7 Ways to Make Traveling with a Senior Even Easier

April 19, 2024

Getting older doesn’t mean you lose your sense of adventure or wishes to travel to see family, friends, or the world! However, travel can require a little more planning the older you get. If you’re planning on taking your loved one on a day trip or a multi-week excursion, you’ll want to use a few of our tips to make it easier on everyone!

 

Here’s a few considerations to keep in mind as you plan your next adventure with your aging loved one.

 

Talk to the Doctor

While you might not need to speak with your loved one’s physician if you’re just headed out for a few hours with your loved one, you definitely want to get them involved if you are planning a trip that includes at least one overnight stop. Give the physician a call in advance to let them know your plans and to ask if there is anything that could make the trip unsafe for your loved one. They’ll review your loved one’s information and return your call with any instructions to follow.

 

Review Medications

You’ll want to review medications that your loved one takes and count them to ensure you have enough to take with you during your trip. If you won’t have enough, start the process of requesting a refill sooner than later so that you aren’t stressed out about it as the departure date approaches.

 

To stay on the safe side, travel with a few extra days of medications. However, you never want to exceed more than personal-use quantities, especially if you are traveling by plane.

 

Finally, ask your loved one’s pharmacist to print out their current medication list that includes the name, timing, dose, and instructions for each prescription as well as the prescribing doctor’s name. Keep this with you during your time away.

 

Update Medical Contact Information

Keep a folder or envelope with medical information for your loved one while you travel. Include the prescription medication list as well as the names, addresses, and contact phone numbers for their primary care physician and other specialists they may see. In addition, include their Medicare number and any insurance numbers as well. This makes it easy to access the information in case of an emergency.

 

If possible, you should also research hospitals near your destination. This can help you in case of an emergency. Knowing local urgent care clinics can also give you peace of mind, especially if you are traveling somewhere you are unfamiliar with.

 

Request Accessible Services and Rooms

If your loved one has mobility issues, even if they don’t use a wheelchair, you should consider requesting accessible services and hotel rooms. If you are traveling by plane, for example, you can request early boarding with your loved one as well as escorts to your terminal from airport staff. 

 

Accessible hotel rooms are often more senior-friendly. Book in advance and explain any specific needs your loved one might have.

 

If you know that you’ll be taking specific tours or participating in certain activities while you are traveling, contact the location and see what accommodations they can provide as well. Your loved one might really appreciate that mobility scooter on a long tour of the botanical gardens or a table close to the stage at the dinner theater. You never know what accommodations a location can provide until you ask! They will be happy to do their best to give your loved one a fulfilling visit.

 

Bring Extras

While you don’t have to overpack in order to feel safe traveling with your loved one, you do want to consider packing a few extra supplies. For example, tuck in an extra set of hearing aid batteries into their bag. In addition, bring an extra set of clothes in their carry-on luggage as well as a few extra incontinence products if they use them.

 

Plan for Rest

While you want to experience as much as possible with your loved one while traveling, keep your itinerary realistic by adding in periods when everyone can rest and decompress. Your loved one might appreciate a quick nap in the afternoon or even a rest in a pool lounger after a busy morning. If you plan for rest, you’re all more likely to take it and appreciate it.

 

Speaking of itineraries, be sure to share yours with loved ones at home. This way, you’ll have someone who knows where you are and how to reach you in case there is an emergency.

 

Enjoy One Another!

Travel is always bound to help people create memories. Even if your flight is delayed or your loved one is getting on your nerves, remember that you’ll both cherish the memories (or at least have good stories to share!) when you return.

 

You can boost your memory-making by purchasing a journal for the two of you to write in together. Write a few memories each evening together when you are getting ready for bed, as well as a few things you are both grateful for. Add in photos of your trip and add them later on to your pages.

 

Plan ahead as much as possible so that you can have fun and enjoy the moment while you are together. Wishing you safe travels!

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