Tips for travelling with ageing parents
As our parents get older, we need to put some thought into the issues surrounding long-distance travel. We might be going on holiday together, or they might be travelling separately. Here are some quick tips to make the journey go smoothly.
Why travel by plane? It’s fast. There aren’t many other benefits when you’re travelling with older people.
- Make sure you have enough time to get through check in, bag drop and security so you’re able to travel to the gate at your parent’s pace.
- If available online check-in the night before will save time and stress when managing your family’s and your parent’s travel arrangements.
- If you’re flying from a large airport such as Heathrow there are many facilities specifically for the elderly and disabled such as induction loops, reserved seating areas and disabled toilets, details of which can be found here.
- Consider requesting special assistance such as wheelchair or buggy transport through the airport if your parents can’t manage walking long distances.
Why travel by train? There’s spacious seating and it’s more comfortable than air travel for anyone struggling with arthritic joints or Parkinson’s, and the scenery is better too!
- Often non-express tickets are much cheaper than direct travel and offer a slow rate of travel with many stops along a scenic route.
- With Eurostar you can purchase a wheelchair user fare which allows your parent or relative to travel in their own wheelchair in a more spacious part of the train. They can also take you along as their travelling companion at a reduced rate!
- A Senior railcard gives your parent discounted rail fares on UK travel and some fares abroad so it’s worth shopping around for a good deal.
Why travel by car? It’s more flexible, door-to-door transport that’s also familiar to any parent who is easily confused.
- If you’re driving, find out where all the suitable services are for regular pit stops and emergency loo breaks – particularly important if you’re driving in the UK where services can be few and far between.
- If your parents are driving themselves, find out what the condition of the roads closer to the holiday property is ahead of time. Narrow and winding roads may be a worry for nervous drivers.
- Avoid travelling in the dark for older drivers who may have trouble seeing clearly at night.
What makes travelling with ageing parents easier for you? Let us know with a comment below.