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A Travel Agent Gives Tips on Preparing for a Vacation or Business Travel - Taking You From Aging Parent

Posted Apr 02 2008 3:51pm
Welcome back to our continuing series on preparing for a trip that leaves your aging relative behind. In our kickoff story, you read and listened to Ginger's dilemma dealing with an emergency while traveling in Europe. She was frantic when she first learned about her dad's fall and hospital stay.

Today we continue the Preparing for Travel series featuring a local Austin travel agent Sally Watkins, CTC (Certified Travel Counselor) with Century Travel. I asked Sally to please share with our readers tips on preparing for a journey away from home, potentially putting thousands of miles between you and your aging loved one. Sally advises families to plan ahead weeks prior to leaving the country or state:

l. Purchase Travel Insurance – and read the policy thoroughly. Be aware of the "pre-existing conditions" part in the policy and know that full insurance has to be bought and put in place within 14 days of first payment toward the trip, for most insurers. There are some insurers that allow the purchase of travel insurance on final payment of trip but that’s the exception.

2. Also be aware that paying the "taxes due" on frequent flier tickets can be interpreted as the "first payment" toward the trip. That would start the clock running.

3. It's a GOOD reason to use a travel agent, so that if something happens to the aging parent/relative, the traveler has help in working out how to fly home! Without a travel agent, that traveler is on his or her own to work out all the details, from abroad, putting the family member in ultra stressed mode.

4. Be aware of all cancellation policies, as they will differ by hotel or tour or guide, etc.

5. Make sure the people "back home" have your contact information, where you are staying, etc., and they are instructed on how to dial the foreign numbers where you will be – using 011 to get international. Also instruct them on what countries require a zero before the area code when dialing from the USA, etc.

6. Get a cell phone. Leave the cell number and instructions on how to dial it with the aging relative and other family members and friends.

And I add, give them your email address too!

Make it easy on yourself and book your next trip/vacation with Sally and give her details of your aging relative... she can give futher instruction if necessary and assist you in getting back home in a hurry, if the need comes up.

Thank you, Sally for these great tips! She can be reached at 1-800-950-8283 or go to http://www.centurytravelaustin.com/.

Thank you readers for joining our continuing series on being away from an aging loved one. Stayed tuned when we hear from local Geriatric Case Managers giving us valuable tips on being away.

If you need local senior services email me, Carol@WorkingCaregiver.com and please visit our website WorkingCaregiver.com.
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