Age shouldn't be a factor when it comes to traveling. Yet, taking a road or plane trip with older loved ones can pose a few challenges for family members. Advanced planning is necessary and is taking certain things, like necessary medications, into consideration. To make traveling with seniors a breeze, follow the subsequent six tips:
1. Don't lapse on diet
It can be tempting to try new things while on vacation, but seniors on a strict eating regimen – especially those with dietary restrictions – shouldn't let their health fall by the wayside while they're away from home, according to Independent Traveler. Family members should keep their loved ones' limits in mind during travel. For those seniors who want to test out a spicy dish in a new location, utilize small portions. This way, people can monitor items' impact on their body should they want a larger helping sometime in the future.
Certain foods may not mix well with current medications, so family members need to be on the lookout for adverse reactions as well.
2. Book travel early
Whether it's an extended car ride to see their granddaughter graduate from college or a flight to their son's wedding, seniors want to make traveling as comfortable as possible. For those family members along for the ride, the effort can be overwhelming. To limit the amount of stress felt by all those taking part in the journey, people should be sure to book their travel and all other accommodations as early as possible.
This action will enable seniors to take advantage of airline seats with additional legroom, request a wheelchair if it's necessary and find a hotel that won't require people to climb stairs, according to Rick Steves.
"Seniors may be eligible for discounted airfare and accommodations."
3. Look for senior discounts
It's not uncommon for certain transportation companies, hotels and tourist destinations to offer reduced fares or prices for people over a certain age. By displaying a valid form of identification, seniors can access these discounts and use them during travel. Once again, however, looking into these deals ahead of the actual journey is best practice.
4. Travel safely
This may seem like a no-brainer, but even the smallest safety precautions can make a huge difference when traveling with seniors, according to A Place for Mom. That means wearing a seatbelt in the car, avoiding nighttime excursions in unfamiliar areas and simply staying clear of any location that seems even the slightest bit dangerous. Keeping older loved ones out of harm's way by any means possible will ensure all parties have a safe and enjoyable trip.
5. Keep medications nearby
Seniors can't afford to slack on their medications while they're traveling. To ensure these prescriptions are easily accessible at all times, travelers should keep them nearby. The Transportation Security Administration recommended packing medications in carry-on luggage when flying, although they can also be placed in checked bags if the meds are not as important.
6. Be patient
Traveling with seniors is a different experience for everyone involved. Loved ones often know their limits, but are willing to push them so as to not hold anyone back in the process. The activities family members may want to do may not be possible for seniors. In these cases, people have to either change their course of action to find excursions that are friendly to everyone's needs or make sure seniors are able to be by themselves while others take part in a particular activity. Patience is key for everyone, as is communication.
Family members need to be adaptable and keep expectations amenable to seniors' needs and wants. Asking what loved ones are looking forward to during a trip will help people plan a vacation that is fun for everyone, while keeping seniors' capabilities in mind.