To many people, taking an overseas trip with senior family members is the perfect way to connect and forge new memories with their loved ones. It is also a great way to show gratitude for all that they have done in raising and supporting the family. On the other hand, some may dread the difficulties of travelling abroad with seniors, but this is often due to poor preparation.
With proper planning that takes the seniors’ needs and desires into account, going overseas with them does not have to be an unpleasant experience. Here are some tips to help you plan a fruitful and inclusive trip with your senior loved ones.
Plan for all-inclusive activities
Too often, we see grandparents sitting on a nearby bench while their children and grandchildren run around and have fun. While children should have time to do their fast-paced activities, seniors should also be given time to do things that they enjoy.
To accommodate both sides, you should create a balanced itinerary. A few trips to the local theme park for the kids are all well and good. But they can be balanced out with some casual sightseeing and touring for the seniors.
Of course, there are several activities that both sides can enjoy – such as n afternoon at the beach or a visit to a hot spring resort could be a fun time for everyone. It is essential to recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. While everyone in your family has unique preferences, there is bound to be an overlap between their interests. When in doubt, talk it out.
Take your time
You and your kids may be energetic and ready to explore twenty attractions in a day, but spare a thought for your seniors. There is no point in moving at supersonic speeds to see all the tourist sites if the seniors are struggling to keep up. Be more selective in the destinations you choose. Give them, and yourselves, some time to breathe and take in the sights.
Even if you have already trimmed down your itinerary, try to be flexible. Seniors may take some more time to eat their lunch or need more time to walk to your next destination. So, don’t rush and take it slow! Having the whole family in a good mood will make the trip more fun and enjoyable.
Consider the accessibility
This applies to your accommodations, as well as the sites you decide to visit. Booking a budget hotel or motel may sound like a good option to cut costs, but you want to consider if your seniors will be comfortable.
Several facilities are a must-have for seniors, including comfortable beds, lifts, and standing showers. You can also book a room on the ground floor if the hotel does not have a lift.
If your old folks are using a wheelchair, then you have to make sure that the places you visit are wheelchair-accessible. The last thing you want is to visit a scenic attraction, only to realise that there are no ramps or lifts anywhere.
These are quite possibly the most important precautions. If your senior family members happen to be on medication, you need to ensure that all of it is prepared and packed. Location-specific vaccinations are equally vital, given that your seniors’ immune systems may not be as strong as yours.
As a general best-practice, you should also bring a well-stocked first aid kit containing essential general medication. Medication for digestive issues, fever, headaches, and muscle aches are all good options to bring.
Indeed, it is always good to prepare for the unexpected. While it may be uncomfortable to think about, it is crucial to consider what to do if a medical emergency strikes. Especially if one’s life is in serious danger, medical evacuation may be necessary to transport them to a speciality clinic or hospital.
Going overseas with seniors can be a treat for the whole family, as long as everyone understands their needs and wants. With an inclusive itinerary and mindset, the entire family can have a fulfilling time.
That being said, you should also make preparations for crises, so you will be able to enjoy the trip with a better peace-of-mind. Besides purchasing travel insurance, you must also be prepared for emergencies. Hence, air ambulance services for the older ones may be necessary for treating any serious illnesses immediately.