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7 Tips for Traveling with Seniors

Does traveling with a senior seem so daunting that you keep putting it off?

We understand. After all, traveling takes a toll on even the most seasoned veterans of vacationing. According to Bunny Dachs of Bunny’s Home Care Baltimore “Traveling during a specific time of the day makes a huge difference. Make sure you plan a time of day to travel that will be the least exhausting on the senior”

Navigating through airport security or logging hundreds of miles in a lengthy road trip is exhausting for anybody and everybody!

However, that doesn’t mean seniors should be excluded from experiencing new destinations and visiting relatives or friends.

Keep reading on to see our tips for traveling with seniors!

1) Refill Prescription Medication

It’s essential when you’re planning on traveling with a senior that they have a sufficient supply of any prescription medications they’re currently taking.

As a rule of thumb, you want to pack enough medication for the entire duration of the trip plus two to three days of extra medication in the event of travel delays or other unforeseen circumstances.

In addition to prescription medications, be ready for other traveling related discomforts like motion sickness, or constipation, as seniors are more susceptible to these when their routines change. However, you should always be mindful of possible adverse interactions between the different medications and first consult with your loved one’s doctor.

2) Reserve Special Services for Your Loved One

Older adults that are disabled or have limited mobility can receive certain special services or accommodations as required by law. Often these special services include having an attendant at the airport assist your loved one with a wheelchair.

Some airlines will allow you to select these special services during the booking phase of your flight. Other airlines you will need to call and request these.

Policies and procedures will vary from airline to airline so find out ahead of time.

It’s also important that you confirm requests for special services you make at the time of reservation as travel providers do not have any obligation to make them available to your loved one while checking in or while en route to the destination.

3) Nonstop Trips Work Best

Seniors don’t have the same energy they used to when they were younger. Booking a nonstop flight, train, bus, etc. will work best. Having to stop multiple times throughout a trip extends travel time and ultimately will leave your loved one more fatigued.

Again, this is where planning ahead will benefit any traveler looking to vacation with their older adult loved one!

4) Plan Senior Friendly Activities

Depending on your loved one’s mobility and their activity level, you may have to stop frequently for them to rest.

Consider finding a suitable place to grab lunch or dinner and for your loved one to relax.

If traveling in the summer heat, please be aware that seniors are more susceptible to experiencing heat stroke so make sure to avoid long stretches of time outside in the heat.

5) Consider Tours and Cruises

Seniors with limited mobility can receive a very fulfilling travel experience through tours and cruises. There is usually less effort required as tour and cruise operators can offer fully planned activities especially for older adults that may have disabilities.

You can find a list of senior friendly cruises here.

6) Prepare Necessary Documentation

Before you and your loved one travel, preparing necessary documentation is a must!

Traveling abroad means passports are required so be sure to get those made well in advance.

Having a medication list on hand and statements of medical conditions from your loved one’s physician can be helpful in emergency situations should they arise.

Keep several copies of travel itineraries and boarding passes on hand in case you misplace any of them.

It’s important to keep any of the necessary documentation needed for travel in an easy to reach location such as carry on luggage for quick access.

7) Travel Insurance for Medical Emergencies

Planning for the unexpected when traveling with seniors can make a difference when emergency strikes.

One way of preparing for medical emergencies are to take out traveler’s insurance for your loved one. Make sure to read carefully what is and is not included in the insurance!

While traveler’s insurance for seniors might not be something you were budgeting for, you should definitely consider it depending on your loved one’s health condition, the types of activities you have planned, and the length of their stay away from home.

Not only will purchasing a travel insurance policy help cover for unexpected medical expenses, it may also cover a trip cancellation due to a medical emergency or the senior not being medically fit to fly (as documented by a doctor).