Traveling for the holidays? It’s no secret that traveling with seniors can be difficult. For example, they might have mobility issues or need assistance in the bathroom. But there are some things you should know before going on a trip with your senior citizen loved one! This post will go over everything you need to know about traveling with seniors and how to make it as easy as possible for both of you.
1. TRAVEL CHECKLIST
Create a travel checklist of everything your senior needs for the trip. Bring along medications, any medical equipment they may need, and any food your senior is accustomed to eating. The free PDF download “Travel Checklist” will get you started. The list is intended to be items for your loved one that you don’t usually consider, such as reading glasses and travel underwear.
Remember to travel as light as you can. Additionally, keep the following in mind:
- If it’s not too cold outside, pack lighter clothing since these can be washed easily and dried quickly in case of spills or accidents.
- Bring sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer to clean off hands frequently while traveling to avoid the spread of germs.
- If your senior is very weak, consider traveling in a car instead of flying. It’s much easier to travel with someone who can’t walk without assistance if you are driving them rather than trying to help them onto an airplane.
- If they need oxygen, bring along their tank, not one you’ll have to rent at the destination. It might be challenging to find a supplier when you’re not in your home area.
- If your senior experiences any incontinence issues, bring enough supplies for the duration of travel and plan to do some laundry during the trip.
- It’s also important to remember that traveling with a senior can be taxing on both of you, so make sure to travel to places that are easy for both of you to navigate.
2. TRAVELING IN COMFORT
Part of finding enjoyment and relaxation on your trip is having fun along the way. Pack snacks that are high in protein and low in sugar. This will help you stay energized and focused while you travel. Some of my favorite snacks include nuts, seeds, and yogurt.
Stay entertained on a car trip by ensuring everyone brings their cellphones, chargers, and headphones. iPads are also fantastic in the car, though it is up to the driver’s discretion.
You can also download a travel app to your phone or your loved one’s. There are several travel planning apps and postcard apps available. Packing travel games for car trips or waiting in airports can help keep your mind sharp, rather than letting boredom lead to restlessness. Games like crosswords and word jumbles are great ways to challenge yourselves while traveling with seniors.
Taking photos along the way is a great way to document the trip later. Phones will geo-tag the pictures making it easy to track your progress and stops. Take it a step further by bringing a travel diary along which you both write down your thoughts and experiences. This will give you something to look back on after the trip and augment the photos you take.
Make the trip more comfortable when flying or driving long distances. Seniors find compression socks reduce leg pain when flying or riding in cars for long journeys; other people enjoy wearing cozy socks to travel. Some people like packing soft blankets and travel pillows. This can help make the trip itself more pleasant.
3. HEALTH FOR TRAVELING WITH SENIORS
When you’re traveling with a senior, in addition to prescription medications, there are a few things you’ll want to bring along:
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet wipes
- Pain relievers (ibuprofen)
- Cough drops or lozenges (for congestion)
- Eye drops (if needed)
Ask about other items they rely on. The Travel Checklist has some, ask about others. These items can ensure they will be as comfortable as possible on your journey.
Make copies of important documents like your passport, travel insurance, and travel itinerary. You should also include their doctors’ information and health insurance. Scan these documents to have a digital copy in case of emergencies while traveling.
When traveling with a senior, it’s essential to make sure you have easy access to medications and copies of prescriptions, as well as any medical equipment they may need. In addition, make sure their medications include any medicines that might need filling at the destination if it’s difficult for them to travel back home without them after an emergency.
It’s also essential when planning your travel to consider the senior’s comfort level. If they’re accustomed to remaining in one location, traveling might be overwhelming. For example, if your loved one has a hard time with changes in routine, let them know as much as possible about what to expect while traveling. Try to keep travel days and activities similar to their home schedule as much as possible. Another suggestion is to find travel destinations that are easy for both of you to navigate together and be sure to take plenty of breaks along the way.
5. PACK LIGHT
Be mindful about bringing too many clothes. The more you pack, the heavier it will be to carry around with you on your trip
In addition to the clothes you will travel in, be sure to pack a few travel-sized toiletries as well. By bringing travel-sized toiletries, you will save space and be able to travel a little lighter.
If your senior is traveling for an extended time or across the world, they may want to pack some special outfits as well.
A holiday or family vacation with your senior loved one can be challenging and stressful, but also wonderful and so good for them! It is essential to remember that they may need more help than usual when you’re traveling. Give yourself a few extra minutes when packing for their trip so that you have the opportunity to pack all of their medication, including any refills needed at your destination and necessary medical equipment such as oxygen tanks or wheelchairs, if they are required. Make travel time fun by packing snacks and entertainment in advance. By thinking ahead and traveling light, you’ll enjoy a fantastic holiday experience together with them this season or on any family vacation! To make things easier on themselves, download our free pdf travel checklist today!
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