Traveling with Mom and Dad: Tips for Traveling with Elderly Parents

Going on trips with mom and dad never gets old. From the time you were young the back yelling, “are we there yet”, up until now, the experiences you have together as a family were rewarding ones. However, now that your parents are older, there are some challenges that you want to be prepared for to ensure their safety and make it a fun experience for everyone. From issues with mobility to dietary needs and health restrictions, being prepared is an absolute must with mom and dad in tow. Also make sure they are covered with International Health Insurance just in case. Here are some suggestions on how to get ready.

  1. Get Travel Approval

If your parents have preexisting medical conditions that require specialized care, make sure that you have cleared it with the doctor for them to travel. Find out if the doctor has any recommendations or tips on how to care for your parents during your vacation. This is also the best time to have any prescriptions filled.

  1. Make Arrangements for Special Services

Does mom or dad have a hard time getting around? Do they require an electric mobility scooter? If so, you’ll want to make sure that you plan for it. Your parent will require a wheelchair accessible seat on the plane and you will also need to find a hotel that accommodates them with handicapped ramps, shower boards, and wheelchair accessible rooms.

  1. Locate Medical Facilities at Your Destination

Should something happen to mom and dad are you prepared? Where is the closest hospital for them to receive medical care? Determine where the healthcare facilities are located. You may also want to contact them to find out about any insurance policies you should be aware of prior to coming so that you can have all the necessary paperwork in case there is an emergency.

  1. Consider Dietary Needs

Based on the information provided to you by the doctor, your parents may require a special diet to remain healthy. Find out if they have any restrictions and prepare for this ahead of time. If necessary, prep some meals to take with you.

  1. Plan for Down Time

Your parents aren’t as energetic as they used to be. So, bouncing around from one tourist attraction to the next may not be possible. Make sure that as you’re planning your family vacation that you remember this and plan for some much-needed breaks.

  1. Pack Light

You’re going to have to assist your parents quite often therefore, you don’t want to load yourself down with baggage. Try to pack as light as possible so that you’re able to help your parents when they need it. While things like extra outfits and shoes can be left behind, don’t pack so light that you forget important things like medical equipment or medications.

  1. Create an Emergency Plan

Should your parents get separated from you, do they know what to do? Do you and your children know what to do? If not, you need to create an emergency plan. Determine a destination to meet at if someone gets lost. Provide a cell phone to your parents so they can call you, and maybe even consider there’s a GPS on the phones so you can locate them easier if they start to wander.

There are a ton of places you can go and have fun with your parents. It’s simply a matter of making sure that you’ve dotted the eyes and crossed the tees prior to taking flight. With all of the precautionary work out of the way, you guys can take in the sites and really enjoy your time together.

Tips for Traveling with Elderly Parents


  1. Thanks for all the tips,these are sure to come in handy !

  2. robin masshole mommy says

    These are all really great tips. I struggle with packing light, but I would love to get better at it.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing these tips. People often forget that in older people, the spirit might be willing but the flesh might not be able to keep up. Packing light and keeping downtime in mind are key.

  4. These are really intense! My parents are still able to do stuff on their own but this is definitely something to keep in mind as they get older.

  5. Excellent tips. I would love to take grandparents on a trip with us.

  6. reesann723 says

    These are great tips. When my grandma was alive this would have been very helpful for us!

  7. This is an awesome post! These tips are vital when you’re traveling with elderly parents. So many parents/grandparnets may need that extra help and we need to always keep these kind of tips in mind as we travel with them!

  8. I don’t need to travel with elders but those tips are great for those who is so important for everyone to have contingency plans when traveling.

  9. Excellent tips! My husband and I were caregivers for our our elderly mothers and we sure could have used a handbook. This information will be of great help to caregivers.

  10. You really have thought of everything! This isnt something I am dealing with yet but great information.

  11. Traveling with elderly parents can be challenging. These are all great tips.

  12. This is actually something I have been dealing with the past few years. We have done some trips, but my parents usually spend the afternoons resting while we do more sightseeing. Then they catch up with us for dinner and even activities! Great tips.

  13. These are great tips. I would have never thought to check dietary restrictions when vacationing.

  14. Lisa Bristol says

    These are great tips for travelling with older parents. I like to make frequent stops for everyone to stretch and use the washroom.

  15. Claudia Krusch says

    I try to leave extra room in the schedule for unexpected stops. It is important to make sure your destination has something for everyone to enjoy.

  16. Thanks for the great tips. I have a road trip planned with my parents this summer. I am excited to spend the time with them.

  17. These are great tips to consider because my FIL isn’t in the greatest of health. Of course we want to ensure he has a great time and is taken care of during the trip.

  18. Elizabeth Lampman says

    Having an emergency plan is such a great tips. I am planning to go for a road trip with my Mom this summer.

  19. those are such great tips. i remember doing some of those when traveling with my grandma.

  20. Love these tips! I am planning to take m our parents on a trip this summer. Thanks for sharing these!

  21. You know we have the best time traveling with our parents. They have so many great experiences to share and are really quite fun.

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