Family vacations are the highlight of any year; we have no doubt that you too have many great memories of spending time with parents and grandparents. It’s only natural, therefore, to want to continue this tradition as you yourself get older. The downside, of course, is that travelling can become quite a chore for elderly people. Well, never fear! We have some tips and advice as to how you can make the journey less arduous for your elderly family members and make sure that they have the best vacation possible!
Once you know where you want to go and what the ideal dates are you can begin to plan and make reservations. Obviously it would be best to first research your travel and accommodation options. Research the most comfortable travel and accommodation options as well as the shortest journeys and best accommodations; somewhere in-between you’ll find the one that is right for you.
Request Special Services
If there are special services and requirements that you need met be sure to book them / ask for them in advance as travel companies are not required to offer them at check-in. So if you need extra legroom, or assistance starting at the check-in counter be sure to let the appropriate people know when you make your reservations. Most airlines offer wheelchair services and extra assistance.
One thing that never changes, no matter who you travel with, is the need to make sure that your documentation is in order when you travel. We’d recommend three copies of anything really important. This means photocopies of passports, medical and insurance cards, driver’s licences, travel tickets and boarding passes. You should have at least one copy of each in your carry-on and checked-in luggage. We’d also recommend that you make sure that everyone has a valid passport well before your departure date.
If it is at all possible pack all the necessities in carry-on luggage; medications, both over the counter and prescription, in secure containers as well as copies of any prescriptions and/or statements from doctors regarding medical conditions. You want to make sure that you keep all medication with you in your hand luggage in case cases are delayed or lost upon arrival. If at all possible, find out what the translation is for any conditions that your elderly travel companions may have, in case you need to consult a doctor while you are on vacation.
Plan for Safety and Comfort
There are some thieves who specifically target older people, and so it is really important that you ensure your elderly relatives have all they need to keep them and their money safe. There are many clever products which can help them to do this, these days, but the Passage Wallet and money belts are perhaps the safest way to keep their hard-earned cash safe and sound. A travel pillow and blanket, as well as comfortable clothes, will also help to ensure that they are as comfortable as anyone can be on a long journey.
Be Ready for Security
Security can be a pain for anyone, but it can be particularly bothersome for elderly travellers. If they have knee or hip implants which are made of steel, for example, they can set off the sensors as they pass through. You can take along a physician’s statement regarding these implants to smooth the process. If your parents need wheelchairs to get about the airports they can be screened sitting down for their comfort. Elderly travellers may also be taken to the side for a wand screening to avoid discomfort. If you let the TSA know about any special requirements they will be able to make the process of getting through security as quick and easy as possible for you.
When you offer this kind of help to elderly relatives you are ensuring that their travelling experiences will be as quick and easy as possible.