends, there are a few tips to keep in mind when handling longer flights, that can keep the travel experience less stressful and the final destination that much sweeter.
Choose Your Disability Options When Booking a Flight
When booking a flight, especially a long one, make sure that you stop and look at the disability options available for that flight. Many major airlines, such as Southwest, allow passengers to select disability options right online when they book their flight. This includes options like wheelchair assistance, help with boarding, assistance animals, bringing an oxygen concentrator or needing a place to store your own wheelchair. The more prepare the airline is for any special assistances you will need—the better.
Request a Wheelchair From the Airport
If you have some mobility issues, but don’t have your own wheelchair—the airport can help. This can make the process of getting too and from that long flight much easier. You just need to contact the airport ahead of time to make the arrangements. This way you will get to your flight on time and won’t be too tired from your journey through the airport.
Bring Your Medications in Your Carry On
You never know what will happen on a long flight (and you never know what will happen with your baggage when taking multiple flights) so it is always best to be safe rather than sorry with your medications. Bring all of your medications (including any over the counter options) you have on your flight with you just in case.
Pack a Pillow and Blanket
Sleeping on planes can be very uncomfortable, but sleeping through a long flight is not only a great way to pass the time, but to help you feel less tired or jet-lagged when you land. Pack a travel pillow (they may seem strange, but they are great for your neck and actually quite comfortable) as well as blankets to sleep with. Many planes are quite cold and you don’t want to rely on those small, thin airplane blankets.
Consider Compression Socks
If you are prone to feet and ankle swelling or blood clots (as some seniors are), then you may want to consider compression socks when you travel. These socks will promote blood flow from the feet to your heart, so when you land you won’t have uncomfortable swollen ankles, but instead will be ready to walk through the airport and on to your next destination.
Travel can be a lot of fun for any senior, but you never want travel to add extra stress on yourself because of a flight. Keep these tips in mind so you can make the most of any upcoming flight that may be in your future.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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