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Tips on choosing a holiday with parents

A family holiday can be a joy or a nightmare, depending on whether we’ve decided upon the right location, accommodation, and remembered everything we need for the trip. Here are a few tips to get the choice right:


  • Choose a central place to stay that’s in walking distance of shops, pubs, the beach or places of interest. Parents who are still able to wander as well as parents with limited mobility will enjoy the nearness which allows them the freedom to explore. Visit Britain has some useful recommendations for travel and accommodation.
  • A garden to sit out in means your parents don’t have to drive or walk anywhere if they don’t feel like it.
  • If you’re taking the train or the plane, opt for accommodation that’s doesn’t require a long transfer time.


  • Spa facilities and swimming pools can be great for those with joint pains and aching muscles.
  • If you’re taking children too, talk in advance with them about how much time you want to spend as a group and how much space they can have from the oldies. Remind them to be respectful of their grandparents’ space and privacy. It’s their holiday too!
  • Agree with your parents beforehand if you’re sharing the cooking and grocery bills. This will ease concerns about whose paying and more importantly will avoid the issue of someone feeling like they’re footing the bill.


  • Ask for a quiet room if your parents have trouble sleeping and you’re booking a hotel – they may even get an upgrade in order to accommodate their needs.
  • A separate room (if booking a hotel) and a separate bathroom/toilet facility for your parents (if booking a shared holiday home) is well worthwhile to ensure your parents have some privacy.
  • Accommodation with a selection of living spaces means you don’t need to spend the holiday on top of each other. Alternative areas to ‘hang-out’ allow freedom for you, your children and your parents alike.


  • Try to remember all of your parents’ medication and remind them, at least a week in advance, to order enough to last the entire time you’re away.
  • Are you taking medical equipment that needs a charger or adapter to plug into international power supplies? Add them to the list
  • Take copies of prescriptions as well as travel insurance documents and European insurance cards if applicable. If there are any medicine refills or doctor’s visits whilst you’re away you’ll have it covered with the appropriate piece of paper.
  • Spare pairs of glasses are always good to have to hand in case of loss or breakage.

Like a few more tips? Read the editor’s contribution to a new article for 2019 on choosing a choosing holiday with older family

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