Sixty percent of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) expect travel to be an integral part in their retirement. Retirement is a great time to get away and visit the beach, exotic destination or visit the grandkids. Trip planning can oftentimes require lots of planning and extra precautions in order to have a well-planned and safe trip.
Planning (or not planning) is half the fun of any trip. You get to choose the destination, the path you take to get there, where to eat, sleep and relax – plus what to do when you get there.
Here are some things you should do when you’re considering traveling.
Research the destination
Researching before heading out on an adventure will help to mitigate any surprises along the way. Be sure to read reviews for the places you’re planning on staying, eating or doing so you know if it is reputable and safe to visit. Doing a simple search on sites like TripAdvisor, Google or Yelp, will give you most of the information you need to know.
With the ever-changing climate of our world, check the news to make sure your destination is open to the public. Find out if there are any safety risks, new laws, or inclement weather to be worried about. For quick and easy up-to-date information on destinations, visit the United States Department of Travel website. This will give you great information on places you’re planning on visiting.
One of the most important things to research before heading abroad for a vacation is researching the emergency number of whatever country you’re visiting. 9-1-1 may not necessarily be the correct number to call in the event of an emergency. For example, in Europe, the emergency number is 1-1-2. Each country is different and knowing this number before it’s needed could potentially save your life.
The United States Department of Travel has a full list of countries and their emergency numbers.
Learn your Medicare coverage areas
Before you leave for your vacation, be sure to check your Medicare coverage areas to make sure you’re covered while abroad. Depending on the type of Medicare coverage you have, this is where you’ll be covered:
Original Medicare: You’re covered nationwide while within the United States – as long as the health care provider accepts Medicare. While overseas, you will not be covered by Original Medicare. You’ll need a secondary health insurance coverage plan.
Medicare Advantage: As long as you’re in the United States, you’re covered while in a Medicare Advantage service area. It is always wise to call your Medicare provider before leaving to double-check. If you’re going abroad, only some Medicare Advantage health plans are covered. Again, you’ll need to double-check with your specific service provider.
Medicare Supplement: In the United States, there are 10 standardized Medicare supplement insurance plans in 47 states. Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin have standardized plans that are different. Medicare supplement insurance plans are typically the best plans when you’re going abroad. Medigap Plans C, D, F, G, M and N provide emergency travel health while in foreign territories.
Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan): As long as you’re in Medicare Part D service area you’re covered. While traveling abroad, Medicare Part D will not cover any prescription drugs. Always be sure to pack back-up bottles of your prescriptions before heading out on vacation.
Bring extras of everything
If you rely on a certain medication to keep you healthy, always be sure to bring back-up bottles. Depending on your Medicare coverage, you may not be able to refill it during your trip – better to be safe than sorry. If you’re going on vacation for seven days, bring 10 days worth of medication.
Always pack your medication in separate bags in the event that one gets lost. Put half of the doses in your carry-on luggage and the other half in your suitcase. If the airline loses your bag, you’ll have enough medication to last until your bag arrives.
You are allowed to bring certain types of medication onto your flight as long as it is in your carry-on bag. The TSA website has all the updated information on what type of medication you can and cannot bring onto your flight.
Always have an emergency contact card
You never know when an emergency could occur, but being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. An emergency contact card is a piece of paper that you can stick in your suitcase, pocket, wallet or phone case. Write down a few numbers for someone to call in the event of an emergency. This could be the number of your siblings, children, best friend, etc. Be sure to also include any medications, health risks and allergies.
Simply writing these things down on a piece of paper works, but you can also download a template from the American Red Cross. Fill it out and store it in a place you’ll remember.
We’ve got you covered
Retirement and travel is an exciting time for any senior, but we want to make sure you’re safe while doing it. Depending on your Medicare coverage, you may need to add a supplemental insurance plan while traveling. At Senior Insurance Marketing, we’re here for you! Give us a call today and talk to one of our experienced insurance pros to make sure you’re going to be covered when you hit the road.
Have fun and a happy retirement!