Do you have parents that are visiting the United States? Traveling around the United States can be exciting. The US is bountiful where nature is concerned and is a feast for those seeking adventures. That said, it is very important to prepare well in advance to ensure that your parents have a memorable and safe trip to the US. Besides arranging for hotel accommodations and planning their itinerary, it is essential to prioritize their health and well-being. Read this blog for a useful health checklist that covers everything your parents will need before arriving in the US.
Documents to be prepared
Undoubtedly, the first aspect of planning international travel is to ensure that your parents have all the critical documentation they need to furnish at all checkpoints. These documents help identify their purpose for visiting the US and get them the care that they require during their stay in the US. Some documents that are mandatory are passports, visas, and other documents required to support their travel.
A smart hack to make sure you always have documentation on you is to keep digital copies of your documents in storage drives or your email to access them anywhere at any time.
Keep in mind that many countries require that passports have at least 6 months before they expire during travel. The USA is no different. Make sure your parent’s passports have at least 6 months of validity beyond the dates of your trip.
If adventure hikes are on the agenda, your parents are surely going to need extra support to keep them going! The United States is strict in its regulations concerning medication brought by visitors into the country. Make sure your parents bring valid prescriptions from their doctor. This will help them get refills in the event they run out. Make sure the medication is in the original packaging and properly labeled. Like all documentation, ensure you carry digital copies besides physical copies. Lastly, all medications must go in their cabin baggage for easy access and to prevent tampering in transit.
If added support can make the trip for your parents extra comfortable, take it. Travel assistance is a helpful aspect of your parents’ trip that can facilitate them during their travel. This could be anything from check-in, navigating through airports, and even luggage. Airlines have the added facility of booking wheelchairs for aging and disabled parents, if necessary. All they would need to do is mention the wheelchair assistance at the time of booking their tickets to get this taken care of on the day of travel.
Travel Health Insurance
We can’t reiterate enough the importance of purchasing travel health insurance for your visiting parents. Travel health insurance gets your parents the care and protection they need and prevent the burden of unexpected medical expenses. It is important to research and compare different policies to find the best visitor health insurance for parents visiting the USA. Ensure that the policy covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions and emergency medical evacuation. Additionally, ensure that their policy covers any adventurous activities they plan to participate in during their visit.
At VisitorPLANS, we make it easy for you to discover suitable travel health insurance plans for your parents with our intuitive, user-friendly website. We are one of the largest visitor insurance agencies in the United States. You can view the selection of travel health insurance plans here.
The rules of travel are constantly changing. What is considered acceptable in their country of origin may not be true for others. Teach them the right way to pack their items, especially meat-based food, plants, seeds, etc, to avoid any complications at the airport. Remind them not to carry plants, meat products, etc, into the United States. Here is an extensive list of guidelines from TSA to let your parents know what is prohibited and banned from entering the United States.
Carry Enough Money
You want to ensure your parents have sufficient cash and credit card to pay for unanticipated expenses that occur in travel. Remind them to inform the local bank or visit the bank’s website to notify them of your travel dates to avoid cards getting blocked for suspicious activity.
List Of All Important Numbers And Addresses
Make sure your parents possess a list of important phone numbers and addresses of the people they plan on connecting with. You must also make note of numbers for important people and organizations, such as the airline company, embassy, insurance company, doctors, and other emergency contacts. Create a duplicate list for yourself and others involved in caring for your parents during the trip. Most important of all, make sure your parents have the first point of contact’s number and accommodation address on landing in the United States.
Send a list of possible questions your parents may be asked by immigration officers at the airport. Consider doing a mock interview just to make sure their wording and usage are appropriate, as translations from a native language can change the meaning in the secondary language. Advise them to answer truthfully about the purpose of the visit and any other details related to the travel, such as accommodation, people they are staying with, etc. Ensure they keep the necessary documents ready for scanning by the officer.
Go over baggage guidelines for their airline with them to ensure they are within the weight and size limits for baggage. In general, it is advisable to travel light to keep travel stress-free and enjoyable. Our handy tip for travel is to always carry a week’s worth of change of clothes and a basic set of essentials in the event their luggage gets lost in transit and takes a few days to recover from the airport.
Book your parents’ tickets in advance to get the best deals and to ensure that they get seats together. It is advisable to book a direct flight to minimize travel time and reduce the risk of missing connecting flights. Also, inform them to arrive at the airport at least three hours before the scheduled departure time.
We hope this health checklist helps you set your parents up for a fun and comfortable trip to the United States. Consider planning a mild, enjoyable itinerary with activities suitable for your parents’ age to allow them the pleasure of experiencing the United States to the maximum. Day trips are quick and an easy way to give them a taste of American culture, history, and nature.
While it is important to explore new foods and experiences, it is equally important to ensure they are comfortable and in supreme health. Connect them with neighbors and friends to keep them company and offer support in the event you are unable to care for them immediately.
In conclusion, preparing for your parents’ trip to the USA can be a daunting task, but by following this useful health checklist, you can alleviate some of the stress and anxiety associated with international travel. Above all, remember to enjoy your time with your parents and create unforgettable memories together!