Traveling with senior parents or loved ones can be a hugely enjoyable experience. However, traveling with a senior also comes with challenges. The best way to overcome any possible challenges is to make a thorough plan prior to your trip. This guide aims to help you overcome these challenges and make your trip with a senior loved one safer and more comfortable.
1. Check in with the doctor
Prior to your trip, it is always a smart idea for you and your senior loved one to check in with the doctor. Discuss your travel plans with the doctor such as:
- Will the senior require any vaccinations (e.g. flu and pneumonia) prior to the trip?
- Are the destination and methods of transportation suitable for the senior?
If your senior loved one is taking any medications, you should make sure to refill any prescriptions prior to traveling. It is also a smart idea to have your doctor provide a list of your medications, dosages, and generic names for each medication. This will make things easier for your senior if you need to visit a doctor while on your trip.
2. Choose suitable flight times and days
In order to keep your senior loved one’s energy high, it is recommended to book a flight between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. This allows for a good night’s sleep prior to the flight, and the option to rest properly upon arrival. Traveling early in the morning or late at night could be a stressful situation. Also, it is recommended to book your flight on non-peak travel days. This can allow for easier navigation of the airport on your day of travel. Fewer people in the airport can reduce stress when traveling with a senior.
3. Book a direct flight
As anyone knows, waiting at an airport for a long time can be draining on a person’s energy. It is recommended to book a direct flight over connecting flights in order to cut down on travel time and increase comfort. Connecting flights also allow for the chance of missing your second flight. This can make a journey a lot more stressful when traveling with a senior.
However, if a direct flight is not possible, it may be worth considering stretching out the time between flights to 24 hours or more. This is also recommended for long-haul flights. This can allow you and your senior loved one to book into a hotel and get a proper rest before continuing on your journey.
Inquire about flight discounts for seniors
Flight discounts are sometimes available to senior citizens. Always inquire about any potential senior discounts when booking flights or any forms of travel.
4. Let your airline know of any required assistance
Airlines provide assistance and disability services to help those who require a helping hand. Depending on the airline, you will let them know if assistance is required through the booking service or by phone. It is always worth calling the airline when booking your tickets in order to clarify any difficulties your senior loved one may face. Assistance can include expedited screening and boarding, a wheelchair or motorized cart at the airport, and assistance with baggage.
5. Choose an accommodation that is close to all of your plans
When booking a hotel or accommodation, keep mobility and comfort in mind. You want your accommodation to be close to where your plans are, allowing you to commute easily back and forth. It is worth planning your activities for certain days, which will allow you to work out transport between the activity and hotel in advance. When booking a hotel room, also keep mobility and comfort in mind. Let the hotel know if you would like a room near the elevator, or on the ground floor, for easier access.
6. Plan your activities and transport in advance (and scale back on the number of activities)
When planning your activities abroad, make sure to plan transport well in advance in order to limit your senior loved one’s commuting time. It is also recommended to not jam-pack your time traveling with a senior with too many activities. Plan activities sparingly. Make sure to allocate time where you can both rest and restore your energy.
7. Look into travel insurance
While travel insurance is important for any traveler, it is especially important for a senior traveler. At 65 and older, a senior is more likely to be less healthy than the average traveler, and more prone to accidents or sickness. When traveling with a senior, you want to make sure that their insurance plan covers medical. The US Department of State provides a list of recommended medical providers. Certain travel credit cards can also provide a range of insurances to senior travelers. These range from trip cancellation insurance to medical emergency insurance.
8. Bring medication on board with you, store it correctly
Important medication should always be brought on the flight, in the scenario your checked luggage is misplaced. There are some TSA qualifiers regarding how you travel with your medication. You should accustom yourself with these before traveling with a senior.
Another smart idea is to bring a list of your senior loved one’s medication and dosage amounts. This is so you can replace medication with a doctor on your travels if anything gets misplaced. Certain medications may need to be stored at certain temperatures when being transported. Make sure to talk with a doctor about this prior to traveling with a senior.
In conclusion, preparation is key when traveling with a senior. By following these tips you can make sure both you and your senior loved one will have the most comfortable possible time on your travels.
Categorised in: Lifestyle