Introduction to Traveling With Senior Citizens
The love for travel and the zeal to relish the beauty of this world has no age barrier. The urge to travel only tends to become more intense with age as the dream of enjoying everything this life has to offer catches up.
For a family, the idea of traveling with senior citizens sounds lovely, especially because it gives you a chance to bond and experience the beauty of a new land together.
But it is also a slightly scary thought given many people are often concerned about the safety and comfort of the older folks.
Here are seven simple tips that will help you plan a hassle-free, happy vacation with senior citizens that you can enjoy together.
1. Choose The Right Destination and Accommodation
While age is no limitation to explore the nooks and corners of this world, there are certain things you need to consider while making your travel plans with senior citizens.
First, choose destinations that are travel friendly for senior citizens. Avoid choosing very long destinations that require long hours of travel.
Do not choose places that require a lot of walking, hiking as mobility might be a limitation in some cases. Manage your expectations as to what type of destinations would be ideal for your travel together.
Make sure there are ramps, safety facilities in the resort or hotel you are looking for. Enquire about lightweight mobility scooter facilities or wheelchair availability in the hotel if they have to walk long distances. These are just some basic precautions to ensure the old folks have a comfortable and safe time.
2. Create a Simple And Efficient Travel Plan
Make a detailed plan of the different modes of transport available to reach your destination. Now choose the most comfortable and simple way to travel to reduce the time and offer a more comfortable journey to senior citizens.
Avoid taking layovers and connecting flights as it involves a lot of hassle and a very long journey, both of which can tire them out. Direct flights may be slightly expensive, but it also reduces stress, especially for those with flying anxiety.
If your senior citizen has never flown before, then it would be ideal to choose an alternate mode of reaching the destination to ease the stress.
Avoid plans that require traveling on the road for long hours as it could be uncomfortable for them. Try to take more frequent breaks or divide the journey to have a good time.
3. Pack Right
The secret to enjoying a wonderful time while traveling with senior citizens is to pack perfectly. Start with essentials like toiletries, creams, lotions. Make sure you include any special items such as medicated creams that they may require.
Next, choose the right type of clothing based on the time of the year. Always add a jacket, shawl, sweater as a precaution to help them feel more comfortable, especially towards the evening when it gets slightly chilly.
Pick out appropriate footwear that offers a good grip and traction. Avoid slippery sandals and choose shoes in the perfect size, preferably without a lace.
Make a list of additional accessories to carry, such as reading glasses, walking stick, joint support bandages along with the luggage to stay well prepared.
4. Medications Are A Must
Carrying all the necessary medications is essential to have a safe and healthy journey with senior citizens. Make sure to refill all prescriptions and pack all the important medications, especially for any pre-existing conditions such as asthma, arthritis.
Include a few first aid basics such as bandages, antacids, medications for cold, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, pain killers, pain balms as a precaution.
Carry the original prescription and a soft copy of medical records with you in case you need a refill during the trip or a visit to a local doctor.
Make it a point to pack medicine in your carry on rather than check-in baggage to keep them within reach. Visit the doctor before leaving for a long vacation to get a basic health check-up done. Set up an alarm on your phone so you remember to check if your folks have had their medication.
5. Avail Senior Discounts
From travel to adventures, there are several senior-oriented options as well as discounts available that can make the trip efficient and cheaper as well. Explore these options while browsing for tickets or while booking your stay.
If you feel like those details are not enough, call up the company or the hotel. You can also take assistance from local travel agent companies that are known to offer senior special services.
They might give you recommendations on the perfect destinations to choose and also tailor your travel plans to the specific needs of your senior citizen.
6. Plan Your Day Ahead
Traveling with old folks means it is important to keep your activities sparingly to ensure they are not worn out. So make sure to explore the many activities available in the destination and spread it across the trip to help them enjoy it the most.
Plan one or two activities before lunch, one after lunch, and preferably a relaxing evening before dinner. They might have to sit down, relax, or lie down a little between activities. So keep that into your consideration.
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7. Explore TSA Special programs
Getting through airport security checks and gates is one of the most challenging parts of traveling with a senior. The long screening lines can be quite challenging for seniors with mobility issues as well as a hassle for those with medical devices. Hence you can explore the senior programs offered by TSA to get help throughout the process.
Inform the airline in advance about the need for any assistance. It is possible to obtain a gate pass for one passenger to accompany the senior citizen to a special screening process. Also, alternate screening options are available for those with medical devices such as pacemakers.
Make sure to pack the medication separately in the carry on baggage to speed up the scanning.
Utilize these simple tips to enhance safety and comfort for senior citizens during travel. It will make sure you enjoy the trip together without having to stress about their well being.