With people living longer, more active lives we can fulfill more of our travel bucket list. But how do you help an elderly parent plan that trip of a lifetime and feel confident that they will be safe?
We’ve got five easy tips to get you started and give you the peace of mind to send mom and dad packing to the next destination.
- Pick a trip appropriate to their activity level and needs
The travel possibilities are truly endless. You can do everything between lounging on a beach to climbing the world’s tallest mountain. Picking activities that are appropriate to an elderly individuals physical abilities is important to ensure they stay healthy while traveling, but also so they fully enjoy their experience. As we age, we also need a little more rest time between strenuous activities so even if an elderly parent is still pretty active it can be a good idea to plan downtime during the trip to let them recharge.
If your elderly parent does have special needs be sure to plan ahead for these services to ensure they are available and save time so you can fully enjoy your time away from home.
Staying on schedule with medications is extremely important even when traveling so plan ahead to ensure you don’t run into any issues. It is always best to keep medications in carry-on luggage and not in checked baggage (which could get delayed or lost). And always keep a copy of prescriptions with you in case something happens and you need to get an emergency refill.
- Keep a copy of their itinerary
It is easy for anyone to get lost in a new place, but it can be even more disorienting for an elderly traveler in unfamiliar surroundings. If you aren’t traveling with your parents, be sure to have a full copy of their itinerary so you can check in on their progress. And the Geotracker is a great way to give both you and them the peace of mind that someone always has their back. The tracker allows you to see their location and should they get lost, disoriented, or if something happens you can help find them or inform local authorities of their location.
- Provide time to adjust
Jetlag gets worse as you age so it can hit elderly travelers extra hard. Be sure to plan activities to fight jetlag based on which direction you are flying. Also plan for a slower first day to allow everyone to adjust to the new timezone. Besides jetlag, the simple change to daily routine can be tougher for older individuals so keep some of their daily routine in place and give them time to adjust to their new surroundings.
- Know about medical facilities at your destination
This is really a good idea for any travel regardless of age, but is especially important for elderly individuals traveling. Before departing on your trip be sure you have an idea of what the local medical facilities are, where they are located, and what services are provided. It is also a good idea to verify your medical insurance coverage in your destination. Check with your insurance provider well in advance and consider purchasing additional travelers medical insurance if you have specific concerns or your insurance won’t cover services in a foreign country.
Age is only a number so don’t let anything hold you back from knocking off those bucket list destinations.