We’re lucky enough to have just come back from a long-haul holiday with my parents who are 75 and 82 years old and still very active. I feel incredibly blessed to have had such cherished moments with them and to have enjoyed ourselves so much.
However, it did make me think about little extra things that one should consider when holidaying with older companions.
Here’s my top 11 tips to help you plan smooth travels.
- If travelling across time zones you may need to remind them when to take any medication
- Try book your hotel rooms close together so it’s easy to pop in on each other to check arrangements
- When you’re out sightseeing make sure you plan in plenty of sitting down rests, especially if you’re in warmer climates.
- Encourage them to drink more water than they would at home if you’re in a hot country.
- Be sympathetic to their daily routines and try work around them to accommodate things like eating early or having afternoon naps.
- Try find things to see that they’re interested in too. This could be museums, gardens, cultural sights or places where authors or artists lived and worked. This picture below was taken in the Maritime Museum, interesting for my father as he was as sea for 40 years in the Merchant Navy.
- You may need to help them with the menu if its unfamiliar to them, and try ask the waiter for guidance on portion size. My parents don’t enjoy large platefulls of food, so they sometimes have their own starters and share a main. Be ready with your mobile torch to shine onto the menu if it’s dark!
- Be prepared to take taxis more often as public transport will tire them out more quickly
- Take a backpack when you head out in the morning so you carry any shopping they buy during the day.
- Whilst it’s good to agree what time you’re going to set off in the morning, be flexible if they oversleep and are late in the morning. Jet lag can take longer to wear off and sometimes they just need to sleep more.
- Try make sure the grandchildren don’t exhaust their grandparents. Build in quiet time for the grandparents, away from the children so they can rest.
I hope these ideas help and do send me your tips for travelling with your parents, I’d love to hear them.