Travel can be both exhilarating and exhausting even for seasoned travelers, and a carefully planned trip can make all the difference. When planning a trip for an elderly person, especially one with health problems, it is especially important that the trip be planned with those health considerations in mind. Shopping for the best airfares is not the only consideration when planning a trip. Here is a checklist of things that need to be thought through before you start making reservations for travel.
How to plan your loved one’s trip.
#1. Get Dr.’s Approval
Questions to ask your Doctor
- Is there a chance that any health conditions will worsen while traveling or
because of traveling?
- Are there any medications that should be avoided while flying?
- Get a Dr.’s certification for any medications that are classified as
- Get a written prescription to take along with you in the event that
baggage/medications are lost
- Get a medical alert card or ID bracelet if you don’t already have one
- Is your loved one able to travel alone, or do they need a companion?
- Pack enough medications for the entire trip and pack an extra supply in a separate container in the event that baggage becomes lost.
#2.Travel insurance is a must.
Be sure that any existing medical conditions will be covered. Read the fine print before you make the purchase.
#3.The shortest route is not always the best route; determine how many hours of flying are involved.
Sometimes it is better to find a direct flight to minimize the disruption of boarding and re-boarding a flight, and other times it is better to break the flying time up with a layover to allow for using the airport amenities and stretching one’s legs. Before you book the flight, ask your loved one if they have a preference. If there is a layover, make sure that it is long enough to accommodate your desires to freshen-up, and not so long that it makes the trip an ordeal.
#4. If mobility is a problem, be sure to request airport services at the time that you purchase your airline tickets.
Airport escorts to the gate and through security can be very helpful, however, airports are not required to provide such services if they are not given advance notification. Be clear about all of your needs for services and food.
#5. Fly Time:
- Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Flying is dehydrating, more so than any other form of travel. Oftentimes a senior will avoid drinking to minimize the number of trips to the lavatory. This is never a good option. Dehydration and altitude can be a dangerous combination.
- Hearing Aids. There are no restrictions for wearing hearing devices while flying, however some people experience discomfort with changing cabin pressure, and others don’t like the sound of the engine noise, or the amplification of crying babies! Let you senior decide what is best for him/her. They can always turn them on and off at will.
- Be sure that a full day’s worth of medications, plus medications for the following day, are packed in the carry-on bag.
- Carry some extra snacks. In the event that the flight is delayed on the tarmac, you can provide any needed protein or carbohydrate boosts.
Here is a link from a USA Today post on Senior Travel Discounts that is worth sharing.
We hope that your summertime travel will be safe and rewarding.
~ Karl Power, CEO