Traveling with Elderly Parents and Aging Love Ones

It is that time of year when many people travel to visit friends and family for the holidays. Just because someone is 80 or even 90, shouldn't meant they can't travel as well. That being said there are precautions to take to ensure that they are comfortable and prepared.

Our friends at the Aging Life Care Association share with us 10 Tips for Traveling with an Aging Adult.


1. Consult with the individual’s regular physician before traveling to address any health concerns or risks.

2. Pack carefully. Keep medicine in their original containers in your carry-on luggage. Pack an extra supply in the checked luggage. Keep insurance cards with you at all times.

3. When flying, order a wheelchair and indicate the person traveling has a disability and needs more time boarding and deplaning. The distance to and from the gate and the wait at security can be extremely tiring as well as a fall risk. The service is handled differently by various airlines, but all have the service escorts and transportation available.

4. When flying, check the luggage with a skycap at the curb if available. Don’t overload you or your loved one with carry-on bags. Choose a small bag with the medications, supplies and paperwork. When possible, use curbside check-in to access the wheel chair and escort before entering the airport.

5. Take preventative measures to prevent blood clots, such as taking an aspirin, drinking plenty of water, getting up and moving the body. Walk to the bathroom during a flight, or while driving, make scheduled stops at historic markers or rest stops along the route.

6. If you are renting a car:

  • Bring the disability placard to use in the rental car for parking
  • Consider renting a mini-van for easier entry/exit access and storage of a walker
  • Take a taxi to the rental location for the extra assistance with luggage versus the often crowded shuttle

7. When booking hotel rooms, take into consideration:

  • Before automatically booking the handicap-accessible room, make sure it will meet your needs. For us, the handicap-accessible rooms did not have a view.
  • Ask about the bathroom safety features. Is there something you can bring or order ahead of time to make it safer (for example a shower chair).
  • Select a hotel that you feel comfortable spending time in, offers good views, that is convenient to people you are visiting, or near activities that are planned.
  • Choose a hotel that offers room service or an in-house restaurant.

8. Don’t over schedule activities and always include plenty of time to rest.

9. Have extra cash for tips (skycaps, bellmen, escorts). This will be money well spent and the extra assistance much appreciated.

10. Most importantly, remember that age doesn’t determine if you should or shouldn’t travel. Don’t limit yourself and your loved one and the experiences you can have together.

Our care management team here at LifeLinks can also help prepare your loved one's travel needs, assess what their needs may be and help your coordinate for a successful and enjoyable trip.

This content was originally published on the Aging Life Care Association™ Blog.