5 Things You Must Know About Taking Summer Vacations with Seniors
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Traveling with a senior can be GREAT!

Here’s 5 things you MUST know to make it even BETTER!

Sunshine and blue skies are here, and it’s time to hit the road. For many adult children, vacation time means taking your senior parent along as your travelling companion. These getaways are precious and need to be treated as such. Unfortunately, they can also be stressful and planning for them can be a real trial. Sometimes this leads to what should be a peaceful respite transforming into a negative experience.

Let’s stop that today. Here are 5 things you need to know about travelling with a senior that will make it the greatest vacation EVER!

1. Make sure your destination is accessible.

Before you book anything, make sure that your destination has plenty of accessibility and recreation opportunities for your parent’s skill and activity level. Some places are made for wheelchairs and are close enough to parking for an assisted walker to make it. Others are more remote, have rough terrain and just aren’t set up to accommodate your parent. It’s better to know these things before you get there than to be disappointed. 

2. If you are flying, think about these things.

Number one, don’t fall for senior discounts. Many airlines advertise a senior price, but when you book, it ends up being the same price as any other ticket. Plan your flight for mid-day because earlier and later flights can come at times when your parent’s energy level is not the same. You should also find out what you need to do to make wheelchair and accessibility arrangements. Some companies allow you to do that online, while others require a phone call.

3. Plan your activities around rest periods.

You might be able to go all day, but your parent can’t. If there is walking involved, make sure that you plan some time to sit down and take a load off along the way. Make sure that the sites you are seeing have seating areas, so this is possible during your visit.

4. Pack in advance.

Last-minute packing results in the inevitable forgotten item. For most of us, that means a toothbrush. For your parent, this could mean medicine or other medical supplies that aren’t readily available in the areas you are visiting. Pack early, and double, even TRIPLE check your bags before heading out. If flying, make sure that all medication stays in your carry-on luggage so you have it if your suitcase is lost.

5. Don’t let people know you’ll be gone.

The elderly are already targets for robbery and home invasion, so if you are going to be gone, you don’t want to let people know that you are out of town. If your parent has social media accounts, ask them to avoid putting up pictures until you return to town. They also want to avoid pointing out the vacation to strangers. Better safe than sorry!

Enjoy your vacation. These are wonderful experiences, and you’ve earned it as a caretaker. The joy that you are giving your parent is immeasurable. Your caring for them is hard, but remember that their life isn’t always easy. They have rough days, too. So, make it as carefree as you can for them. Good luck, and safe travels from your friends at McGregor PACE!