Travelling with seniors can be a joy and a challenge at the same time. While travelling with aging loved ones is usually rewarding and enjoyable, certain precautions are necessary to ensure that your loved one has a safe and comfortable experience.
1. Research Your Trip
Travel plans need to be made sooner than later. It’s important to request and reserve special services ahead of time. Request seat assignment in the rows designated for disabled travellers as well as cost-free wheelchair service at each airport. Advise the reservation system of any dietary needs your loved one may have.
When travelling with seniors, confirm that they are feeling well enough to fly or travel long distances. There’s nothing wrong with a taking road trip or travelling closer to home if they can’t travel any farther.
Decide what type of trip you’d like to take based on the budget, pace, and destination you desire. Bus trips and cruises are some of the most popular options for senior travel.
2. Plan Ahead
Ensure that passports and IDs are all up-to-date before finalizing your travel plans. While travel insurance is important for people of any age, it is essential for older travellers who are more at risk of falling and hurting themselves, getting sick, or needing extra medication if their travel is interrupted or delayed.
3. Prepare Documentation
Make a few copies of your loved one’s passport, driver’s license, health insurance card, tickets, and boarding passes, along with physician prescriptions and/or statements.
Medical documentation should accompany passports and other documentation. One copy should be forwarded to family members, one kept in luggage, one in a handbag and one sent to the arrival destination.
Provide a telephone calling card so that your loved one can easily contact loved ones via phone. You can also print a trip itinerary for them to keep at all times.
4. Pack Comfortably
Pack light. Most things should be packed in a roller suitcase and a small over-the-shoulder carry-on bag. If the senior happens to be travelling alone, make sure they can carry all of their belongings. Should they need any assistance, this should be arranged beforehand.
Be sure to pack breathable, versatile clothing that can be easily layered and worn together. Be sure your loved one also has a comfortable and supportive pair of walking shoes.
For ultimate comfort, purchase a travel pillow and eye mask so your loved one can sleep soundly on long trips.
5. Think about Safety and Security
When preparing for a trip, keep your loved one’s belongings are safe and secure. A money belt worn underneath clothing is a safer option than a purse. Men should avoid carrying their wallets in a pocket and instead wear a hidden wallet with a lanyard or a strap around the waist.Place all prescription medication in a one-quart zip-lock bag. If you are flying, be sure to research restrictions on packing liquid and other items in advance. Many airlines have slightly different regulations, so be sure to research your specific airline.