Flight Travel Tips for the Mature Traveler

November 14, 2013

An international survey recently found that the over 50s are more likely to travel than any other age group. Increase in leisure time together with decrease in work and family commitments means that the over 50s have time to travel more frequently and to further away destinations. For those using air travel to reach their destination, we have put together a number of travel tips to help ensure you have a relaxing and safe holiday.

Pay Attention to DVT

DVT is short for ‘Deep Vein Thrombosis’, a condition which can potentially cause a life threating blood clot (thrombus) in a deep vein, predominantly in the legs, thighs, and pelvis. People of all ages could experience DVT, however it is more common in the over 50s and thought to impact the lives of over 2 million Americans every year. The biggest contributor leading to DVT is lack of movement such as one caused by sitting down on long flights. There are a number of actions you can take to reduce your chances of experiencing DVT:

  • Practice simple calf and leg exercises while sitting
  • Stay hydrated as dehydration can increase the concentration of clotting factors in the blood
  • Wear compression stockings to help the circulation of blood in the legs
  • Stretch your legs every 45min by walking the flight deck when permitted
  • Avoid drinking alcohol

Hearing Aids On Flights

Over 35 million Americans are thought to present the symptoms of hearing loss, of which the biggest cause is age related. From a person’s late 40s, tiny hair like structures within the inner air naturally damage or die. This leads to an inability to hear certain frequencies, as the hair cells cannot regrow. By far the most common method to overcome this sensory impairment is to wear a hearing aid.  There are a number of useful tips you should pay attention to when boarding a flight while wearing hearing aids:

  • You may be tempted to remove the device during security screening, however keep it in as it will help you communicate with airport staff
  • Unless the manufacturer stated otherwise, you can keep the device switched on during the entire flight including landing and takeoff as it is not considered a personal electronic device (unless it features FM system)
  • Inform the cabin crew that you are hearing impaired in case of emergency
  • Retain a new set of hearing aid batteries in your hand and checked-in luggage
  • You may decide to reduce the amplification level to reduce background noises


Taking Medication On Flights

As we grow older, our dependency of modern medication to retain a high quality of life increases. Taking most forms of prescribed medication should not limit your travel, however in light of the heightened security checks at airports you should take certain actions.

  • Your medication should be in its original packaging, pharmaceutically packed to clearly identify it as being prescribed for and belonging to you
  • If you carry any form of prescribed medication not in its original packaging, you must carry your prescription with you to prove its contents
  • Retain enough medication in your hand luggage to accommodate connections and delays. Some airlines recommend retaining a doses enough for two days
  • Medically required liquids such as medications are allowed in excess of 3.4 ounces. Items in excess of 3.4 ounces will receive additional screening and in such case you should prepare to arrive the airport earlier than instructed to.

We hope you found our flight travel tips for the over 50s useful. Please share your own tips in the comments below.

Written for Impowerage by European French villa holiday company Affair Travel. Affair Travel is an ABTA / ATOL protected travel company.

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