How to Make the Most of an Overseas Vacation with Elderly Parents

Taking elderly parents for a vacation to a different country is a great way to introduce them to a new place where they may not travel alone. Moreover, traveling with aging parents is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with them and make them feel loved, respected and cared for.

If a trip abroad with your parents is on the cards, here are seven tips that will help you create a memorable experience for everyone involved.
Pick a location based on your parents’ health
Choosing the right location is important when taking senior family members on a trip abroad. When deciding where to go, take into account your parent’s existing health conditions and general mobility.
Ask them whether they’re up to having a holiday with intermittent activity or would just like to relax and take it easy by the seaside. Pick a location that has adequate local medical facilities and activities for seniors to enjoy without getting exerted.
Choose senior-friendly accommodation
While you may like it rugged, senior citizens will need a comfortable place of stay with dedicated amenities for their comfort and well-being.
For instance, many seniors have a medication schedule set around meal times and have diet restrictions, so you’ll need to find a hotel that is well-equipped to cater to this need. Also, pick a hotel that has a senior-friendly (wheelchair-accessible, if needed) layout and will provide a dedicated wheelchair if required.
For a relaxing getaway where your senior parents don’t have to contend with the usual disturbances of a typical hotel, consider booking a bespoke holiday home with a fully equipped kitchen. Check out https://www.interhome.co.uk/portugal/ for hundreds of affordable vacation homes across Portugal.
Don’t forget to take medical insurance
When traveling with senior family members, it’s vital to ensure that your travel cover includes medical insurance. Many travel insurance plans only offer coverage for financial setbacks, but a medical cover will ensure that your parent can receive quality medical care if needed without you having stress over enormous medical bills.
When choosing a medical insurance plan, ensure that it includes emergency medical evacuation.
Visit the doctor and pack essential medication
Take your parent to their general physical a week before the trip. Ask the doctor for any specific vaccinations as per your destination. Ask for substitute medication and any special precautions for existing medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, and so forth so that you’ll be better equipped to handle emergencies while abroad.
Lastly, remember to carry first-aid medication and other prescription medication in your carry-on bag.
Make sure to plan some personal time for yourself
When you travel overseas with an elderly companion, you’re going to be their sole caregiver and guide, which means you’ll end up spending way more energy on a typical vacation day than you would if you were traveling alone.
To avoid feeling overworked and stressed, make sure to build plenty of me-time into the trip, even if it just means going out for a stroll alone after a day of sightseeing. You can make the most of your trip together by taking a small break from each other every day.
Be prepared to not have your way all the time
On a solo trip or one with your partner or friends, you have the freedom to do your own thing. You can afford to stay in bed until lunchtime, head off for a hike at dawn, or party late into the night. You can choose when to eat, where to go and how to get there.
When planning an international vacation with senior parents, it would be wise to prepare yourself for a different type of holiday altogether. When you’ve taken the decision to take an elderly on a trip, you need to adjust your mindset accordingly for a vacation that would be slow yet meaningful, and where you can’t afford to be reckless, unplanned or disengaged.
The upside is that you’ll have a much more relaxing vacation with plenty of slow experiences to cherish later.
Don’t have unrealistic expectation from your parents
Just because you brought them out for a family holiday, your parents should not feel pressured to play babysitters when you go out exploring the locale. Arrange for childcare if taking along young children so that the elderly can have their own stress-free time doing things they enjoy.

And, lastly, don’t treat your senior travel companion as a grown baby; let them make independent decisions and avoid mollycoddling them.

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