Travel is one of the most extraordinary gifts you can give to your parents. Even if things don’t always go as planned, you’re sure to make memories that you’ll never forget. Sooner or later, traveling with your parents will become impossible, such as if they’re incapacitated or under hospice care services.
So, it’s important to make the most of your time with them while you still can. One thing to note though is that traveling with senior citizens is much different from traveling with your friends. You’ll have to cater to a completely different set of needs and preferences. Besides preparing for medical emergencies, here are some other things you can do to ensure safe and enjoyable travels with your senior parents.
Don’t cram your itinerary
Cramming your itinerary with activities will only tire your parents out and stress you out. You don’t always have to see everything there is to see in a new locale, sometimes a great trip is all about prioritizing what activities mean the most to you and your travel companions.
Keep changes to daily routines at a minimal
If your parents are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s, even the smallest changes in their routine can stress them out. Try to stick to your parents’ regular routine as much as you can, especially their sleeping and eating habits.
Pencil in regular breaks
Older adults will need to visit the restroom and take rest breaks more often than their younger counterparts. Make sure you have a clear strategy in mind when it comes to ensuring they get to the bathroom on time and have a place to sit and catch their breath every few hours or so. Take note of bathroom locations, seating areas, and restaurants in every new location you visit.
Allot extra time before you leave
When leaving for the airport or any location where you need to be on time, make sure to leave allowance in your schedule before you head to where you need to go. Your parents will take much longer to get ready and move about, so you should allot more time to prepare so you can arrive on time.
Prepare the necessary documentation
Always have your parent’s documentation ready to go to ensure hassle-free travel. This includes their medicine prescriptions, their passport, insurance cards, boarding pass, and any other documents you’ll need to present. It’s better to keep these on your person rather than leave them with your parents since they’re more likely to misplace them.
Take it easy
It’s easy to get so caught up trying to get everything perfect that you completely forget to sit back and enjoy your time with your parents. This is why it’s better to have a flexible schedule, rather than a rigid itinerary. Allow yourself to focus more on making happy memories with your loved ones, rather than trying to tick off a to-do list.
Reserve elderly accommodation beforehand
Most tourist locations are well-equipped with accommodations for elderly and disabled individuals to make traveling much easier for them. Be sure to ask about them beforehand and make reservations before you even get to your location to ensure that everything is ready to go as soon as you arrive.
Moments spent exploring new places with your parents is something you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. Make the trip as safe and stress-free as you can by keeping these practical tips in mind.