• Karen McPhail

Travel for LGBT Older Adults

We are in the midst of summer vacation season so I hope that some additional travel tips will be of assistance! I am often asked about what are the best spots for LGBT older adults to vacation and what are some important planning aspects to consider. So in todays blog I wanted to address travel planning a bit more and suggest some spots worth checking out that are LGBT older adult friendly!

Let's start at the beginning.....

Where are you going to go?? So many options to explore!

I recommend checking out the following articles for updated spots and suggestions:

Palm Springs, Provincetown, Massachusetts, Guerneville, California, Wilton Manors, Florida, Stockholm, Sweden, Toronto, Canada and several others are noted with detail. The important part s finding something that speaks to you and will meet your travel needs for accessibility and enjoyment!


Prior to leaving, and while making reservations, I encourage that older adults take a few simple planning steps to ensure a successful and stress free journey!

1. Ensure that you purchase trip insurance as a part of any travel package. Make sure that air fair is refundable and understand the purchase terms. It is better to be safe than sorry when planning time away!

2. If traveling out of the country, also purchase travel insurance in case you would become ill while abroad! Travel insurance can be expensive, but it is often times worthwhile! You do not want to be in another country and have no means to pay for or access necessary care. Plans can include medical expense coverage, trip interruption, emergency travel services and more. Explore plans fully before moving forward with one!

3. See your primary care physician prior to leaving. Do this about a month before travel to ensure that you have ample time for any recommended immunizations, treatments or medications. You want to ensure that you are in good health before leaving and understand any preventative measures to take before and during your trip. Your primary care physician may also send you on your trip with antibiotics or other medications to use in the case of an emergency if abroad. Reach out to us or check out our resource page for inclusive care providers if in need of more assistance!

4. This leads me to the next area, medications! Ensure that you have your medications filled and packed prior to leaving. Plan to pack at least 3 extra days of extra medication in case your travel plans are delayed, etc. Never put your medications into checked baggage, always keep them on your person in a carry on!!! Print out a typed or neatly written list of your medications, with name (generic and brand), dosages, past medical history and allergies in case of emergency. Always, place your medications locked in your room safe once you reach your destination.

5. Ensure that you give friends and family your travel plans and exact itinerary with flight information, hotels, etc prior to leaving! It is best to be safe in case of emergencies!

6. Group travel and tours can be a great way to safely travel. Often times traveling with a group can provide an additional buffer of safety, security, and resources in case of emergencies or issues! Traveling with a group can also be more social and enjoyable for some. Meeting new people and having a set social group for tours, meals and to access throughout often times enhances the travel experience!

Again, planning is always key to ensure a safe and fun vacation! However, with a lot to do and remember, we often times we forget last minute details! Follow the guidelines below for successful planning and prep as your travel day approaches!

1. Check in with family, friends, house sitters, and pet sitters before leaving and update them on any last minute changes to your itinerary.

2. Make a checklist of items to remember for the day you leave! This will help you to feel at ease and know that everything has been handled! A vacation packing list can also be helpful! Having a car service arranged to handle the basics can also take pressure off of you!

3. Ensure that you have a cell phone and a charger packed. Most people carry one, but some tend to not rely on them as much as others! Charge your phone the night before you leave and bring a portable charger in case of emergencies. Have a cell phone with you at all times!

4. Dress for the unexpected! Even if you are expecting a short and easy day of travel, dress for the worst case scenario. Wear comfortable shoes that you can walk well in or have on your feet if you are traveling via wheelchair. Ensure that you wear flat shoes with arch support. Lace up shoes are often times best since you can adjust them for swelling, etc. if needed. If possible, do not wear heels because they can lead to tripping, injury, or straining. Dress in comfortable layers to ensure that you can adjust your temperature comfortably when needed. Wear your medic alert bracelet or necklace if you have one. If you have chronic medical issues that require immediate attention, consider purchasing one prior to traveling:

5. As always, keep your bags on your person at all times. Never ask someone you do not know to watch your bags, even for a short period of time! Remember to have your medications (ensure that they are filled before leaving), medical history, and emergency contact list packed in a carry-on bag. Never pack your medications in a checked bag! Having toiletries and one day of clothing that is not heavy or bulky packed in your carry-on is also a great idea in case luggage issues occur. Your ID should be zipped into a front pocket of your carry-on that is easy to access when needed. For trips longer than an hour, have a small snack and a water bottle in your carry-on in case of emergency. Only carry necessary items in your carry-on and keep other items in your checked baggage! Ensure that you have a light-weight suitcase that is easy to pull to avoid injury.

Reach out to us if we can support or advise in any way! We are always here to help!!!

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