Travelling With Older People & What You Need To Pack

Asako Maruoka's picture

Travelling with an older family member can be a great experience, particularly when it is a trip that you all have wanted to do for some time. Although travelling with older people might not necessarily consist of mountain trekking, scuba diving, or a whole list of extreme sports, it can be a really fun time, especially on an inter-generational trip with their grandkids. However, if you are travelling with older people, you might have to think more carefully about what you need to pack.
Travelling With Older People & What You Need To Pack

Travel insurance

Triple check everyone's health insurance, and purchase additional travel insurance on top of it. If people in your travel party are not covered by their health insurance for the areas of your trip, add that to the travel insurance you purchase. While it may seem crazy, purchase medevac, in case someone needs to be extracted from a location and/or brought home. The peace of mind is worth it, even if you never need it.

If any prescription medication is needed at home, make sure to bring it on your travels. Although it might have to be declared at the airport, so the country that you’re looking to visit won’t think that you’re drug smuggling, it is important to bring medication that an older person needs, as well as a letter from the doctor explaining that. Whether it is for a heart condition, or pain relief for arthritis, there’s plenty of different medications that different people need. Just because they’re on medication doesn’t mean they have to miss out on a trip, but it is also extremely vital to remember that it is there - and take it on schedule.
Travelling With Older People & What You Need To Pack

Walking Sticks/Mobility Help
Even if a relative doesn’t use a walking stick generally, sightseeing and walking for long distances can wear out anyone, particularly older people. As well as rest stops, it may be worthwhile packing some form of walking stick to help them along the way. In some cases, you might have to cut your trip up into smaller, more manageable sightseeing chunks, or opting for public transport or a taxi instead of walking everywhere, but having a backup form of mobility help can really help during the trip. If your family member needs more help with a mobility disability, consider renting a wheelchair scooter while travelling (or bring theirs).

Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
They probably already will do this (because as you get older, you tend to care more about comfort than fashion), but be sure that your family member packs comfortable walking shoes and breathable clothing for layering. Pack an extra sweater or jacket, in case they get cold.

Travelling With Older People & What You Need To Pack

Security Measures
Older people especially, could be seen as vulnerable to local opportunists, and so if you’re travelling with older people, you need to make sure that if they are carrying money or anything valuable, they should wear a money belt hidden away, or a wallet hidden by a neck cord. Keeping wallets in back pockets or carrying a purse can leave older people in a vulnerable position, but instead of trying to take over by carrying all of their belongings for them, you can help them to remain both independent and safe with hidden purses and wallets.
Travelling With Older People & What You Need To Pack