Travel Tips While Traveling With Seniors
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
Traveling is a joyful adventure and a great bonding experience, especially when we travel with our parents. Senior citizens might have been those who suffered most from the quarantine restrictions caused by COVID-19 as not only are they the most vulnerable to the disease itself and its deadly consequences, but the restrictions have contributed significantly to the sense of loneliness and separation, which are sadly common among seniors.
A great way to quell the loneliness and separation is to plan a trip with them. However, it is still crucial to observe COVID-19 regulations while traveling. It is essential to remember that traveling with senior parents always requires certain precautions depending on their health condition, independence level, travel distance, and destination.
In this blog, we shall provide a general overview of safety and health tips for traveling seniors, minimizing the dangers and making the trip joyful and fun for all family members.
Planning the Trip
Safe and comfortable travel service for seniors
When you plan the trip, it is essential to research travel services aimed at the safety and convenience of senior citizens. Whether you plan to accompany your parents or arrange their independent journey, you can choose between various bonuses and special services offered by airlines, bus lines, and cruise companies.
Those services are particularly essential since:
One or both of your senior parents may have particular health conditions, restricted mobility, and other factors that can alter their safety during the trip;
Since the Pandemic of COVID-19 is still in action and elderly people, even the vaccinated ones, remain most vulnerable to disease, it is essential to pay attention to service providers that strictly observe the relevant quarantine restrictions and provide thorough information on their sanitary policy.
The essential documentation
While a passport is the essential travel document for most of us, your senior citizens may need to have some additional documentation with them to guarantee their safety away from home.
It is one of the essential health tips for traveling. Depending on their current health condition, required medication, and treatment, your older relative should possess all of their medical and insurance documents as well as their physician’s recommendations and necessary prescriptions in an easily accessible place.
If you are traveling abroad with your parents, make sure to research the accessibility of their necessary medications.
It is also essential that all family members have contacts of the family doctor or the primary physician at a fast dial during the trip to have instant access to qualified consultation.
Proper treatment and medication plan
Another essential health tip is to thoroughly study your older relative’s medication plan while you are planning the vacation. An average senior citizen may have to take up to 5 different medications every day. The dosage, as well as schedule, should be followed strictly to avoid ingredients` overlapping, overdose, etc.
It can be useful to set an appointment with the attending physician to ask about each medication and its purpose and dosage. Make sure that you have enough medication in stock before going on a trip, especially while traveling abroad.
Set reminders on your smartphone to make sure that your parent keeps on following the medication plan during the vacation.
As you are traveling with your parents, you want them to feel safe and comfortable and have full access to all the attractions and entertainment available. Once your older parents have restricted mobility, visual or hearing impairment, it is best to pick and reserve hotels and activities equipped for people with similar disabilities.
While airports and most hotels provide special services for people who suffer from health and physical restrictions, there are numerous outdoor and indoor activities, including hiking, sightseeing, and performances designed especially to be accessible and acceptable for older citizens.
Packing your parents` suitcase
Considering everything we have mentioned above, it may seem like your senior relative may need enormous baggage for the trip to contain all the necessary documents, medications, etc.
However, "travel light" has always been and will remain the #1 travel tip for summer. Moreover, it is an essential safety tip for traveling with elderly citizens as during the trip, change of flights, and transportation, there is a big risk of losses and exhaustion once your senior parent has too much baggage.
There are several ways to minimize a senior citizen’s baggage while considering all the essential things:
While it is crucial to take stock of all necessary medications for the whole trip, most documents come today in an accessible digital format;
Make sure to get your parent a lighter bag or go through the existing suitcase and get rid of all things that may be unnecessary;
The same is true for toiletries. Clean out your parent’s cosmetic bag and pack the necessary products only;
Study the weather forecast and pack the relevant clothes only.
On the Road
Safety and Security
Senior citizens are most vulnerable to crimes, especially in such crowded places as airports, bus stations, etc.
Here are some essential safety trips while traveling with seniors:
Make sure that all money, documents, and valuables are placed in a safe and secure place. It may be a wallet that hangs on a neck cord and is hidden under a jacket or a shirt, a fanny bag, etc.;
Take control over your parents` carry on or make sure that they always keep it between their legs or looped around the leg while waiting in line;
Purchase your senior relative a smartphone cover that has a clip for clothes or a loop for an arm.
COVID-19 precautions while traveling with senior citizens
It is essential to remember that old people are most vulnerable to Coronavirus infection. That is why you should take extra precautions while traveling with your parents during this uneasy time:
Study the COVID-19 situation in the destination point thoroughly, local legal regulations for wearing masks, gloves, and other specific precautions;
Make sure that your senior relative has all the necessary medical documentation, including vaccination certificates and others ID’s relevant in the region;
Arrange the supply of face masks, sanitizers and make sure they are available and used by the whole family throughout the trip.
If your parents have any chronic respiratory diseases or other conditions that may act as a particularly complicating factor in the face of COVID-19, it might be better to avoid traveling long distances or to areas where the risks of exposure are particularly high.
On the Vacation
Make sure that the destination point meets your Parents` needs and expectations.
Traveling with your parents, you definitely want to make sure that they enjoy the vacation just as much as you do. Therefore, while planning the trip, make sure that the destination point will have all the necessary equipment, provide access to medical attention in case of emergency, and, last but not least, is senior-friendly in all ways.
Research reviews about the travel destinations, see what kind of attractions they have, paying particular attention to reviews from senior guests. Some hotels hold loud all-night pool parties, provide extreme outdoor activities, or are located next to local nightlife gravitation points. Those may be particularly attractive for some travelers but inappropriate for senior citizens.
Consult your parents while planning the vacation
It is essential that you consider your parents` needs, wishes and expectations while planning the vacation. First of all, that way, you will make sure that the upcoming trip will be a joyful and bonding experience for the whole family. Also, many seniors tend to have their “bucket list” – a number of things they might have always wanted to do and try but never had a chance, time, or courage. You can help your senior relative fulfill his or her dream during this summer vacation.
It can be visiting a particular place, trying rock climbing, attending a certain performance – you can build a thrilling vacation experience for you and your senior parents around those activities.
Traveling with your senior relatives can be a joyful and bonding experience for the whole family, especially after the forceful separation most of us had to experience due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This vacation is your chance to demonstrate your love, care, and respect for your senior relatives, give them a chance to fulfill their dreams, a grant the sense of belonging and unity, which are so important, especially for seniors who live separately from their children.
After planning the trip thoroughly, observing all the precautions, and making necessary preparations, you can enjoy the thrill and joy of bringing relatives together, exploring the world, and sharing new experiences with your beloved ones while keeping them safe and secure throughout the vacation.
If you are looking at other ways to beat the heat this summer with your parents, check out our blog on the Top 10 Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer. Seniors Edition.
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