Traveling Abroad with Aging Parents

Traveling abroad with aging parents can be one of the most stressful and rewarding experiences. I realised this year that my poor parents are not getting any younger and haven’t seen the world. Practically every month I travel abroad its an incredible experience which I want my parents to experience too. They have given up so much for my siblings and I that I felt it’s time I paid them back. Well at least in part as I don’t think I have even scratched the surface of what they gave up.

One thing I knew about traveling abroad with aging parents is I needed to make some preparations. As my parents have gotten older, they have become slower and take a lot more time to do things. Therefore when I decided that 2018 was the year they saw the world, I need to plan ahead. If you’re ever planning to travel with your aging parents abroad, we’ve put together some tips to consider.

Traveling Abroad with Aging Parents

Traveling Abroad with Aging Parents

When I made the decision to travel with my aging parents this year, I didn’t really put much thought into it. I knew the touring of whatever destination would need to be slower pace than I am used to. There are certain things which I ended up learning ‘on the job’ so to speak write. But one thing that I definitely knew was that I was going to make the trips memorable for my parents. Before you go off taking your parents abroad with you, here are some things to consider:

Travel Insurance

One of the perks of my platinum bank account with Natwest is that I get travel insurance on all my trips. When traveling with my parents I needed to add-on more in case of medical emergencies. It is important to assess each of your parents and their individual needs and see what insurance works best. God forbid should something happen, make sure you have adequate cover for all eventualities.

Packing light

As an avid traveler, I am a pro at packing light as often I visit European cities for less than 48 hours. Even if I go for more than 3 days, I only travel with a carry on and that’s enough. We learned on our first adventure that my parents need support with traveling light. Obviously my mother packed the entire house including the kitchen sink, I ended up carrying her bags. A lesson was learned for the second trip to Tuscany where packing light was second nature for all. Depending on your individual parents, it is important to check they have everything they need. Medication is one necessity that comes to mind, always check you have the relevant documentation to go with medication.

Traveling Abroad with Aging Parents

Destination – choose wisely

Living in the UK we have Europe as our playground but I still had to consider my destinations wisely. Again, this I speak from experience, it’s important to choose the destination carefully before traveling. Our first adventure traveling abroad with aging parents was to Toulouse, a french city. To this day my parents are still talking about this city and how accessible it was for them. Our hotel was close to all major city attractions, we walked to their pace and public transport was available too.

Amenities – use them if available

One thing we didn’t need during our recent adventures abroad is making use of the airline amenities. But if your family needs them make sure to utilize them as they make the journey much easier. One thing we often check with each hotel we book is accessibility, especially with the bathroom. My parents need a *walk in bath it is much better than hopping in and out of the tub. We’ve been fortunate so far that all our accommodations were accessible, our recent adventure to Casale Amati was accessible. It’s paramount to ensure you take full advantage of available amenities when traveling abroad with aging parents.

Important Documentation

One thing that has been made much easier when it comes to travel documents is the electronic boarding pass. I can not remember the last time I printed my boarding pass and even traveling with my parents I just have them on my phone. But these are not the only important documents you need to have. Passports and any medical reports should be put together, packed first, checked last. It’s a little ritual I have where I pack my passport and other relevant documents first and before I leave the house, I check I still have them.

Traveling Abroad with Aging Parents

City Tours

Whenever I travel I ensure to look at the available city tour options because I want to make use of my time. Using city tours allows me to prioritize what I want to see just from the bus and what I wish to explore further. Traveling abroad with aging parents calls for booking a city tour bus a must to spare too much walking. Our adventure to Florence called for enjoying most of the city sights from the comfort of a city tour bus. We covered more ground, allocated time to places of much interest to us and can’t recommend it more.

Traveling with elderly parents can be such a rewarding experience, the excitement on my parent’s face is priceless. Obviously we all have to consider our personal circumstances on affordability of traveling abroad with our families. But if you’re in a position to take your parents abroad or somewhere within your country, that is awesome. I am keen on showing my parents the world outside our family home and they are looking forward to it.

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40 Comments

  1. Super Busy Mum
    March 31, 2018 / 8:09 am

    What a collection of great tips. Travel insurance would be massively important, but either way – what a lovely experience to have, all round.

  2. March 31, 2018 / 3:34 am

    These are such great tips, particularly about having travel insurance. I’m planning to take my mother away soon, but she has many health complications so it would behoove me to make sure my trip is covered, in case we have to postpone!

  3. Elizabeth Keene
    March 30, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    It can be very daunting to take a trip with your older parents, at least for me it has been anyway. I love all of the tips you give and it looks like you had an amazing time.

    XOXO

    Elizabeth Keene

  4. Jenni Grainger
    March 30, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    These are such good tips, I would love to take my 87 year old Grandma away so will keep this bookmarked x

  5. Latoyia Dean-Dennis
    March 30, 2018 / 5:03 pm

    OMG I love everything about this post. I want to take a rip with my mom soon.

  6. Dee Jaye
    March 30, 2018 / 2:07 am

    This was such a timely post. I actually really want to travel with my parents and this is my main concern for them

    • March 30, 2018 / 6:30 am

      I hope you manage to travel with them, i am fortunate to be able to take them places and just show them the world

  7. March 30, 2018 / 1:18 am

    Great post. I wish I could travel with my parents, Unfortunately, my dad is bed ridden and mom needs a lot of assistance and supervision so they can’t travel with me.

    • March 30, 2018 / 6:30 am

      Awww bless you love, I can only imagine.

  8. March 29, 2018 / 8:23 pm

    I’ve never really thought about travelling with my parents but also they are still young so they would just go by themselves x

    • March 30, 2018 / 6:31 am

      Aww bless, my parents are fairly young as well but they are getting on so I figured even if they can do it themselves why not take them whilst my circumstances allow it.

  9. Becca Wilson
    March 29, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    A city tour definitely sounds like something my parents and I would love. We don’t travel a lot as a family anymore but I would love to!

    • March 30, 2018 / 6:32 am

      A city tour is a must for sure, I know when we take a bus it makes it so much easier to see much more than just walking to all places

  10. March 29, 2018 / 11:39 am

    I would love to travel with my mum but sadly she is afraid of flying or travelling by boat. You’ve got some really great tips here x

    • March 30, 2018 / 6:35 am

      Awww bless, my mum is not a fun of flying either but somehow she’s been ok. Why don’t you try the Eurostar with your mum??

    • April 7, 2018 / 9:17 am

      That could be a good idea, she actually doesn’t mind trains! I completely forgot about the Eurostar x

  11. Louise Oliver
    March 29, 2018 / 11:30 am

    What an inspiring post. After all our parents have done for us, it’s really nice if we can give something back! In my case, it was actually my parents that encouraged me to travel in the first place after lots of wonderful holidays in Europe. I still love going on holidays with them 🙂

    • March 30, 2018 / 6:37 am

      Aww that’s nice, we never really went on many holidays as kids but as we’ve grown we’ve been to lots of places within the UK but now I want to show them the world which I have been exploring

  12. Angela Ricardo Bethea
    March 29, 2018 / 9:36 am

    Great post!! You’re right traveling abroad with aging parents can be so stressful and rewarding experience for us. In all they have done for us we need to paid them back in all they sacrifice for them. and all your points are so helpful.

    • March 30, 2018 / 6:37 am

      Thanks Angela, just trying to give back in small part

  13. Alison Rost
    March 29, 2018 / 7:56 am

    These are great pointers for people planning to take their aging parents on a vacation. You have to consider the location, if they can handle the tours and the walking and all that. Aside from that, you definitely need to help them with all the packing to make sure they have everything they need.

  14. Jessica Taylor
    March 29, 2018 / 1:12 am

    My parents are fairly young, however we travel with my grandparents a lot. Great tips!

  15. Lara Hathout
    March 29, 2018 / 12:01 am

    What a lovely idea to travel with your parents! Everyone writes about traveling with kids but this is on the other end of the spectrum, Great tips and beautiful pictures!

  16. Baby Isabella
    March 28, 2018 / 11:17 pm

    We like the idea of city tours or a split beach/city tour and my folks hope that when I’m older, we all can travel the world together x

  17. March 28, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    This is such a lovely idea to give back to your parents. I don’t have aging parents but I still think the post has some valid points for travelling such as packing light and documentation.

  18. March 28, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    With Indian families, it’s very normal to go on vacation trips with parents. So, it’s really fun! Great tips on here though, especially the choosing accommodation & packing!

  19. March 28, 2018 / 6:29 pm

    I don’t really travel with my parents. Going on holiday yes, traveling no. so i had non idea of all the aspects of traveling with them as they’d be aging.

  20. OnceUponADollhouse
    March 28, 2018 / 5:50 pm

    This post is so special. Travelling with your parents is so lovely! Thanks for sharing tips to make this a breeze.

  21. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    March 28, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    Lots of great tips here! I travel with my parents a lot and although it’s a different kind of travel, it’s still lots of fun.

  22. Cristina Leau
    March 28, 2018 / 2:42 pm

    What a great gift you made them. I think I should do the same for my parents, but that means we should to the same for my husband parents. I will have to consider the costs, but I think is a great idea and great way to create memories.

  23. March 28, 2018 / 2:21 pm

    I totally can relate to this post as my parents are old as well and they do travel overseas often, these are great tips which you have posted and I will share it with them.

  24. March 28, 2018 / 1:37 pm

    I would love to do this with my parents one day. My dad rarely leaves the house though, so I doubt he’d go, but my mom might! We are hoping to go to Disney World with her next year, so that’s something.

  25. March 28, 2018 / 1:24 pm

    I would love to be able to travel with my aging parents. Just to watch them see things they’ve never seen and to know I was helping create memories. Your tips are so helpful and I would have never thought about getting travel insurance.

  26. March 28, 2018 / 7:20 am

    This is what I’m not looking forward to, luckily my parents had me quote youngish so they won’t be that old when I’m older, however it’s always a factor to consider when time goes by that if we ever do want to travel to together, it’ll have to be on their watch not out, out of respect but also they won’t be able to cover as much ground one day as they would be able to now. Great post 🙏🏼

  27. March 28, 2018 / 6:36 am

    I find the same things when travelling with my nan that everything will be at a slower pace so we can’t quite cover as much x

  28. Annreeba Joy
    March 28, 2018 / 6:03 am

    Great post! I have to admit I wouldn’t have thought about the differences it makes when you travel with older parents as it is something I have never done.

  29. March 27, 2018 / 10:28 pm

    I have to admit I wouldn’t have thought about the differences it makes when you travel with older parents as it is something I have never done. I know though my Dad has had issues with insurance for things which is a shame as they do like heading off.

    • March 28, 2018 / 5:46 am

      Insurance sometimes can be such a pain when traveling with the elderly or people with other medical needs

  30. March 27, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    Some great tips here, my parents have annual travel insurance and because of medical conditions I have had to get them individual policies instead of the joint they used to. I hope you get many more trips with your parents

    • March 28, 2018 / 5:47 am

      Thank you, I have been considering getting them an annual travel insurance but still deciding

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