Now that the world is opening back up, people are packing up and heading out. Families are prioritizing travel all over the world. And many families are bringing the grandparents along for the fun! Traveling with older loved ones can be adventurous and relaxing for all involved, so long as you follow these seven tips.
The first thing you’ll want to do is check with your parents’ doctors. Are they allowed to fly, or sit in a car for extended periods, or be away from a major hospital? Are there mobility restrictions, medications that may have adverse effects, or any upcoming appointments or procedures? Get all the facts before you choose a destination. You may want your vacation near a medical center in some cases.
"Choose a destination that will offer adventure opportunities when your parent is more energetic, and rest opportunities when your parent needs some downtime."
Choose a destination that will offer adventure opportunities when your parent is more energetic, and rest opportunities when your parent needs some downtime. Don’t expect that go-go-go mentality that you would have had on a previous trip. Plan for a slower pace but enjoy the slow moments too! Soak up the sun, conversation, and slower meals. Maybe at this tempo you won’t need a vacation after your vacation.
When booking flights and hotels – depending on budget – try to get a direct flight, and separate rooms. The less time standing in security lines and waiting around luggage carousels, the better. And at the end of a busy day, Grandpa and Grandma might want some peace and quiet instead of a movie marathon and loud bath time routine. Look for an aisle seat with extra leg room, and let airline employees know if your parent has vision or hearing issues.
"You’re not the only family that has felt couped up these past few years. Airports are busy, lines are long, and wait times can be strenuous."
Allow extra time at the airport. You’re not the only family that has felt couped up these past few years. Airports are busy, lines are long, and wait times can be strenuous. Perhaps even request a wheelchair or bring one if your parent would use it on the trip. It’s always nice to have a chair handy when vacation fatigue hits at an inconvenient time.
Encourage parents to pack extra medications, and extra clothing. Currently, you have to pass a COVID test to return to the US. If your parent gets stuck in Spain an extra few days, they’ll appreciate those extra meds. Also, on most trips you spend a lot more time walking than normal, having extra undergarments and socks can feel very refreshing before heading out again in the evening.
For everyone along on the trip, pack snacks and plenty of water. There’s nothing worse than dehydrated hangry people in your party. Maintaining blood sugar levels is even more important when we get older. Granola bars, fruit strips, and trail mix all pack easily and provide a healthy nibble before mealtimes.
Take loads of pictures! Then use those priceless memories to create a scrapbook on Shutterfly or some other website and give it to your parents as a birthday, Christmas, or anniversary gift. They will love it and look back on it often.
Traveling with grandparents is an unforgettable and amazing experience for all involved. And if you follow these seven tips, you may just want to do it more than once. Imagine the smiles, the conversations, and the experiences, and book your family’s trip now.
Bonus Tip: While you’re planning amazing vacations, make sure your parents are planning to protect their retirement. A long term care event could not only wipe out their savings, it could affect your relationship. Speak to a long term care insurance specialist today, get a free quote, and find out how to safeguard your family.