You might not initially welcome the idea of going away with your mum, dad or other older relatives, but with the right planning in place a holiday together can be an enjoyable break for everyone.
Make online reservations yourself
Many of the best deals can now be found online. If older family members find booking a holiday on the internet a little daunting, you might like to remove the stress by doing it for them. Booking for the group makes life easier when it comes to checking-in and enables you to make specific arrangements for older relatives, such as ground floor hotel rooms, aisle seats, sitting in the same row together and arranging the best flight connections and transfers.
Book a non-stop flight
Travel is tiring for all of us but it can really take its toll on older relatives who will not appreciate having to get on and off aircrafts too many times, let alone rushing for flight connections. For a stress-free journey, try to book direct flights – the extra fare will be well worth it for everyone. If this isn’t possible, make sure there’s more than enough time to make it to your connecting flight, bearing in mind you may be moving at a slower pace than usual.
Use special facilities at the airport
If a relative finds it hard to walk long distances, check what assistance is available at your departing and arrival airports. Most will be able to arrange a mobility buggy, wheelchair assistance or, if you are bringing your own equipment, take it right up to the departure gate with you. Just be sure to let your airline know your requirements in advance.
Travel at the right time
Fares are often lower during the early hours of the morning or late at night, but this timing can be especially exhausting for the elderly. For all of us, mid-morning or early afternoon departures are the best times to travel and are worth paying the higher fares for.
Consider a cruise
The beauty of a cruise is that the world comes to you – there’s very little effort required other than to board the ship. Cruises are one of the few holidays that families of all ages can enjoy together. What’s more, if your relatives have limited mobility, some cruise lines provide special shore excursions that cater for their needs. Electric scooters and wheelchairs can be used on many of the big cruise ships where a lot of walking is required – ideal for those who like a little independence to do their own thing.
Enjoy a slower pace
Holidays are a time to unwind so you may want to plan your holiday activities sparingly. By adopting a slower pace of life, you will enjoy some valuable time with your older family members. You may find that one activity or excursion before lunch is more than enough, followed by the opportunity for a rest between lunch and dinner. Fortunately, this also goes for young children, meaning inter-generational holidays can work out extremely well!
If you’re taking a trip together – consider a comprehensive travel insurance policy.