Two elderly people pointing at the world globe

Health risks for seniors travelling to bucket list destinations

From travelling across Europe to exploring the Australian outback, trekking through the jungle in South America or swimming in the ocean off the coast of an exotic island, almost everyone has a list of places they would like to travel.

Seniors are no different, and the Canadian seniors of today are more likely to travel, but also to travel to farther and more remote places around the world than ever before. The number of seniors willing and able to knock off a few destinations from their travel bucket list will only increase as the population ages.

“Part of what’s driving the phenomenon, according to travel-medicine experts, is the penchant for this generation of seniors to head off on increasingly exotic foreign adventures, equipped with the money and good health that make bucket-list destinations possible,” says Tom Blackwell in the National Post.

Today’s seniors are no longer settling for a trip to Florida or Arizona. They want to explore and see the world. “Older Canadians are clearly much more mobile and active than in the past and forming a burgeoning segment of the international travel market,” says David McCaig, president of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, to National Post. “They are very much interested in the cultural experiences. They’ve moved beyond, many of them, wanting to sit on a beach and play in the sun,” he adds.

Bucket list travel health risks for seniors

Travelling to exotic and challenging locations exposes seniors to additional health risks. They are at risk of reacting to various vaccines, getting blood clots from long flights, falling ill and catching foreign viruses, or simply getting injured by overdoing it.

Even though you have the means to travel doesn’t mean you should do so without assessing your health and ensuring you are able to make the trip safely. The risks are clearly not slowing down the millions of seniors who travel each year.

Make an educated decision and travel with caution

If you do plan to travel abroad and visit a bucket list destination, proper planning is essential. Here is what you can do to limit your health risks:

  • Talk with your doctor before travelling and discuss your options
  • Make sure you have enough medication to last for the duration of your trip (if applicable)
  • Make sure you are up to date with routine vaccinations
  • Research and get vaccinations specific to where you want to visit
  • Be careful about what you eat and drink in foreign countries
  • Research your location and know where the closest medical facilities are located
  • Listen to your body and don’t overdo it
  • Invest in medical travel insurance

Following these tips will help you be as prepared as possible to enjoy your trip to the fullest while minimizing your health risks.

Once you book your trip to your bucket list destination, get a free travel health insurance quote with Blue Cross and ensure you have access to emergency medical care and travel assistance for your trip.