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There are several obstacles that seniors may face that younger people do not when it comes to traveling overseas. Aside from the normal health risks such as getting waterborne or foodborne illnesses from drinking and eating at local restaurants. We want you to be prepared for your exciting trip overseas and hope that you have some incredible and memorable experiences.
That is why we’re compiled this list of tips for traveling internationally:
1. Medicare will not cover you outside of the United States
Original Medicare provides zero coverage as soon as you step off American soil. Even if you have a Medicare Supplement policy, it is likely to only have an extremely limited amount of coverage. That’s why we recommend shopping for senior health insurance for international travel. Health insurance for traveling overseas is much more flexible than insurance used here in the States, because there are claims administrators and coordinators who work with natives in the country you are traveling to. They understand the language and are familiar with local healthcare.
Health incidents are much more likely overseas than at home. This is because you may be traveling to unfamiliar places and consuming unfamiliar food and beverage. Prepare ahead of time by purchasing travel health insurance.
2. Store Prescriptions in several locations.
Packed swimsuit. Check. Packed phone charge. Check. Packed prescriptions. Check.
What you may want to double check is where you pack your prescriptions. If you rely heavily on specific prescriptions, you may want to consider packing those in multiple locations. Why? Well, if you are overseas and lose a prescription, it may be impossible or near impossible to get it filled at a pharmacy outside of the U.S. If you pack the prescriptions in multiple places, and one bag is stolen or lost, it is likely you will still have enough prescriptions to figure out your next steps.
3. Look up the US Embassy or Consulate’s contact Information
Before your trip, search for the closest US Embassy in that country you are travelling to, and save their contact information in your travel book. The reason being, that if a U.S. citizen is seriously injured or falls ill while in that specific country, representatives from the embassy will assist in finding providers or healthcare professionals. While, the US Embassy will not recommend any one provider, they can provide a list of physicians to help with your specific injury.
4. Take Your Time
When you travel overseas, you’re likely hauling around one large or several large suitcases full of clothes, sunscreen, souvenirs you’ve purchased and other gadgets “you might need”.
Well, we all know that the airlines have started charging steep rates for checking bags. Before you know it, you’re spending an outrageous amount of money just to get you and your stuff from one place to another. Here is our suggestion: Once you’ve landed at your international destination, you may look into traveling by train or rail to your next destinations.
Rail travel has become increasingly popular and inexpensive. You usually can carry on one or two bags free and check another two for no cost. Some other benefits of traveling by rail are that you can enjoy playing card games in the observation car, watch the beautiful landscape pass by, and even grab a meal in the dining car.
Also, if you’re in places such as Europe, train travel is discounted for students and seniors.
5. Avoid Peak Seasons
Just as in the US, the peak travel season is from June to August (when school is out), other parts of the US have travel seasons as well. Typically, Baby Boomers have more freedom to choose when they travel. We suggest choosing a low season because plane tickets can be much less expensive and the crowds will be lower.
Low Seasons for Several Countries:
China – November to January
Ecuador – December to June
Europe – October to February
Indonesia – October to May
The only downsides to traveling during low-seasons are that the weather may be cooler than in peak-seasons, so be prepared to pack appropriate jackets and other clothing. And also, attractions, such as museums, may keep fewer hours open to the public. So be sure to do your research beforehand.
While international travel is many times about exploring new cultures, new people and languages, and seeing great places. It may be easier do to those things, if you’ve used these tips above to prepare ahead of time. If you have any great tips from your travels, share them in the comments below.
About the Author
Sean Turner is a licensed health and life insurance agent for Buffer Benefits. He has had the privilege to travel to over 8 different countries. You can learn more about travel insurance at https://bufferbenefits.com
If you have specific questions you can direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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