The myth of holiday travel is we all head to grandma’s for a big feast with the whole family. However that’s not usually how travel this time of the year works. In many cases is our elderly relatives who are traveling to see us, or traveling with us to our destination. Extended travel can be stressful on even the most youthful of us. As I type this I’m recovering from a cold I’m sure I picked up on the plane I took to visit family for Thanksgiving. So it’s no reason why the elderly may be especially vulnerable to traveling during the holidays.
However there are a few tips to consider that will make the trip easier on your elderly relatives so that you can all have the happiest of holidays!
Planning is a great way to ease stress. Plan your holiday trip several weeks in advance and go over the details with your elderly family member. If your elderly family member is traveling solo try to work with them to develop an itinerary that they can follow. For example, if they are flying, make sure they have enough time to travel across an airport if there is a connecting flight. Including your relative in the travel planning will reduce their anxiety and give them piece of mind during the trip. If there are any special services offered to elderly travelers by an airport, ask your airline how they can make the flight and overall experience at the airport(s) more enjoyable and easier for your elderly family member.
Don’t try to rush your trip. Whether driving or flying, rushing an elderly person is never a good idea on a trip. Discomfort increases when a person is rushed, so make sure you plan a little extra time to get to the airport, or some extra time in case of construction or traffic on the roads.
Elderly travelers should always pack light. Pack enough clothes for the trip and don’t sweat it if you come up a little short. You can always do laundry once you reach your destination. That way the luggage will be light. Try to find easy to carry luggage with wheels so they don’t have to do a ton of lifting. If you are traveling with your elderly relative help them carry their items and load them into the car or luggage port on the plane.
Medical care may be required during the trip. Arrange all the medicine that will need to be taken and set reminders on the phone or write them down on a piece of paper that can be referenced as needed. Opt for comfort, with lots of leg room in a bigger car, or an aisle seat on the plane. Keep all important documents in an easy to reach place in case of emergency. In addition to ID and/or passport, documents should include doctor information and any vital health records. If you are the elderly traveler, wear your most comfortable shoes and clothes. Whether sitting in a car, or standing in a TSA line at the airport, you’ll be glad you have your most comfy shoes and outerwear.
If you are having a hard time with travel we can help! Our affordable air ambulance services can take you to your destination this holiday season, complete with all the medical tools and medical staff to ensure your health and needs will be taken care of during the entire flight. For more on our air ambulance services like us on Twitter.