Traveling with a Senior Citizen

6 Tips for Traveling with a Senior

Travel, whether for pleasure, business, or any other reason, can be fun and rewarding for people of all ages and abilities. If you are traveling with a globe-trotter who is basking in the glow of their golden years, there are particular needs that may not seem obvious to a younger companion. These six tips offer sure-fire solutions to common travel needs for mature travelers.

1. Call Ahead: To make travel as easy and as stress-free as possible, planning ahead for any special needs is a must. Travel companies are able to make arrangements ahead of time to help with the passengers with special needs. Services such as seating sections for those with disabilities, advanced boarding passes, or wheelchairs can all be prearranged. Some airlines require you call them directly to set up special arrangements or notify them of disabilities, while others offer the option of alerting them when you book. Be sure to work with your travel company’s system to ensure smooth travel. The AARP Travel Website has resources to help senior travelers plan trips and book their transportation.

2. Balance Your Pack: Packing under any circumstance is a fine art that requires balance; pack too little and disaster can strike, but pack too much and you’ll be bogged down. Traveling with an elderly loved one is no different, the lighter you can pack, without skipping on essentials, the sleeker and less stressful your trip will be. Be sure to pack absolute necessities like medications in a carryon bag, so even if you baggage is lost or delayed you’ll be covered. Be sure all medications are in properly marked containers.

3. Remember Security: Make special note of any implants like pacemakers or joint replacements that your companion might have. These could set off a metal detector so be sure to inform their security agent ahead of time. Many airports offer advanced screenings or security lines specifically for passengers with disabilities or special needs; you can take advantage of these to keep things running on time.

4. Keep Things Simple: Non-stop flights or direct train rides are a good way to minimize travel time and reduce the stress of switching planes or trains. Cutting out connections also makes it less likely that a flight will be missed or delayed, which can make a huge difference if you, or your companion, are traveling with a disability or tire out easily.

5. Maintain Regular Schedules: It’s a good idea to plan for short rests and downtime to keep everyone as energized and comfortable as possible. It’s also helpful to stay on as regular a schedule as possible, especially for meals and medications. Maintaining a normal schedule can also help reduce stress for those with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive issues.

6. Talk to an Expert: It’s always a good idea to consult your loved one’s doctor before travel. The physician should be able to offer tips for managing any particular ailments or special needs that may be affected by travel. A doctor will also be able to let you know if they will need any particular vaccinations or prescriptions depending on the length of your trip and your destination. The CDC has additional information about particular travel needs and considerations for senior travelers.


To reserve a Virginia Beach getaway for the Seniors in your life, give us a call at VSA Resorts today – 800-340-1158.