Summertime is nearly here, and with it vacation plans are being made. Perhaps this summer you're planning on taking your elderly loved one with you on vacation. That's great! We have some tips that will help you make the vacation more pleasurable for all of you.
So many baby boomers are taking their parents along on vacation, so it was easy to collect a number of tips from them that we think will benefit you. Of course arrangements and suggestions will vary, depending upon the energy level and physical ability of your parents or loved one. If your senior loved one is in a facility, or receives in-home care, be sure to talk to their caregivers about things you need to take with you and special routines you may not be aware of.
ASK BEFORE PLANNING The first thing we recommend doing is talk to your parents before you plan this great trip. Make sure they feel up to taking a trip and they want to embark on an adventure. This may sound overly simplified, but you'd be surprised how many folks we talked to who planned elaborate trips only to find that my mom and dad had no interest in going on them.
WHERE SHOULD WE GO...WHAT SHOULD WE DO? How you travel is often more important than where you go to many seniors. Most experienced multi-generational travelers stay away from air travel. It’s just too much of a hassle, too many lines and too stressful. The general consensus seems to be that cruising is the preferred manner of vacationing with senior parents. Individual state-room are available and provide privacy and a place to rest, the cruise ship staff treat you very well and work hard to meet all of your needs. The cruise experience also offers great opportunity for vacationers to do a variety of activities and yet still have dinner together each night. Many “cruisers” report that it’s so nice to enjoy one another without having to spend every moment with the entire group.
We've also been told that seniors who have physical limitations prefer river boat trips to ocean liners. On an ocean liner you have to disembark to explore the port cities. However, on river boat trips, much of the city can be seen from the comfort of the deck of the riverboat.
Train trips are also popular with the older folks and can be a great way to see the countryside in style. It’s been reported that Amtrak is helpful when making accommodations for senior travelers and others with special needs. The pace on a train is leisurely and the views can be breathtaking. The luxury of a dining car and sleeping compartments on a train can be very appealing to elderly travelers.
Even traveling by car can be enjoyable if you pay attention to few details. Be sure to include enough time for potty-stops, meals, snacks and leisure activities. When traveling by automobile, it's often better to not make reservations ahead of time or at least allow for some flexibility in reservations. If everyone feels like they’re in a race to get to the next destination it can really detract from the enjoyment of your vacation. If you've ever done any RV-ing consider renting a motor-home. Gaining popularity, motor-home vacationing is completely contained and you’re completely in control. You drive anywhere you like… stop anywhere you like…you get the idea.
We hope this information is helpful to you. Please let us know how YOUR vacations go this summer!
All the best, Ray Fitzgibbon, General Manager, 206.420.4934