8 Tips for Traveling with Elderly Loved Ones

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Planning a trip for the entire family is stressful, but the fun that awaits everyone on the other side is worth the pain. Most times, you’d want to include your elderly relatives on the journey. This part requires extra care and preparation. There’s a lot to consider when taking the senior citizens on a trip too. Whether by air or road trip, there are boxes you need to tick to avert common issues associated with traveling with the elderly.

We’ve compiled a list to help you dot the Is and cross the Ts so you can have an uneventful trip when traveling with elderly loved ones.

Essential Tips when Planning a Trip with the Elderly

1. Check Travel Guides Tailored for Senior Citizens

The Air Carrier Access Act mandates all airlines to reveal the necessary information for the elderly and persons with disabilities. This Act can help you find flights to your desired destination that caters to special needs for your aged relative, primarily if they use a wheelchair or any other disability.

In addition, find out if the flight favor has the following facilities in place:

  • Seats specifically designed for the elderly
  • Access to the Lavatory and if the elderly do not require assistance to use it
  • Ease of mobility to the airplane

You can contact the customer care agent to get these essential inquiries answered or check out their website. Also, confirm if there are forms to be filled concerning the medical state.

2. Pack Extra for Them

When packing their luggage, pack an extra of whatever you think they will need. Extra socks, sweaters, t-shirts, etc., are not a bad idea, especially if there is a need for them. Better to be over-packed than under-packed. Thankfully you can get cbdgenesis products that will make your trip more memorable.

3. Schedule a Thorough Medical Checkup before the Trip

Traveling with an elderly that has an underlying medical issue is generally risky. You can reduce the risk by taking your older relative to their medical doctor for a checkup. You should do this before booking a travel ticket. While at the doctor’s, getting relevant information on what to avoid during the trip, what foods can trigger an episode is also important.

If the elderly person in question usually has a healthcare provider that makes scheduled visits and has relevant medical information that could be of importance, it may be worth connecting with them through a caregiver app, if they use one to store client notes, progress, and all important information. Based on this, the doctor can give a more thorough and accurate checkup. 

Many airlines usually request a certificate showing the medical conditions and what to do should there be an emergency. This document should be close by at all times, preferably in your handbag.

4. Make Arrangements for Medical Services on the Trip

Some people may think this tip is unnecessary, considering they know about the medical condition of their loved ones and have been caring for them. But, most times, external environments might trigger a side effect to either the medication or the medical condition. You can contact the airline if they provide extra medical services for the elderly at a cost.

5. Get Extra Medication for the Trip

Also, get extra pills from the pharmacy to cover the entire trip. You don’t want a situation where your destination does not have a pharmacy to cater to your parent’s prescription.

When packing the medication, please do not put them in the checked luggage, they should always be in the hand luggage. This is important, especially in cases where the checked baggage can become missing or an extra security check that may clash with the time for the next medication.

6. Use Direct Flights Only

When using air transportation, book flights going straight to the destination only. It may cost a little more than the connecting flights, but you will avoid baggage issues at different airports and going off and on many planes. It also helps reduce your parents' exposure to new places with allergies that can trigger a medical emergency.

Flying may be stressful for your parents, so try to avoid extra stress for them associated with connecting flights.

7. Attach a Timeframe to Everything.

Your parents no longer have the strength as they did in their youth. So, you must consider when they feel strong enough to make it to the airport and handle the stress of checking in and traveling. When booking a ticket for them, consider what time they feel energized to move around. All senior citizens are different; some feel strong in the morning, while others can move around late in the day.

8. Elderly-Friendly Destinations and Accommodations

If you're going on a vacation, select the best destinations that favor your older relative. There are many sites worldwide where your parents can have a swell time, and you can still manage any emergency that arises.

At your destination, consider accommodations with facilities for your parents. Choose a room that is on the ground floor to avoid much walking distance. If the hotel does not have access for persons with disabilities and the elderly, avoid them.

It's also necessary to find hotels within a distance of tourist sites and restaurants. This will be helpful for situations when they have to return to the hotel quickly.

The urge to travel doesn’t disappear with age. Finding the right destination or ways to travel can make it easier for elderly parents who may require a more relaxed itinerary with less hassle. When evaluating whether a location is senior-friendly, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Ease of Access to Amenities
  • Access to Medical Care in Case of an Emergency
  • Accessibility for Seniors with Limited Mobility
  • Language Barriers in the Event that Medical Care or Prescription is Needed

It is always important to consider what time of year you plan on visiting your destination. While you might score a deal for travel in the winter months, don’t forget that slippery conditions could make it challenging and dangerous for mom and dad to get around.

For Americans who want to travel while staying close to home, visiting Mexicoinfo-icon or Canadainfo-icon could be a great option. European countries like the United Kingdom, Irelandinfo-icon, or Germanyinfo-icon are popular amongst senior travelers who are looking to go abroad. These countries all feature accessible transportation options, historic landmarks to explore, with locals who can speak or understand English.

The proximity of European countries makes it possible to visit more than one location, especially if you and your parents opt for a group tour. There are tour operators that design trips specifically with seniors in mind. Smarter Travel has a list of some top tours that offer great value and itineraries that enable travelers to explore destinations and also have plenty of downtime.

If you’re hoping to see more than one destination, another great option may be to book a cruise. There are many cruise lines that cater to more mature adults. River cruising is an increasingly popular option as there are many appealing qualities of smaller ships that avoid ocean seas: less probability of motion sickness, larger rooms, less walking due to ship's size, and extra services. The luxury cruise line Viking Cruises is one to consider as it is ideal for those with food restrictions. The chefs may accommodate special diets such as vegetarian, low-salt, diabetic or low-cholesterol meals.


Traveling is a way to live for many people, and age should not be a blocking factor for this useful hobby. However, taking care of our senior citizens is a real gig, and double effort is required when going on a trip. A thorough checkup at the doctor's, stocking up on their essentials, including drugs, and packing an extra of whatever they require should be done with absolute care. There could be an emergency where they might need help, and these additional preparations can be a lifesaver.