Old lady travelling alone!

Well, not THAT old, but I'm in my 70s and am going to Scandinavia alone. I've gotten a Eurailpass and all my reservations made, my travel insurance bought, my RickSteves on my iPad, etc. As always, Rick's guide has been a great help. I've travelled alone a lot and I know how to protect my valuables (leave them at home!) etc, but does anyone in my situation have any specific advice to give about, say, what to do if I get sick, or fall.. etc. What has been something good that you're glad you brought along? Any advice welcomed!! Thanks.
Briegull

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

For peace of mind, I buy a separate medical evacuation policy that allows me or my representative to decide if I need to be evacuated... rather than a clerk in the insurance company. Many combination policies include medical evac, but if the insurance company decides you can (for example) have surgery done in China, you're stuck having it in China. With my policy from MedJet Assist, as long as I want to be evacuated and the doctors agree, they evacuate my to a hospital near my home. I buy an annual policy for a few hundred dollars (since it also applies for domestic travel), but you can purchase insurance for just your trip. I've not had to use it, but I rest easier having it. And it's a tiny investment, given the cost of travel.

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
341 posts

Well two things I always do when traveling alone: - Have all my details easily available on me so that emergency staff will quickly find them. It is just a sheet of paper with my identity, meds I take, health insurance and next of kin contact details etc. - I have some that is aware of my plans who I check in every few days, so she can raise the alarm if I disappear. Other than that I relax and enjoy the trip.

Posted by Clare
Topsham, Maine, United States
17 posts

Yes, I do this, and it's been very helpful at home as well as travelling. I make a card the size of a credit card from information I need (two sided) and "laminate" it with wide clear shipping tape. Keep it in my wallet. And here's a tip for others: the "taxi" wallet is available everywhere now, and I know of no better wallet for travelling. Very minimal but just what you need, to store the info card I describe above, plus others.

Posted by Glenn
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
307 posts

Heck, my parents are in their 70s as well, and I don't think of them as being "old" ( I'm 47 )...when they hit 100 maybe...lol..they're both still active and healthy How about one of those collapsible walking sticks to throw in your luggage just in case you need an assist?...even 'young' people use those when hiking and stuff..also a card to carry on your persons that details any medical conditions you may have, or medications you're on, in case you become incapacitated and unable to communicate with medical personnel...
Oops...I see you've already done the medical card thing...sorry..lol

Posted by Clare
Topsham, Maine, United States
17 posts

So what about using Skype and not taking a cell phone? I agree, they are a pain. But does Skype (on my ipad) work well in Europe?

Posted by Jim
Bern, Switzerland
341 posts

I've never used Skype, but I've heard it worked fine. I use FaceTime and the Yahoo Messanger and they work fine too.

Posted by Glenn
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
307 posts

My last trip I left my cell phone home and took my iPad( I have a wifi only version), complete with Skype, and didn't miss my phone at all...

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

Skype should work the same in Europe as it does anywhere else. So, as long as you have WiFi, you're good to go. If you need or want voice communication when there's no WiFi, then you need a cell phone.

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
611 posts

Load a few dollars into your Skype account and when you are connected to the Internet via WiFi, you'll be able to call those not connected to Skype very cheaply.

Posted by Clare
Topsham, Maine, United States
17 posts

This is great! I really HATE cellphones and have gone the route of buying sims compatible with a given country before, but Skype is so easy!

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2609 posts

Skype or email is fine for communicating with people at home. I just mention a cell phone for emergencies since you are worried about falling, or getting sick, especially since you are traveling alone.

Posted by Clare
Topsham, Maine, United States
17 posts

Yes, and also if the ipad gets stolen. Cell is a good backup.