Older Travellers

What you should know

elderly travel

Older Travellers

The number of older people travelling is increasing constantly. Most advice and vaccine recommendations are the same as for younger travellers, however, some other points need to be considered.

Pre–Existing Medical Conditions

  • Some illnesses can put older travellers at increased risk during travel such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes
  • Some medications can interact with antimalarial medication or there may be an increased risk of side effects from vaccinations. 
  • Older travellers are at increased risk of falls and other injuries.

Travel illnesses such as Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Malaria can be more severe in older people and complication and mortality rates increase with age. Travellers aged over 50 have an increased risk of severe disease and death if they acquire Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, Pneumococcal infection or influenza, so immunisations should be seriously considered if at risk.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Coronary heart disease, obesity, recent surgery and history of DVT are risk factors for developing a clot in the legs, especially on long flights. Discuss this with your doctor who may recommend special compression stockings or medication.

For further information on DVT see the designated page on our website.

Pre-Travel Planning

 In addition to consultation with a travel clinic 6-8 weeks prior to departure, the older traveller should also consider the following:

  • If required, consult with your travel agent and make arrangements in advance for special needs such as wheelchairs or specific seating
  • Consult with your doctor or specialist especially if you have disease of the heart or lungs, diabetes or other chronic conditions
  • Take enough regular medication for your travel ensuring it is in the original packaging with a list and letter from your doctor outlining your medical history. Carrying a copy of your current prescription is also recommended
  • Carry medication in hand luggage
  • Ensure travel insurance covers trip cancellation due to illness and medical treatment overseas, including the cost of medical evacuation.

Reference : Advice for mature and older travellers, 2022.

*For more detailed information, make an appointment at our travel health clinic and our travel health professionals will be more than happy to discuss your personal needs.