Estate Planning

How To Travel With Elderly Parent: Here's How to Prepare

Trustworthy

|

June 7, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Multi-generational family walking through a field

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Traveling with elderly parents can be either a rewarding or stressful experience, depending on the type of preparations you make in advance. 

With some planning and proper communication, it is possible to make your trip enjoyable for all parties involved. 

This article will give you 11 tips that can help you plan a successful and safe journey with an elderly parent. These preparation tips will cover areas such as communication, accessibility considerations, medical issues, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Before planning a trip with elderly parents, it is important to create an agreement between you both regarding expectations for the trip and visit a family physician to ensure all potential medical needs are taken care of.

  • When choosing an elderly-friendly vacation destination, always prioritize safety and look for locations that accommodate physical disabilities or special needs if needed. 

  • Make sure you securely back up copies of important documents such as passports and medical records before traveling with elderly parents. 

1. Talk To Your Parents About Traveling

Daughter looking at a tablet with her parents

The first and most important step when planning a trip with elderly parents is to talk to them openly. 

Before making any arrangements, ask your parent if they would like to travel in the first place. Take into account their preferences, health conditions, and ability to manage long (or short) trips. 

You should also create an agreement between you and your parent regarding expectations for the trip. This is good to do even if travel plans are minimal, as it will help ensure there’s mutual understanding between both of you about the expectations of a smooth travel experience. 

Discuss topics such as who is responsible for what duties, how often to take breaks and meals, and any restrictions that will be in place due to mobility or health reasons.

2. Visit Your Family Physician

Although a family physician may not be familiar with the specifics of your travel plans, it is essential to make an appointment before any extended journey. Make sure they are aware that you will be traveling and for how long to ensure all potential medical needs are taken care of. When visiting, ask questions such as: 

  • Can your travel plans affect existing health conditions? 

  • Are there any vaccinations that need to be addressed for your destination? 

  • Are there any medicines or supplements that need to start or stop taking before departure? 

  • How can you establish a plan for emergency medical care while on the road? 

It is also important that your elderly parent has filled out an Advanced Directive, which is a document indicating your wishes for medical care should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions. 

Creating peace of mind while on the road is important in knowing that a clear plan could be acted upon if desired or necessary.

3. Find The Right Vacation Time

Finding the right vacation time is important when traveling with elderly parents. Consider their energy levels and how much travel stress they may be able to handle.

It is also important to make sure the dates you choose are ideal for them. If they have regular commitments like work or other activities, try to find times that won’t interfere with those obligations. You should also consider your own schedule and any children in the picture. 

Furthermore, you may want to research weather conditions for the time of year and geographical area so that your elderly parents will be prepared if any sudden temperature changes occur.

In terms of duration, a good amount of time for vacation would be one or two weeks. This will give your elderly parents enough time for sightseeing and activities while not being too long.

4. Choose A Suitable Vacation Destination

Multi-generational family on the beach

When choosing a suitable vacation destination for you and an elderly parent, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account. The safety of your parents should always come before all other things. 

Before booking your trip, research the safety of the city and hotel you intend to stay at. Also, investigate decisions like transportation options – is this a place where renting or hailing cabs would be easy and safe? 

Another consideration is the level of physical accessibility. Depending on any disabilities or special needs your parent may have, certain places can be more accommodating than others regarding wheelchair accessibility or any other physical requirements. 

Be sure to question the property manager when booking your accommodation and investigate local attractions for mobility considerations if a trip is involved. 

Popular vacation destinations such as the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Hawaii, and US National Parks. 

5. Plan Activities For Each Day

When planning activities for your trip with an elderly parent, create a flexible but detailed itinerary that caters to everyone’s needs

This could include visiting key sights such as museums or cultural attractions at the desired pace. Nature walks are also great when accompanied by others and provide a peaceful break from city life. 

Additionally, be sure to schedule in time for breaks when driving long distances. Recurring stops every hour or a couple of hours are recommended. This provides elderly companions with a welcomed opportunity to stretch their legs and go to the restroom. 

6. Look Into Accommodations

Accommodations are an important component of travel with elderly parents. When choosing a place to stay on your trip, it is strongly recommended that you look for properties specifically designed and equipped to make the visit easier for elders. 

Things like entry/exit ramps at hotels or wheelchair-accessible dining facilities will help ensure that everyone can have access during the stay. 

Furthermore, look for properties close to medical facilities and emergency services in case of a health-related incident or other problems. 

You can search online by distinct keywords like “wheelchair access” and “elderly-friendly" to find places that match your needs more closely.

7. Carefully Pick Plane Tickets

Elderly couple on an airplane

When you book the plane tickets, make sure that your elderly parent is seated in an aisle seat with extra legroom and armrests if available, or try a bulkhead seat so they can move around easily during the flight without disturbing other passengers. 

Also, ask the airline to arrange for help when needed, such as wheelchair assistance and extra support from ground staff at airports if it’s available in your destination place.

Ensure you look for non-stop flights so your senior doesn’t have to go through a long layover. Also, check for senior discounts on different flights to help save costs. 

8. Plan Out All Necessary Medications

As your elderly parent ages, medications play an increasingly important role in keeping them healthy. When planning a trip with your elderly parent, it's important to carefully consider what type of medical care they might need while on the road. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Have you or your elderly parent recently been prescribed any new medications? 

  • Are there any over-the-counter drugs they regularly take that will need to be included in your luggage?

  • Are there any medical conditions that could require special attention while traveling (for example, diabetes or high blood pressure)?

  • Are any of their medical supplies or equipment needed during travel (e.g., inhalers, syringes)?

Be sure to think through every type of medication that is regularly taken and pack enough for the duration of the trip. Also, make copies of prescriptions just in case those meds are misplaced or lost while traveling. 

Any specialty medications may require prior authorization from an insurance company, so consider making these requests early to avoid any potential issues. 

9. Make Sure You Have All The Necessary Documents

As you begin planning your trip, it is important to make sure that all necessary documents are gathered and secured. 

This includes passports or ID cards for everyone traveling, medical records if needed (including prescriptions), applicable visas or other travel permits required by the destination country, and copies of travel insurance documents if applicable.

Creating digital backups for these important documents is a great way to ensure safe access while traveling in case of an emergency. 

To access these documents quickly and securely from anywhere, consider using a service like Trustworthy, which is designed to help you manage important documents in one secure place.

10. Leave Some Unplanned Room

When traveling with an elderly parent, it is important to realize that unplanned moments can often be the most enjoyable. 

Schedules and itineraries should not be overly packed as older adults may need more rest alongside frequent restroom breaks or meal times, which could cause delays in your timeline. Therefore leaving some room for spontaneity can make the process more relaxed, freeing your elderly parent from too many expectations. 

An overly packed itinerary may mean that you miss out on some relaxing moments and valuable opportunities to just enjoy being with each other in a new place or spot. 

11. Confirm Travel Details

Adult son with his parents in the airport

Confirming travel details is especially important when traveling with an elderly parent. Start by making sure that all documents and tickets are properly packed or safely stored on a cell phone or laptop. 

Double-check that everyone’s passport is valid and up to date, as well as other necessary forms for international travel (if needed).

It's also important to be clearly aware of the mode and schedule of your travel, such as flight times, train stops, or bus connections. As part of this confirmation process, you can go over all available transportation options to understand what will work best for your elderly parent. Driving, if a viable option, is also worth considering as you’ll have more control over the trip.

When planning an international trip with their parents, it's wise to research visa requirements in advance—this can help prevent any headaches and delays when departing or entering a country. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is it safe for an 80 year old to fly?

Yes, it is generally safe for an 80-year-old to fly. However, some of the health risks associated with air travel may be increased due to a person’s age or physical condition. 

Elderly people should consult their doctor before flying to make sure their overall condition and any pre-existing conditions are taken into account.

Some people with surgery or medical treatments, including heart problems and respiratory issues, should also avoid flying and seek alternative transportation options like trains if necessary. 

Additionally, carrying enough medication for the trip is recommended, as airports may restrict certain types or quantities, which could leave a traveler short.

What is the age limit for elderly to fly?

The age limit for elderly travelers to fly typically depends on the airline and its regulations. Generally speaking, airlines do not have a specific cap or cutoff age when it comes to flying with them as long as all necessary documentation is in order and the passenger does not present any medical or physical risks. 

The decision to let an elderly person board a plane ultimately rests with each airline's discretion and judgment based on their safety policies. 

Certain airlines may require an elderly person to travel with a companion if they are deemed unfit for air travel. It is advisable to contact the airline directly and discuss any special requests or provisions in advance, as policies may vary from airline to airline.

What are the TSA rules for 75 year olds?

In the United States, passengers aged 75 and over are permitted to receive expedited security screening at a TSA checkpoint. 

This includes not having to remove shoes or light jackets for x-ray scanning as well as being allowed an extra pass through Advanced Imaging Technology devices such as metal detectors. 

Furthermore, in order to further expedite security, passengers aged 75 and over are allowed to receive some form of risk-based intelligence screening that allows TSA officers to better determine who may pose a potential threat. 

Is TSA Precheck free for seniors?

TSA Precheck is not free for seniors. TSA Precheck is a screening program that provides expedited security screenings at airports across the US. This pre-screening process requires application and payment of an enrollment fee (currently $78 for 5 years). 

Estate Planning

How To Travel With Elderly Parent: Here's How to Prepare

Trustworthy

|

June 7, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Traveling with elderly parents can be either a rewarding or stressful experience, depending on the type of preparations you make in advance. 

With some planning and proper communication, it is possible to make your trip enjoyable for all parties involved. 

This article will give you 11 tips that can help you plan a successful and safe journey with an elderly parent. These preparation tips will cover areas such as communication, accessibility considerations, medical issues, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Before planning a trip with elderly parents, it is important to create an agreement between you both regarding expectations for the trip and visit a family physician to ensure all potential medical needs are taken care of.

  • When choosing an elderly-friendly vacation destination, always prioritize safety and look for locations that accommodate physical disabilities or special needs if needed. 

  • Make sure you securely back up copies of important documents such as passports and medical records before traveling with elderly parents. 

1. Talk To Your Parents About Traveling

Daughter looking at a tablet with her parents

The first and most important step when planning a trip with elderly parents is to talk to them openly. 

Before making any arrangements, ask your parent if they would like to travel in the first place. Take into account their preferences, health conditions, and ability to manage long (or short) trips. 

You should also create an agreement between you and your parent regarding expectations for the trip. This is good to do even if travel plans are minimal, as it will help ensure there’s mutual understanding between both of you about the expectations of a smooth travel experience. 

Discuss topics such as who is responsible for what duties, how often to take breaks and meals, and any restrictions that will be in place due to mobility or health reasons.

2. Visit Your Family Physician

Although a family physician may not be familiar with the specifics of your travel plans, it is essential to make an appointment before any extended journey. Make sure they are aware that you will be traveling and for how long to ensure all potential medical needs are taken care of. When visiting, ask questions such as: 

  • Can your travel plans affect existing health conditions? 

  • Are there any vaccinations that need to be addressed for your destination? 

  • Are there any medicines or supplements that need to start or stop taking before departure? 

  • How can you establish a plan for emergency medical care while on the road? 

It is also important that your elderly parent has filled out an Advanced Directive, which is a document indicating your wishes for medical care should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions. 

Creating peace of mind while on the road is important in knowing that a clear plan could be acted upon if desired or necessary.

3. Find The Right Vacation Time

Finding the right vacation time is important when traveling with elderly parents. Consider their energy levels and how much travel stress they may be able to handle.

It is also important to make sure the dates you choose are ideal for them. If they have regular commitments like work or other activities, try to find times that won’t interfere with those obligations. You should also consider your own schedule and any children in the picture. 

Furthermore, you may want to research weather conditions for the time of year and geographical area so that your elderly parents will be prepared if any sudden temperature changes occur.

In terms of duration, a good amount of time for vacation would be one or two weeks. This will give your elderly parents enough time for sightseeing and activities while not being too long.

4. Choose A Suitable Vacation Destination

Multi-generational family on the beach

When choosing a suitable vacation destination for you and an elderly parent, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account. The safety of your parents should always come before all other things. 

Before booking your trip, research the safety of the city and hotel you intend to stay at. Also, investigate decisions like transportation options – is this a place where renting or hailing cabs would be easy and safe? 

Another consideration is the level of physical accessibility. Depending on any disabilities or special needs your parent may have, certain places can be more accommodating than others regarding wheelchair accessibility or any other physical requirements. 

Be sure to question the property manager when booking your accommodation and investigate local attractions for mobility considerations if a trip is involved. 

Popular vacation destinations such as the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Hawaii, and US National Parks. 

5. Plan Activities For Each Day

When planning activities for your trip with an elderly parent, create a flexible but detailed itinerary that caters to everyone’s needs

This could include visiting key sights such as museums or cultural attractions at the desired pace. Nature walks are also great when accompanied by others and provide a peaceful break from city life. 

Additionally, be sure to schedule in time for breaks when driving long distances. Recurring stops every hour or a couple of hours are recommended. This provides elderly companions with a welcomed opportunity to stretch their legs and go to the restroom. 

6. Look Into Accommodations

Accommodations are an important component of travel with elderly parents. When choosing a place to stay on your trip, it is strongly recommended that you look for properties specifically designed and equipped to make the visit easier for elders. 

Things like entry/exit ramps at hotels or wheelchair-accessible dining facilities will help ensure that everyone can have access during the stay. 

Furthermore, look for properties close to medical facilities and emergency services in case of a health-related incident or other problems. 

You can search online by distinct keywords like “wheelchair access” and “elderly-friendly" to find places that match your needs more closely.

7. Carefully Pick Plane Tickets

Elderly couple on an airplane

When you book the plane tickets, make sure that your elderly parent is seated in an aisle seat with extra legroom and armrests if available, or try a bulkhead seat so they can move around easily during the flight without disturbing other passengers. 

Also, ask the airline to arrange for help when needed, such as wheelchair assistance and extra support from ground staff at airports if it’s available in your destination place.

Ensure you look for non-stop flights so your senior doesn’t have to go through a long layover. Also, check for senior discounts on different flights to help save costs. 

8. Plan Out All Necessary Medications

As your elderly parent ages, medications play an increasingly important role in keeping them healthy. When planning a trip with your elderly parent, it's important to carefully consider what type of medical care they might need while on the road. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Have you or your elderly parent recently been prescribed any new medications? 

  • Are there any over-the-counter drugs they regularly take that will need to be included in your luggage?

  • Are there any medical conditions that could require special attention while traveling (for example, diabetes or high blood pressure)?

  • Are any of their medical supplies or equipment needed during travel (e.g., inhalers, syringes)?

Be sure to think through every type of medication that is regularly taken and pack enough for the duration of the trip. Also, make copies of prescriptions just in case those meds are misplaced or lost while traveling. 

Any specialty medications may require prior authorization from an insurance company, so consider making these requests early to avoid any potential issues. 

9. Make Sure You Have All The Necessary Documents

As you begin planning your trip, it is important to make sure that all necessary documents are gathered and secured. 

This includes passports or ID cards for everyone traveling, medical records if needed (including prescriptions), applicable visas or other travel permits required by the destination country, and copies of travel insurance documents if applicable.

Creating digital backups for these important documents is a great way to ensure safe access while traveling in case of an emergency. 

To access these documents quickly and securely from anywhere, consider using a service like Trustworthy, which is designed to help you manage important documents in one secure place.

10. Leave Some Unplanned Room

When traveling with an elderly parent, it is important to realize that unplanned moments can often be the most enjoyable. 

Schedules and itineraries should not be overly packed as older adults may need more rest alongside frequent restroom breaks or meal times, which could cause delays in your timeline. Therefore leaving some room for spontaneity can make the process more relaxed, freeing your elderly parent from too many expectations. 

An overly packed itinerary may mean that you miss out on some relaxing moments and valuable opportunities to just enjoy being with each other in a new place or spot. 

11. Confirm Travel Details

Adult son with his parents in the airport

Confirming travel details is especially important when traveling with an elderly parent. Start by making sure that all documents and tickets are properly packed or safely stored on a cell phone or laptop. 

Double-check that everyone’s passport is valid and up to date, as well as other necessary forms for international travel (if needed).

It's also important to be clearly aware of the mode and schedule of your travel, such as flight times, train stops, or bus connections. As part of this confirmation process, you can go over all available transportation options to understand what will work best for your elderly parent. Driving, if a viable option, is also worth considering as you’ll have more control over the trip.

When planning an international trip with their parents, it's wise to research visa requirements in advance—this can help prevent any headaches and delays when departing or entering a country. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is it safe for an 80 year old to fly?

Yes, it is generally safe for an 80-year-old to fly. However, some of the health risks associated with air travel may be increased due to a person’s age or physical condition. 

Elderly people should consult their doctor before flying to make sure their overall condition and any pre-existing conditions are taken into account.

Some people with surgery or medical treatments, including heart problems and respiratory issues, should also avoid flying and seek alternative transportation options like trains if necessary. 

Additionally, carrying enough medication for the trip is recommended, as airports may restrict certain types or quantities, which could leave a traveler short.

What is the age limit for elderly to fly?

The age limit for elderly travelers to fly typically depends on the airline and its regulations. Generally speaking, airlines do not have a specific cap or cutoff age when it comes to flying with them as long as all necessary documentation is in order and the passenger does not present any medical or physical risks. 

The decision to let an elderly person board a plane ultimately rests with each airline's discretion and judgment based on their safety policies. 

Certain airlines may require an elderly person to travel with a companion if they are deemed unfit for air travel. It is advisable to contact the airline directly and discuss any special requests or provisions in advance, as policies may vary from airline to airline.

What are the TSA rules for 75 year olds?

In the United States, passengers aged 75 and over are permitted to receive expedited security screening at a TSA checkpoint. 

This includes not having to remove shoes or light jackets for x-ray scanning as well as being allowed an extra pass through Advanced Imaging Technology devices such as metal detectors. 

Furthermore, in order to further expedite security, passengers aged 75 and over are allowed to receive some form of risk-based intelligence screening that allows TSA officers to better determine who may pose a potential threat. 

Is TSA Precheck free for seniors?

TSA Precheck is not free for seniors. TSA Precheck is a screening program that provides expedited security screenings at airports across the US. This pre-screening process requires application and payment of an enrollment fee (currently $78 for 5 years). 

Estate Planning

How To Travel With Elderly Parent: Here's How to Prepare

Trustworthy

|

June 7, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Multi-generational family walking through a field

The intelligent digital vault for families

Trustworthy protects and optimizes important family information so you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind

Traveling with elderly parents can be either a rewarding or stressful experience, depending on the type of preparations you make in advance. 

With some planning and proper communication, it is possible to make your trip enjoyable for all parties involved. 

This article will give you 11 tips that can help you plan a successful and safe journey with an elderly parent. These preparation tips will cover areas such as communication, accessibility considerations, medical issues, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Before planning a trip with elderly parents, it is important to create an agreement between you both regarding expectations for the trip and visit a family physician to ensure all potential medical needs are taken care of.

  • When choosing an elderly-friendly vacation destination, always prioritize safety and look for locations that accommodate physical disabilities or special needs if needed. 

  • Make sure you securely back up copies of important documents such as passports and medical records before traveling with elderly parents. 

1. Talk To Your Parents About Traveling

Daughter looking at a tablet with her parents

The first and most important step when planning a trip with elderly parents is to talk to them openly. 

Before making any arrangements, ask your parent if they would like to travel in the first place. Take into account their preferences, health conditions, and ability to manage long (or short) trips. 

You should also create an agreement between you and your parent regarding expectations for the trip. This is good to do even if travel plans are minimal, as it will help ensure there’s mutual understanding between both of you about the expectations of a smooth travel experience. 

Discuss topics such as who is responsible for what duties, how often to take breaks and meals, and any restrictions that will be in place due to mobility or health reasons.

2. Visit Your Family Physician

Although a family physician may not be familiar with the specifics of your travel plans, it is essential to make an appointment before any extended journey. Make sure they are aware that you will be traveling and for how long to ensure all potential medical needs are taken care of. When visiting, ask questions such as: 

  • Can your travel plans affect existing health conditions? 

  • Are there any vaccinations that need to be addressed for your destination? 

  • Are there any medicines or supplements that need to start or stop taking before departure? 

  • How can you establish a plan for emergency medical care while on the road? 

It is also important that your elderly parent has filled out an Advanced Directive, which is a document indicating your wishes for medical care should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions. 

Creating peace of mind while on the road is important in knowing that a clear plan could be acted upon if desired or necessary.

3. Find The Right Vacation Time

Finding the right vacation time is important when traveling with elderly parents. Consider their energy levels and how much travel stress they may be able to handle.

It is also important to make sure the dates you choose are ideal for them. If they have regular commitments like work or other activities, try to find times that won’t interfere with those obligations. You should also consider your own schedule and any children in the picture. 

Furthermore, you may want to research weather conditions for the time of year and geographical area so that your elderly parents will be prepared if any sudden temperature changes occur.

In terms of duration, a good amount of time for vacation would be one or two weeks. This will give your elderly parents enough time for sightseeing and activities while not being too long.

4. Choose A Suitable Vacation Destination

Multi-generational family on the beach

When choosing a suitable vacation destination for you and an elderly parent, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account. The safety of your parents should always come before all other things. 

Before booking your trip, research the safety of the city and hotel you intend to stay at. Also, investigate decisions like transportation options – is this a place where renting or hailing cabs would be easy and safe? 

Another consideration is the level of physical accessibility. Depending on any disabilities or special needs your parent may have, certain places can be more accommodating than others regarding wheelchair accessibility or any other physical requirements. 

Be sure to question the property manager when booking your accommodation and investigate local attractions for mobility considerations if a trip is involved. 

Popular vacation destinations such as the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Hawaii, and US National Parks. 

5. Plan Activities For Each Day

When planning activities for your trip with an elderly parent, create a flexible but detailed itinerary that caters to everyone’s needs

This could include visiting key sights such as museums or cultural attractions at the desired pace. Nature walks are also great when accompanied by others and provide a peaceful break from city life. 

Additionally, be sure to schedule in time for breaks when driving long distances. Recurring stops every hour or a couple of hours are recommended. This provides elderly companions with a welcomed opportunity to stretch their legs and go to the restroom. 

6. Look Into Accommodations

Accommodations are an important component of travel with elderly parents. When choosing a place to stay on your trip, it is strongly recommended that you look for properties specifically designed and equipped to make the visit easier for elders. 

Things like entry/exit ramps at hotels or wheelchair-accessible dining facilities will help ensure that everyone can have access during the stay. 

Furthermore, look for properties close to medical facilities and emergency services in case of a health-related incident or other problems. 

You can search online by distinct keywords like “wheelchair access” and “elderly-friendly" to find places that match your needs more closely.

7. Carefully Pick Plane Tickets

Elderly couple on an airplane

When you book the plane tickets, make sure that your elderly parent is seated in an aisle seat with extra legroom and armrests if available, or try a bulkhead seat so they can move around easily during the flight without disturbing other passengers. 

Also, ask the airline to arrange for help when needed, such as wheelchair assistance and extra support from ground staff at airports if it’s available in your destination place.

Ensure you look for non-stop flights so your senior doesn’t have to go through a long layover. Also, check for senior discounts on different flights to help save costs. 

8. Plan Out All Necessary Medications

As your elderly parent ages, medications play an increasingly important role in keeping them healthy. When planning a trip with your elderly parent, it's important to carefully consider what type of medical care they might need while on the road. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Have you or your elderly parent recently been prescribed any new medications? 

  • Are there any over-the-counter drugs they regularly take that will need to be included in your luggage?

  • Are there any medical conditions that could require special attention while traveling (for example, diabetes or high blood pressure)?

  • Are any of their medical supplies or equipment needed during travel (e.g., inhalers, syringes)?

Be sure to think through every type of medication that is regularly taken and pack enough for the duration of the trip. Also, make copies of prescriptions just in case those meds are misplaced or lost while traveling. 

Any specialty medications may require prior authorization from an insurance company, so consider making these requests early to avoid any potential issues. 

9. Make Sure You Have All The Necessary Documents

As you begin planning your trip, it is important to make sure that all necessary documents are gathered and secured. 

This includes passports or ID cards for everyone traveling, medical records if needed (including prescriptions), applicable visas or other travel permits required by the destination country, and copies of travel insurance documents if applicable.

Creating digital backups for these important documents is a great way to ensure safe access while traveling in case of an emergency. 

To access these documents quickly and securely from anywhere, consider using a service like Trustworthy, which is designed to help you manage important documents in one secure place.

10. Leave Some Unplanned Room

When traveling with an elderly parent, it is important to realize that unplanned moments can often be the most enjoyable. 

Schedules and itineraries should not be overly packed as older adults may need more rest alongside frequent restroom breaks or meal times, which could cause delays in your timeline. Therefore leaving some room for spontaneity can make the process more relaxed, freeing your elderly parent from too many expectations. 

An overly packed itinerary may mean that you miss out on some relaxing moments and valuable opportunities to just enjoy being with each other in a new place or spot. 

11. Confirm Travel Details

Adult son with his parents in the airport

Confirming travel details is especially important when traveling with an elderly parent. Start by making sure that all documents and tickets are properly packed or safely stored on a cell phone or laptop. 

Double-check that everyone’s passport is valid and up to date, as well as other necessary forms for international travel (if needed).

It's also important to be clearly aware of the mode and schedule of your travel, such as flight times, train stops, or bus connections. As part of this confirmation process, you can go over all available transportation options to understand what will work best for your elderly parent. Driving, if a viable option, is also worth considering as you’ll have more control over the trip.

When planning an international trip with their parents, it's wise to research visa requirements in advance—this can help prevent any headaches and delays when departing or entering a country. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is it safe for an 80 year old to fly?

Yes, it is generally safe for an 80-year-old to fly. However, some of the health risks associated with air travel may be increased due to a person’s age or physical condition. 

Elderly people should consult their doctor before flying to make sure their overall condition and any pre-existing conditions are taken into account.

Some people with surgery or medical treatments, including heart problems and respiratory issues, should also avoid flying and seek alternative transportation options like trains if necessary. 

Additionally, carrying enough medication for the trip is recommended, as airports may restrict certain types or quantities, which could leave a traveler short.

What is the age limit for elderly to fly?

The age limit for elderly travelers to fly typically depends on the airline and its regulations. Generally speaking, airlines do not have a specific cap or cutoff age when it comes to flying with them as long as all necessary documentation is in order and the passenger does not present any medical or physical risks. 

The decision to let an elderly person board a plane ultimately rests with each airline's discretion and judgment based on their safety policies. 

Certain airlines may require an elderly person to travel with a companion if they are deemed unfit for air travel. It is advisable to contact the airline directly and discuss any special requests or provisions in advance, as policies may vary from airline to airline.

What are the TSA rules for 75 year olds?

In the United States, passengers aged 75 and over are permitted to receive expedited security screening at a TSA checkpoint. 

This includes not having to remove shoes or light jackets for x-ray scanning as well as being allowed an extra pass through Advanced Imaging Technology devices such as metal detectors. 

Furthermore, in order to further expedite security, passengers aged 75 and over are allowed to receive some form of risk-based intelligence screening that allows TSA officers to better determine who may pose a potential threat. 

Is TSA Precheck free for seniors?

TSA Precheck is not free for seniors. TSA Precheck is a screening program that provides expedited security screenings at airports across the US. This pre-screening process requires application and payment of an enrollment fee (currently $78 for 5 years). 

Estate Planning

How To Travel With Elderly Parent: Here's How to Prepare

Trustworthy

|

June 7, 2023

Trustworthy is an intelligent digital vault that protects and optimizes your family's information so that you can save time, money, and enjoy peace of mind.

Multi-generational family walking through a field

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Traveling with elderly parents can be either a rewarding or stressful experience, depending on the type of preparations you make in advance. 

With some planning and proper communication, it is possible to make your trip enjoyable for all parties involved. 

This article will give you 11 tips that can help you plan a successful and safe journey with an elderly parent. These preparation tips will cover areas such as communication, accessibility considerations, medical issues, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Before planning a trip with elderly parents, it is important to create an agreement between you both regarding expectations for the trip and visit a family physician to ensure all potential medical needs are taken care of.

  • When choosing an elderly-friendly vacation destination, always prioritize safety and look for locations that accommodate physical disabilities or special needs if needed. 

  • Make sure you securely back up copies of important documents such as passports and medical records before traveling with elderly parents. 

1. Talk To Your Parents About Traveling

Daughter looking at a tablet with her parents

The first and most important step when planning a trip with elderly parents is to talk to them openly. 

Before making any arrangements, ask your parent if they would like to travel in the first place. Take into account their preferences, health conditions, and ability to manage long (or short) trips. 

You should also create an agreement between you and your parent regarding expectations for the trip. This is good to do even if travel plans are minimal, as it will help ensure there’s mutual understanding between both of you about the expectations of a smooth travel experience. 

Discuss topics such as who is responsible for what duties, how often to take breaks and meals, and any restrictions that will be in place due to mobility or health reasons.

2. Visit Your Family Physician

Although a family physician may not be familiar with the specifics of your travel plans, it is essential to make an appointment before any extended journey. Make sure they are aware that you will be traveling and for how long to ensure all potential medical needs are taken care of. When visiting, ask questions such as: 

  • Can your travel plans affect existing health conditions? 

  • Are there any vaccinations that need to be addressed for your destination? 

  • Are there any medicines or supplements that need to start or stop taking before departure? 

  • How can you establish a plan for emergency medical care while on the road? 

It is also important that your elderly parent has filled out an Advanced Directive, which is a document indicating your wishes for medical care should you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions. 

Creating peace of mind while on the road is important in knowing that a clear plan could be acted upon if desired or necessary.

3. Find The Right Vacation Time

Finding the right vacation time is important when traveling with elderly parents. Consider their energy levels and how much travel stress they may be able to handle.

It is also important to make sure the dates you choose are ideal for them. If they have regular commitments like work or other activities, try to find times that won’t interfere with those obligations. You should also consider your own schedule and any children in the picture. 

Furthermore, you may want to research weather conditions for the time of year and geographical area so that your elderly parents will be prepared if any sudden temperature changes occur.

In terms of duration, a good amount of time for vacation would be one or two weeks. This will give your elderly parents enough time for sightseeing and activities while not being too long.

4. Choose A Suitable Vacation Destination

Multi-generational family on the beach

When choosing a suitable vacation destination for you and an elderly parent, there are certain considerations that must be taken into account. The safety of your parents should always come before all other things. 

Before booking your trip, research the safety of the city and hotel you intend to stay at. Also, investigate decisions like transportation options – is this a place where renting or hailing cabs would be easy and safe? 

Another consideration is the level of physical accessibility. Depending on any disabilities or special needs your parent may have, certain places can be more accommodating than others regarding wheelchair accessibility or any other physical requirements. 

Be sure to question the property manager when booking your accommodation and investigate local attractions for mobility considerations if a trip is involved. 

Popular vacation destinations such as the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Hawaii, and US National Parks. 

5. Plan Activities For Each Day

When planning activities for your trip with an elderly parent, create a flexible but detailed itinerary that caters to everyone’s needs

This could include visiting key sights such as museums or cultural attractions at the desired pace. Nature walks are also great when accompanied by others and provide a peaceful break from city life. 

Additionally, be sure to schedule in time for breaks when driving long distances. Recurring stops every hour or a couple of hours are recommended. This provides elderly companions with a welcomed opportunity to stretch their legs and go to the restroom. 

6. Look Into Accommodations

Accommodations are an important component of travel with elderly parents. When choosing a place to stay on your trip, it is strongly recommended that you look for properties specifically designed and equipped to make the visit easier for elders. 

Things like entry/exit ramps at hotels or wheelchair-accessible dining facilities will help ensure that everyone can have access during the stay. 

Furthermore, look for properties close to medical facilities and emergency services in case of a health-related incident or other problems. 

You can search online by distinct keywords like “wheelchair access” and “elderly-friendly" to find places that match your needs more closely.

7. Carefully Pick Plane Tickets

Elderly couple on an airplane

When you book the plane tickets, make sure that your elderly parent is seated in an aisle seat with extra legroom and armrests if available, or try a bulkhead seat so they can move around easily during the flight without disturbing other passengers. 

Also, ask the airline to arrange for help when needed, such as wheelchair assistance and extra support from ground staff at airports if it’s available in your destination place.

Ensure you look for non-stop flights so your senior doesn’t have to go through a long layover. Also, check for senior discounts on different flights to help save costs. 

8. Plan Out All Necessary Medications

As your elderly parent ages, medications play an increasingly important role in keeping them healthy. When planning a trip with your elderly parent, it's important to carefully consider what type of medical care they might need while on the road. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Have you or your elderly parent recently been prescribed any new medications? 

  • Are there any over-the-counter drugs they regularly take that will need to be included in your luggage?

  • Are there any medical conditions that could require special attention while traveling (for example, diabetes or high blood pressure)?

  • Are any of their medical supplies or equipment needed during travel (e.g., inhalers, syringes)?

Be sure to think through every type of medication that is regularly taken and pack enough for the duration of the trip. Also, make copies of prescriptions just in case those meds are misplaced or lost while traveling. 

Any specialty medications may require prior authorization from an insurance company, so consider making these requests early to avoid any potential issues. 

9. Make Sure You Have All The Necessary Documents

As you begin planning your trip, it is important to make sure that all necessary documents are gathered and secured. 

This includes passports or ID cards for everyone traveling, medical records if needed (including prescriptions), applicable visas or other travel permits required by the destination country, and copies of travel insurance documents if applicable.

Creating digital backups for these important documents is a great way to ensure safe access while traveling in case of an emergency. 

To access these documents quickly and securely from anywhere, consider using a service like Trustworthy, which is designed to help you manage important documents in one secure place.

10. Leave Some Unplanned Room

When traveling with an elderly parent, it is important to realize that unplanned moments can often be the most enjoyable. 

Schedules and itineraries should not be overly packed as older adults may need more rest alongside frequent restroom breaks or meal times, which could cause delays in your timeline. Therefore leaving some room for spontaneity can make the process more relaxed, freeing your elderly parent from too many expectations. 

An overly packed itinerary may mean that you miss out on some relaxing moments and valuable opportunities to just enjoy being with each other in a new place or spot. 

11. Confirm Travel Details

Adult son with his parents in the airport

Confirming travel details is especially important when traveling with an elderly parent. Start by making sure that all documents and tickets are properly packed or safely stored on a cell phone or laptop. 

Double-check that everyone’s passport is valid and up to date, as well as other necessary forms for international travel (if needed).

It's also important to be clearly aware of the mode and schedule of your travel, such as flight times, train stops, or bus connections. As part of this confirmation process, you can go over all available transportation options to understand what will work best for your elderly parent. Driving, if a viable option, is also worth considering as you’ll have more control over the trip.

When planning an international trip with their parents, it's wise to research visa requirements in advance—this can help prevent any headaches and delays when departing or entering a country. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is it safe for an 80 year old to fly?

Yes, it is generally safe for an 80-year-old to fly. However, some of the health risks associated with air travel may be increased due to a person’s age or physical condition. 

Elderly people should consult their doctor before flying to make sure their overall condition and any pre-existing conditions are taken into account.

Some people with surgery or medical treatments, including heart problems and respiratory issues, should also avoid flying and seek alternative transportation options like trains if necessary. 

Additionally, carrying enough medication for the trip is recommended, as airports may restrict certain types or quantities, which could leave a traveler short.

What is the age limit for elderly to fly?

The age limit for elderly travelers to fly typically depends on the airline and its regulations. Generally speaking, airlines do not have a specific cap or cutoff age when it comes to flying with them as long as all necessary documentation is in order and the passenger does not present any medical or physical risks. 

The decision to let an elderly person board a plane ultimately rests with each airline's discretion and judgment based on their safety policies. 

Certain airlines may require an elderly person to travel with a companion if they are deemed unfit for air travel. It is advisable to contact the airline directly and discuss any special requests or provisions in advance, as policies may vary from airline to airline.

What are the TSA rules for 75 year olds?

In the United States, passengers aged 75 and over are permitted to receive expedited security screening at a TSA checkpoint. 

This includes not having to remove shoes or light jackets for x-ray scanning as well as being allowed an extra pass through Advanced Imaging Technology devices such as metal detectors. 

Furthermore, in order to further expedite security, passengers aged 75 and over are allowed to receive some form of risk-based intelligence screening that allows TSA officers to better determine who may pose a potential threat. 

Is TSA Precheck free for seniors?

TSA Precheck is not free for seniors. TSA Precheck is a screening program that provides expedited security screenings at airports across the US. This pre-screening process requires application and payment of an enrollment fee (currently $78 for 5 years). 

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