With all our experience travelling kids we know what we're doing with younger travellers, but older travellers are a different kettle of fish.
Vacations and family visits can be troublesome at times due to delays, expenses and various other unforeseen difficulties, but when senior travel is added to the mix, you need to be extra careful to make your parents or grandparents’ journey as safe, happy and comfortable as possible.
For this purpose, it may be a great idea to keep track of all the planning, scheduling and packing related considerations to ensure that everything is in good order prior to and during the trip.
When it comes to senior travel, planning is essential for success. You need to make sure all the reservations and confirmations are done sooner rather than later to avoid unnecessary issues or delays, and it’s also a good idea to check out the various airlines available before buying a ticket, seeking the shortest travel times and most straightforward routes.
Some travel agencies may also be able to help you find airlines that have special discounts and offers for seniors, or even advise you on which offer might be the best.
When traveling by car, always think about the shortest and least stressful routes, especially if the senior citizens you are with have a heart condition or aren’t used to fast paced travel. Also, avoid rush hours, make the necessary arrangements for bad or unpredictable weather, and if possible, stay off busy roads to avoid traffic jams.
Special Services to Consider – If Required
When planning for senior travel, it’s always good to be prepared and know about various options you may have at your disposal in the areas you will be visiting. Nearby hospitals and clinics, as well as special facilities designed for older ladies and gentlemen will always be an asset on your journey.
Here are a few simple ideas to consider:
- If you’re planning on staying at a hotel or a friend’s house in an area you don’t know too well, look it up online, and make sure there are medical facilities nearby.
- Plan for adequate seating and accommodation arrangements in advance, making sure, for instance, that the place you visit will have proper air conditioning, heating or wheelchair access.
- If your grandparent has important dietary needs, consider calling restaurants, airlines and travel services in advance to arrange for all the necessary requirements to be met.
- When it comes to overseas senior travel, always check with a trained medical professional regarding dosages of medication purchased in other countries, as well as any advice for handling other medical needs of the seniors you may be traveling with.
Practical Packing Tips
Finally, pack as practically and lightly as possible. Avoid bulky luggage that you’d have to keep a close eye on, and make sure all the medication for your seniors are packed in an easy to access bag or briefcase that you can get to at a short notice.
Also, if you’re traveling with a parent or close relative, don’t forget to pack items that you know they might miss on a trip, as well as climate-appropriate clothing and comfort related objects such as an extra pillow.
Senior travel can be done in style if you remember all these tips, and you will find that both you and your parents or grandparents will have a wonderful time together, as long as everything is properly planned in advance.
Ruth is a multi-generational traveller and particular loves to travel with her 80 year old mom.