Safe summer travel tips for seniors during COVID-19

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Thursday, July 16, 2020
Safe summer travel tips for seniors during COVID-19
Before seniors travel this summer, experts say they should consider a number of factors, including social distancing and protective materials.

WYNNEWOOD, PA (WPVI) -- After months of staying home, Americans are hungry for travel. And that includes seniors.

By planning ahead, and taking proper steps, it is possible to do it safely.

For many seniors, life is all about travel.

The international travel agency Virtuoso says the average retiree spends nearly $12,000 dollars a year on it.

Since March, most haven't been more than a few miles from home.

But they want to get out this summer, especially to see family.

Dr. Lawrence Livornese, an infectious disease expert at Main Line Health, says planning ahead is a must.

Start with a checklist of factors:

How will you travel? On public transportation, such as a plane? or in a car?

"By yourself? Are you going to be in a car with somebody who maybe has been out and about and perhaps exposed?" asks Dr. Livornese.

How will you handle any stops along the way?

"And then when you're visiting, what are the conditions of the visit going to be - are you going to be sitting on the back porch for a few hours? Where are you going to be staying in their homes?" he asks.

Will you have distancing space in a big house? or will it be a small apartment?

"I think things like hiking and camping by yourself are perfectly safe," he notes.

"You're not going to pick this virus up by passing somebody on a trail. You'll pick it up be staying in a campsite and mingling with them," Dr. Livornese says.

Regardless of where you are, don't let up on handwashing.

And be sure to pack plenty of the essentials.

"Certainly masks of some kind. A hand sanitizer, and again antibacterial wipes are probably the three biggest items," he says.

Seniors may not be able to pick up and go like they once did.

But Dr. Livornese says with careful planning and precautions, some trips are possible.