Holiday Travel Tips for Seniors
The holidays are rapidly approaching and people across the country are gearing up to visit their loved ones. Flying can be draining for the average person during off-peak times. An elderly person traveling during peak times can be downright challenging. We’ve put together a list of things to help you prepare for smoother travel days:
How much is your time and comfort worth? While many try to save money by trying to find the cheapest flight, it can consist of numerous connections which makes for a grueling travel day. Instead, opt for the most direct route, with the shortest amount of travel time. Depending on your loved one’s health, sitting for long periods of time can be uncomfortable. Ask yourself these questions while planning a trip:
Where are you going?
Which mode(s) of transportation will you be utilizing?
Does your loved one need any special assistance?
Where will you be staying during your visit?
How will you get to where you’re staying?
How are you getting around town?
Take into consideration what time of day your loved one is traveling. Traveling super early in the morning or taking a red eye flight can be exhausting. Pick your travel times appropriately. Also, if your loved one is traveling alone, make sure there is someone to assist him during the journey from counter to aircraft. Once you have all the travel details hammered out, it’s important to confirm all your travel reservations and itineraries. This will help eliminate any surprises along the way.
Organization Is Key
Prepare these items for a successful flight:
Documents: ID, passport, insurance, Medicare cards, travel itinerary, and boarding pass. Make 4 copies of these documents. Keep one set in their hand, one in their bag, one at home, and the last set, make sure you forward it to a contact person at their final destination.
Medication: Put all your prescription medication in its original container in a plastic zip-up bag in order to get through security. It’s also helpful to have copies of your prescription and medical conditions from your doctor. Be sure to disclose any conditions that may set off an alarm during security.
Packing: Be practical and aim to pack everything into a small roll-on bag that can fit into the overhead bin. Make sure medication, first aid kit and snacks are packed in your personal carry on so you can access it should you need it. If you are planning on bringing gifts, do not wrap them.
Electronics: Make sure all your devices are fully charged. It can give your loved one peace of mind so he can communicate with others should his flight be delayed or when he reaches his destination.
Take Your Time
Plan on getting to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Your loved one may not be able to move as fast as he once did. Rushing through the different checkpoints can cause a lot of anxiety and stress. Avoid booking flights with tight connections. There are many things that can cause a delay, so plan your itinerary with ample time in between if you must make a connection. Thankfully, airports are full of things to help pass the time. Try to make the travel day as fun and relaxing as possible.
Enjoy Your Trip
Don’t let the details overwhelm you when planning a trip with your loved one. Visiting family and friends during the holidays is a wonderful bonding experience for every generation. As long as you can be clear about your expectations, patient, and accommodating when traveling with your loved one, your trip can be an enjoyable experience. If your loved one is staying home, don’t worry, Catholic Eldercare’s calendar is full of fun activities for residents to enjoy during the holidays. Families are always welcome to visit and share the holiday with their loved one. Most of our independent communities host numerous social events for their residents. At Catholic Eldercare, residents can maximize their independence and enjoy the conveniences of community life. Contact us today at 612-379-1370 for more information on our different community options.