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travel with seniors

How to Travel with Seniors: Tips for Traveling with Senior Loved Ones 

The feelings of happiness, relaxation, and satisfaction are undeniable when you’re on vacation. 

It may have been years since you or your senior loved one has taken a trip somewhere—there is no better time than the present. 

While you may have traveled together in the past, travel with seniors can be different. 

You’ll want to choose a trip appropriate for seniors, plan ahead and prepare for emergencies. 

For seniors in an assisted living or memory care community, you may want to reach out to their nurses, therapists, and other care team staff, for suggestions to make your loved one’s trip comfortable. 

Learn more about selecting a destination, scheduling a doctor visit, planning for the trip, and helpful travel tips for seniors.

Choosing a senior trip destination

Selecting a destination will be an enjoyable part of planning a trip with your loved one. 

But there are many factors to consider, such as the weather, their health and mobility, and cost. 

To make the most of your trip, you could start by looking for destinations that offer various attractions, restaurants, activities, and historical landmarks. 

Look into senior travel tours that will often have their own itineraries of senior-safe activities. Bus tours are another popular option for seniors.

Consider your senior loved one’s different interests and energy level before booking any tickets or making reservations. 

Would your loved one enjoy the beach? If so, you may look into resorts offering a scenic view of the beach, delicious foods, and entertainment. 

If your loved one doesn’t enjoy the sun and water, they may prefer something with a view of the mountains or a peaceful cabin in the woods. A history lover might enjoy a town with many museums. 

Regardless of your destination, ensure your loved one is not too far from hospitals or urgent care.  

Check with their doctor 

While traveling may be on your, and your senior loved one’s bucket list, their doctor must approve of the trip. 

Depending on medical conditions, some destinations may not be in your loved one’s best interest. Think of places that have a manageable climate and easy-to-walk or wheelchair-accessible places. 

Once you and the doctor can agree on a safe and exciting vacation for your senior loved one, secure your loved one’s medical documentation. 

If needed, get a note stating that your loved one has a metal implant, a pacemaker, defibrillator, or any other internal medical device.

You should also get their vaccinations up-to-date before the trip, if they’re not already. 

A medical provider can also tell you and your loved one what to do if their health is compromised during the trip and under what conditions they may need to seek medical care. 

Senior travel tips and tricks to help you plan your trip 

Making a note of some travel tips and tricks before setting out to your destination will be helpful for you and your senior loved one’s mental and physical health.

1. Ask about senior discounts

Often, senior citizens qualify for discounts. Even if a company or agency doesn’t have them listed online doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t exist. 

Reach out to airlines, cruise companies, restaurants, resorts, and anywhere you will be going by phone to see what discounts they may offer seniors. 

2. Bring mobility devices

Most airlines and places will allow mobility devices, such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and even electronic scooters. 

3. Speed through airport security 

Keep your loved one’s medications in their carry-on bag and all liquids separated.

You may even want to check with the airline about priority boarding or other accommodations for seniors. 

4. Print out your boarding pass

While you can typically use your smartphone, it is wise to have a physical copy in case your device runs out of power. 

5. Obtain a TSA Notification Card

A TSA Notification Card is another way to speed up the security process, especially if you have a medical implant that may set off metal detectors

6. Get convenient and durable travel gear

You’ll likely be in control of your and your loved one’s belongings, so the right gear can be helpful. 

Consider purchasing a passport holder or travel pouch for ID’s, cash, and credit cards. 

Make sure you have lightweight luggage, a waterproof toiletry bag, luggage tags, and a travel pillow and blanket.

7. Make special requests over the phone 

If your loved one needs assistance boarding a plane or ship, a wheelchair, or any special services or equipment, then you’ll need to make proper accommodations. 

8. Get travel insurance

If you plan to leave the country, it is recommended that your loved one get travel insurance. 

Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, will not cover your loved one outside the United States. 

9. Maintain a routine 

Seniors are often used to routines, especially those with memory diseases like dementia. 

While vacationing and traveling is a time of excitement, try to ensure they stay on their typical eating and sleeping schedule. 

10. Take breaks

Even if your loved one seems to be keeping up with you, don’t forget to give them breaks. If there is a lot of walking, or it is hot outside, monitor them for signs of dehydration, or exhaustion. 

Best places to take your senior loved one 

Once you’ve determined where your loved one’s activity level is, you get to do the fun part which is finding places and activities for you to do together. 

Stateside, you can’t go wrong with the beautiful views each of our national parks offer. If their mobility is limited, skip the hike and go for a picnic! Or simply enjoy the views and try to get the best pictures. 

Another popular option is the totally unique excursion of an Alaskan cruise. This is perfect for your senior loved one who wants the beautiful views but also prefers to just relax. 

Consider their walking ability but Europe (particularly Greece, Sweden, or Italy) is a cant-go-wrong destination for the senior who wants to see the world. Sometimes you can find tours specifically for seniors that focus on different parts of the continent. 

Allow your senior to live their best life at a beautiful community

Make everyday feel like vacation, even when they’re home. New adventures with your loved one will give them memories to hold on to forever. 

The Kensington Senior Living’s Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own. That means the happiness, health, and comfort of our residents and their families are top priorities. 

Our independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities allow our residents to truly age in place by offering: 

  • Around-the-clock care
  • On-site registered nurses
  • Medication administration 
  • On-site rehabilitation services
    • Physical therapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Speech therapy
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Life-enrichment activities
  • Healthy and delicious dining services
  • Caregiver support and resources through Konnect
  • Security features

To learn more about our communities check out our blog and testimonials from our residents and their families. 

Contact us when you’re ready to discuss our warm and cozy homes, caregiver events, and how we can help your loved one maintain their quality of life using high acuity care.

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