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Top tips for Traveling with Seniors

For seniors, travel can be challenging and stressful.  Below are some tips to help travel be fun and relaxing as well as safe.

In the US, more and more adults are becoming long-distance family caregivers.  The average distance these caregivers live from their aging family member is 450 miles.  If a senior wants to see loved ones, it will more than likely require some travel over long distances.  Since aging can cause health and mobility issues, long-distance travel can become a challenge. (

Seniors travel for many reasons, not just to visit family and friends.  Some travel for multigenerational vacations or to complete “bucket list” goals.  Some seniors take part in organized/ hosted group tourist outings.  Many seniors even travel some distance for specialist medical appointments. (Senior Living)

Travel Options: The Pros and Cons

  1. Plane
    1. Pros: fastest form of travel, can accommodate for most disabilities
    2. Cons: airports are often overwhelming, expensive, fear of flying limits this way of traveling
  2. Train
    1. Pros: Accessible at many locations, moderately fast, allows for easy socializing and movement
    2. Cons: Routes are often inconvenient/ confusing, limited options for stops and pricing, limited accessibility for those with disabilities
  3. Car
    1. Pros: Control over routes/stops, can be altered for comfort with cushions/supports, most affordable
    2. Cons: Takes a long time, possibility of getting lost, driving along (with certain medical conditions) may not be safe (AARP)

How to Travel with Ease

  1. Prepare:
    1. Write down instructions, practice with map apps
    2. Contact airports/ train stations to ask about assistance options
    3. Pack vitals items in a carry on for emergency and accessibility purposes
    4. Research parking items and bring disability tag (is needed)
    5. Consult doctor about travel plans for medical reasons and know where medical facilities are located at destinations and layovers
  2. Question:
    1. Always be willing to ask questions when traveling
    2. Only ask employees for hotels, airports, etc for information for safety reasons
    3. Do not offer strangers personal details or more details than necessary
  3. Share:
    1. Find a friend or relative to travel with
    2. Inquire about traveling caregivers if needed
    3. Share your location on your phone with loved ones as well as your itinerary and contact information (Better Health Channel)
  4. Rest:
    1. Take time to rest and relax
    2. Keep plans flexible
    3. Don’t underestimate the toll traveling takes on the body

The Extras

  • Some of these items might be used by most adults, however they are extra important to seniors.
    • Medications/ supplements
    • Support pillows/ cushions
    • Ambulatory/ medical devices
    • Hearing aid batteries
    • Doctor list/ medical alert information
    • Compression socks
    • Dentures holder/ cleaner
    • Glasses (USA Today)
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