Going on a family vacation with your elderly parents has a lot of benefits. Above all, it’s a great bonding opportunity, especially if you have never traveled together before. However, some additional logistics must be taken into consideration.
Your parents are one of the most reliable travel companions you can ever have. You can trust them more than anyone else, and they’re always ready to share their knowledge and experience. And even though there are some downsides, don’t let them hold you back. You can make the experience of traveling with your parents priceless – just put a little effort into planning. These seven tips for traveling with your elderly parents are here to help you.
Choose The Destination
Try to choose a place that suits everybody’s needs. You can go to a national park if your parents are active and don’t have mobility issues. Cruises and tours are always a nice suggestion for people of all ages who want to relax and see something new. And, if your parents are not very active and have health issues, you can always start traveling together by going to a wellness center – like, for example, Hotze Health & Wellness Center.
If possible, go somewhere new to all of you. Firstly, it will be an exciting new adventure of exploring and uncovering a place you’ve never been to before. And secondly, you won’t go there with too many expectations to live up to. Don’t be afraid to go to a place you don’t know – together you’ll be able to deal with anything. And, to be prepared, check out travel blogs with helpful guides and valuable advice – for example, https://amaryroad.com/.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Some airlines offer discounts to their senior passengers, so look for them. However, since many of them can be fake, confirm with the airline that the discount you found is valid. Discounts for the elderly, as well as family deals, can also be found at the hotels and tour operators, so don’t be afraid to ask about them, even if you can’t find direct information.
In many countries, there are also senior discounts for bus and train tickets. While you shouldn’t be stingy when it comes to comfort and safety, you should take advantage of the reduced prices whenever you can. This way, you will have fun without spending a fortune.
Remember About Amenities
When planning, take your parents’ health or mobility issues into account. There are many amenities available on tour; you just need to remember about them and book in advance. Assistance from the airline, disabled traveler’s rows on airplanes, buses, and trains, wheelchair-friendly hotels, and cars – there’s a whole lot of possibilities out there these days.
Some airlines allow you to choose the disability option when booking; others need you to call them to request any special options – just remember that there’s always a solution. And make sure to do research beforehand. For example, the airplane crew’s assistance may be a good solution, but you’ll have to stay on board until everybody else has deplaned, and it’s also customary to tip. Consider all the pros and cons.
Find a Comfortable Hotel
Even if you’re used to sharing a hostel room with a bunch of strangers, it doesn’t mean that your parents can do the same. Neck and back pain, lack of sleep, and an uncomfortable room can make everybody a horrible person to be around – and we’re talking about older people who need more comfort than anybody else.
Invest in comfortable accommodation. Don’t fall for a ‘romantic’ low-lit cramped apartment in the center of Paris if you want a pleasant trip. Look for a hotel or Airbnb in the center, with an elevator, proper beds, and, if your budget allows, separate rooms. Trust us – it will pay off.
Remember About Health and Safety
Carry on the medications – never place them in the checked luggage or leave them in the hotel. You never know what can happen on the plane or tour. Make sure to take the meds with you even if you go out to eat – especially in exotic countries. Include a list of medications and dosages you or your parents take in case a doctor’s visit is needed. And, if anyone’s keeping on schedule with their medications, set up an alarm clock, so you won’t forget about it when having a different routine.
Before the tour, it’s also a good idea to visit the doctor and get travel clearance. He can also fill out the information for your parents’ insurance and clarify any conditions that can set off a security alarm at the airport, like a knee or hip implant. Make sure to pre-plan for any of your parents’ dietary restrictions as well, and check the local hospitals in the destination place – just in case.
Try New Things and Activities
It’s true that most people tend to become less curious with age. Even if your parents are like that, encourage them to try new things and activities – depending on their abilities, of course. Food, tours, or even extreme sports – let your parents try things outside their comfort zone. That’s what travel is about, isn’t it – exploring new places.
Create new memories, bond over new experiences, and in the end, you’ll have fantastic and possibly funny stories to tell over the dinner table. Capture the moment, make loads of photos, and prevent the memories from fading over time.
Your parents probably need more comfort than you do and more time to rest. Take it slower, account for their need to lie down and rest. Everyone is different, and you never know how you or your parents will feel, so don’t plan every single minute.
Go with the flow, even if it means visiting fewer places than you wanted to. You didn’t go on this trip to bucket list-tick some things, you went to relax and bond with your parents. Enjoy. And remember: most memorable travel moments happen by chance.
It Can Be Fun!
If when thinking about traveling with your elderly parents you imagine a boring trip, here’s some good news: you’ve never been more mistaken in your life. You can have an exciting vacation with your family – just take into account all the necessary logistics and don’t be too set on the plan.
Make sure that the trip is safe, and discuss with your parents what kind of vacation will be fascinating for all of you. With their experience and your desire to try new things, you’ll make a great team. Be sure: traveling with elderly parents can be fun – you just have to try it.