Travelling is something many of us love to experience, whether that is once or twice a year or for a special occasion, or to see family who may live far away. But travelling with kids or those who may be a little older comes with some additional challenges that may require prior planning and thinking.
In this article, we look at some of the things you need to consider when planning to travel with an elderly relative and some of the ways you can make the process easier for you and your loved ones. Keep reading for tips and advice for travelling with an elderly relative.
Plan your timings before travelling
One of the main things you need to think about when travelling with an elderly relative is to allow as much extra time as possible. As we get older, things take longer, and we require more time to do simple tasks and get around safely, so rushing around an airport or train station is the last thing you’ll want to do.
Plan to get to the airport with at least two hours to spare; this will allow you time to get through the airport at a leisurely pace without unnecessary rushing and gives you a buffer in case an issue arises. Ensure you are patient with your relative; they are doing their best and want to enjoy their trip as much as you do.
Plan for the unexpected
When travelling with a loved one, it is always wise to plan for the unexpected. Travelling isn’t always smooth, and there can often be delays, disruptions and changes in plans, so make sure you are prepared for this.
If your loved one has important medication, then taking a larger-than-needed supply is a wise idea. This way, you’re covered if you can’t get home or are delayed for any reason. This can also apply to clothing, so pack a few extra outfits just to be safe.
Ask for assistance if needed
Whether you are travelling on a plane, train or ferry, when you are going away, assistance is always offered to those who are disabled or need extra assistance getting around safely.
Suppose your loved one struggles to walk long distances. In that case, it is worth contacting your travel operator or departure destination to organise a wheelchair and disability assistance, who will happily help you around the departure gate and allow you to skip long queues and avoid busy areas.
Assistance getting on and off the plane, ferry, or train, can also be organised, which may benefit older relatives struggling with stairs or long walks.
If you are travelling by plane, you should consider paying a little extra to choose your seats and make sure you choose an option with extra legroom, and that’s close to the toilet at the front or the back of the plane. The flight attendants will be on hand to offer any further assistance you may want once you’re on the plane.
The blog Graying With Grace speaks a little more about travelling with elderly relatives, especially when flying, commenting: “During the booking process, you’ll want to take the time to look at the disability options that are offered. Many airlines allow customers to specify the accommodations that they need when they are booking a flight.
Special arrangements should be made if you are looking to take a wheelchair on an aeroplane. For example, if one or both of your parents are in a wheelchair, you can let the airline know that they will need wheelchair assistance. If you do not see disability options during the booking process, you’ll want to contact the airline by phone.
It’s important to ask for these kinds of accommodations from the airline in advance. You may also want to contact the airport you’ll be lying out of and ask them about the accommodations that they offer. If your parents have mobility issues, the airport may be able to provide them with a wheelchair.”
Make sure you have the relevant travel insurance
Travel insurance is one of the most important parts of travelling and is something everyone should ensure they have when they’re travelling, no matter what age. Making sure your whole party has travel insurance is even more prevalent when you’re travelling with an elderly relative, as they are more likely to need assistance whilst you’re away.
We can help you find a medical travel insurance policies that allow you to enjoy your holiday without worry and stress, knowing that all costs will be covered should you need medical assistance while you’re away, as well as lost and stolen belongings, cancellation and curtailment, travel delays and personal liability.
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If you’re planning to travel with an elderly relative soon and are worried about the process, hopefully, this guide has given you a little piece of mind and some top tips for making the journey as smooth as possible.
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