Many people view retirement as a chance to start seeing parts of the world they’ve always fantasized about. In fact, 38 percent of baby boomers have created a vacation bucket list.
If your senior parents decide on doing some traveling during their golden years, this is a perfect opportunity to plan a family trip. And let’s face it, they’ll enjoy themselves more if you’re there to help out.
Many elderly people have trouble getting around, navigating through new cities, and keeping up with their travel plans. If this sounds like your parents, there are some easy ways you can assist in creating the trip of a lifetime for them.
Let’s go over some tips that will make vacations for elderly parents go smoothly.
Secure Travel Insurance
Purchasing a travel insurance plan is a good idea when traveling with your elderly parents. This will cover your expenses if you need to cancel the trip in the event of medical issues or an emergency.
You can even get reimbursed if you have to cut your vacation short due to a health issue. Travel insurance will also kick in if an emergency arises and you need financial assistance while out of town.
Getting travel insurance is extremely important if you and your elderly parents are leaving the country. Their U.S. health insurance won’t cover them, so you’ll need to get this extra coverage. In addition, Medicare isn’t valid in other countries.
Insurance will also come in handy in case your money or luggage gets stolen. The great part is, it’s easy to find affordable plans.
Consider Getting Vaccinations
Go ahead and have your parents get vaccinated before going on vacation. This is another precaution that’s critical when traveling internationally.
Your parents should see their doctor first and ask about getting vaccinated. If they have a preexisting condition, they may need to take further precautions.
Go ahead and get common vaccines, such as mumps, measles, and the flu, if needed. This may seem overly cautious, but there’s a chance these illnesses are more common in the country you’re traveling to. It’s also a good idea for your parents to get a tetanus vaccination as senior citizens are more prone to contracting it.
Make sure you research the recommended vaccinations for the country you’re visiting. There’s a chance that certain diseases are more common there than in America.
Remember, if you’re planning a family vacation, everyone may need to get vaccinated.
Assistance at the Airport
If one or both of your parents have limited mobility, airports will assist you. In fact, airports and airlines offer a number of benefits for senior citizens.
When checking in, ask the airport to provide transportation to the gate for your parents. They can get a lift so they don’t have to deal with walking the entire way. Airports can also assist people in wheelchairs.
Elderly passengers can get through security much faster. This could mean not having to take their shoes off or wait in long lines.
If your parent has a medical device like a pacemaker or oxygen tank, alert the airport security. The guards will do a pat-down instead of having them walk through the detector.
If your elderly parent will need further assistance getting on and off the plane, let the airline know about it when you buy your ticket. They will ensure that all the necessary accommodations are in order.
Plan for Rest and Relaxation
You’ve arrived at your destination and now it’s time to start having fun. While this is what your parents have been waiting for, it’s important to ensure they don’t overdo it.
Going on vacation is exciting, but it can also be exhausting. Make sure your parents get plenty of rest between activities.
If you’ve had a long flight, plan on resting for a day before sightseeing. This will give your parents a chance to regroup, relax, and get acclimated.
You should also plan some low-key activities that don’t require much physical or mental stress. I
f one of your parents has a health condition, try planning something that will take their mind off it. For example, if your parent has Alzheimer’s, there’s a lot of helpful information online about activities they can benefit from.
Making things as easy as possible is the goal when traveling with elderly parents. One of the best ways to do this is to pack economically.
Check the extended weather forecast for your destination so you know what kind of clothes you’ll need. This helps avoid packing things that take up too much space.
Make sure your parents have good handbags or backpacks they can use while out sightseeing. Then, try to condense everything else as much as possible in their larger luggage.
If you’re traveling overseas, it may be a good idea for you to keep their passports once you get there. This takes the responsibility of keeping track of them off your parents. Nobody likes shuffling through their luggage every day or worrying about where they put something.
Stay on Top of Medications
If your parents must take prescriptions daily, you’ll need to make sure they have enough to cover them for the entire trip. They should also speak to their doctor beforehand and ask if they should take any other health precautions while traveling.
If you’re leaving the country, ask their doctors about alternatives to their prescriptions. Some medications aren’t available in other countries, but there may be other drugs they can take. This ensures that their health issues are taken care of if their prescriptions get lost or stolen.
When on vacation, make sure your parents are taking their medications when needed. In the excitement of the trip, they could easily forget about it.
Plan the Perfect Vacations for Elderly Parents
A family vacation with older parents can be fun, relaxing, and extremely rewarding. However, you need to take steps to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Use these tips for planning vacations for elderly parents and give them a trip they’ll never forget.
Check out more articles for travel tips and information that’ll make your next vacation perfect!