Traveling is an enriching experience for anyone at any age, and taking a vacation with your elderly parents is a great way for all of you to make some wonderful memories together. However, traveling with seniors also comes with some unique challenges. Take a look at some tips that can help ensure a smooth trip with an elderly parent.
Make a Doctor’s Appointment First
Before you travel far from home, it’s a good idea to visit your parent’s physician. If your parent has serious health conditions, then you’ll want to get assurance from their doctor that it’s safe for them to travel. Your parent’s doctor can also help you come up with a list of any accommodations that your parent might need.
If your parent takes medication regularly, it’s a good idea to get refills for any prescriptions before you go. You don’t want to run out of a needed medication if you get delayed on your trip.
Request Special Services Early
Your parent may require special services on airplanes, busses, or trains, or at the place that you are planning to visit. Wheelchair service, disabled seating, and special meals all fall under the umbrella of special services. Whenever you make a reservation, ask to make sure that the accommodations your parent needs are available and request that they be included with your reservation.
It’s especially important to request and confirm these accommodations early when you’re booking transportation. Once you’re on board, the airline, bus, or train staff doesn’t necessarily have to make special services available to passengers who haven’t requested them in advance. They may try to accommodate you anyway, but you shouldn’t count on it.
Look into Preplanned Tours
One way to get the most enjoyment out of your trip for the least amount of hassle is to look into preplanned tours of the area you’re visiting. Some travel agencies even offer tours specifically designed for people who are elderly or disabled.
Winging it can be fun when you’re young and able-bodied, but it can be harder on seniors and their caregivers. Taking a preplanned tour cuts down on the amount of special accommodations you have to make – just discuss them with the tour company and let them take care of the rest. Preplanned tours also relieve you of the stress of planning an itinerary.
With some careful advance preparation, you and your parent will have a fantastic vacation that you’ll always remember.
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