The holiday season is a busy time of year. For many families, this means lots of travelling to spend time with friends and family. If your plans involve travelling with a senior, there are some logistical issues you’ll need to consider before you hit the road.
Considerations while Travelling with a Senior
If your loved one has mobility issues or other conditions that make travelling a bit tricky, don’t let it hold you back! You can still have a great trip and do all the things you want to do – you’ll just have to plan ahead to ensure your trip runs smoothly.
Before you leave
Even if your loved one is in good health, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to the doctor before you take a trip. It’s a chance to touch base and make sure you’re aware of all the medication your loved one needs to take each day. They’ll also be able to recommend any additional medicine for the journey or vaccines that might be needed before you leave. You’ll also want to ensure you have the appropriate travel medical insurance coverage. If your loved one has a pre-existing condition, it might be difficult to get, but it’s worth looking into.
When you book your trip, it’s important to think about the best mode of transportation to take. Is a short flight a better option than a few hours in a car? Or would they be more comfortable in the car?
On the go
If you decide to fly, make sure you take advantage of the amenities offered to those with mobility issues. Call ahead to ask for a wheelchair and ensure you can get the assistance you need when it’s time to board the plane. It’s also a good idea to give yourself lots of time to get to the airport and make it to your gate. You don’t want to be rushed!
If you decide to drive, plan a smart route. Try to choose the fastest, most direct route to cut down on the time spent in the car. It’s also a good idea to build a few rest stops into your itinerary to break up the journey and ensure everyone gets a chance to eat and take bathroom breaks when needed.
It’s easy to pack every single thing you think you might possibly need while you’re away. However, you’ll find that your trip will run a whole lot smoother if you pack lightly. It’s much easier to provide assistance for your loved one when you’re not also trying to manoeuvre several large suitcases. If you are driving, you’ll have a bit more room in the car, which is always a good thing! If you’re travelling with gifts, mail them ahead of time save yourself some space.
While you’re there
When planning your days, you might be tempted to squeeze in as many activities as you can. While that might work for you, it’s probably not going to work so well for your senior travel companion. Give them plenty of time to rest and relax during the day. It’s best if you can schedule your day in a way that lets them keep to their normal routine. (If they typically take a nap every afternoon, schedule your day around it.)
When sorting out your accommodations, it’s important to make sure everyone has some privacy. Book separate rooms where possible, so you get some time to yourselves. It’s also a good idea to choose a location with plenty of amenities close by so everyone is free to explore on their own. If you’re staying with family, make sure there’s a space they can escape to when they feel like they need a rest or a break from all the activity.
Travelling with your loved ones can be a fun and rewarding experience. Planning ahead is key, but you’ll also need to be flexible. You may need to slow down and make adjustments to your plans on the fly. Whether it’s a quick trip to visit family or a longer trip to an exotic locale, you’re sure to create some cherished memories together.