It’s not just us who have been confined to the four walls of our homes during the two-year-long lockdown. Our parents were locked with us as well, and it would do them a world of good to have a change of scenery. Therefore, with the travel restrictions being eased around the world, it’s time to plan a vacation not just for yourself but for your parents as well.
The best vacation plan for the elderly would be a wellness travel plan or a staycation, where they can enjoy a change of scenario, enjoy therapy or treatment, and don’t have to move around a lot. However, it would be best to discuss what kind of vacation they would like to go on.
One of the first steps towards taking your parents abroad for vacation is having a contingency plan. In case of an emergency abroad, have a backup elders transport in case you need to make an emergency trip back home from wherever you are in the world. The long-distance senior transportation mode needs to have all emergency equipment on board to aid the elderly. If required, there can be a doctor on board as well.
Once you have figured out how to get back home safe in case things go south, you can then go ahead and plan your trip with your parents. Here are some of the things to keep in mind.
Choose Your Trip Carefully
It goes without saying that with an elderly traveler in tow, a lot of travel ideas go straight out of the window. You cannot just backpack or go on an adventure trip with an elderly parent, even if they are fit as a fiddle. Once you come to terms with this fact, you can move on to the travel planning phase.
It would be best to choose a tour when you’re traveling with your parent. This way, everything is already pre-planned for you, and all you have to do is go along with the itinerary. However, pick a tour that doesn’t pack too much into a short duration and thus calls for early morning wake-up calls and lots of sites pack in a day.
Moreover, bear in mind that the health status of the elderly will also decide where you travel to. Africa during the rainy season or Russia during winters is out of the question. Pick a country with the most pleasant when you’re planning to travel. Also, avoid traveling to places that are known for diseases and endemics.
Get a Health Checkup
Speaking of diseases, paying a visit to your doctor before embarking upon your journey would be wise. That is because depending on where you’re traveling to, you and your parent may need vaccines and other prophylactic measures, including an immunoglobulin shot. Your doctor will also suggest things to do to stay healthy during the trip and prescribe preventive medications.
Always remember to pack your own over-the-counter first aid kit and health items like hand sanitizers and rubber gloves. Some of the essential medications to carry include aspirin, antacids, sleep aids, band-aids, alcohol wipes, stool softener, and more. If you or your parent take prescription medications, pack them in your carry-on bag, not a check-in bag.
Book Hotels in Advance
You wouldn’t want your parent to haplessly walk along as you hunt for lodging after reaching the destination. It’s advisable to book a hotel in advance to avoid the overall stress of the whole trip. Going straight from the airport to the hotel allows everyone to rest right after the flight, which can be very helpful and relaxing.
Elderly travelers take longer than usual to recover from the jet lag and adjust to the time zone. Therefore, it’s always better to plan the initial one or two nights just at the hotel to recover from the flight. At the end of the trip, it’s also wise to have a few nights of relaxation in a central location before you head back home.
Don’t hesitate to spend extra to book a hotel near the main attractions and have separate rooms for a well-deserved rest.
Don’t Hesitate Stretching Your Budget
Speaking of spending extra, budgeting extra expenses for conveniences you wouldn’t need otherwise is important. The conveniences that may seem unnecessary to you are necessities for your parents.
To illustrate, you may be comfortable getting around in public transport, but it’s not ideal for the elderly and thus they will either need a rented car or cab throughout the trip. Moreover, you’ll need to spend a little extra for meals in restaurants instead of street food, on tourist guides to avoid getting lost, and more will make your trip pleasant.
In a nutshell, you can have an enjoyable trip with your parents if you follow all of the above tips. However, you might find more individualized considerations while planning a trip. Remember, the key is to make the journey comfortable for your parents to enjoy it. A little planning and prep will ensure that the trip is a cherished memory for both of you.