This year, over 90 million Americans are expected to travel during the holidays. If you have family members living in multiple states, you may find yourself among those millions of travelers this season. If your holiday travel plans include a senior citizen, there are some important things you’ll need to know before heading out and hitting the road.
When you’re traveling with an older adult, preparation is key. That means if your loved one has a medical condition that needs routine monitoring, you’ll need to talk to his or her doctor and make sure it’s safe to travel. You’ll also need to take a thorough inventory of the medications your loved one takes on a daily basis. If he or she does not have enough medication to last until you return home, you’ll need to call the doctor and ask about getting an early refill before you leave.
Another important factor is the type of transportation you’ll be utilizing during your holiday travels. If you’re traveling long distances by car, you’ll need to make sure there is enough room to keep him or her comfortable during the ride. If space is tight, you may want to consider renting a larger vehicle that offers adequate space.
If you’re flying to your holiday destination, you should check with your airline to see if they offer early boarding options for senior citizens. This is one of the many perks that benefit elderly flyers, preventing them from standing in line or boarding the plane in extremely crowded conditions. You’d be surprised how many older passengers get knocked around or fall during the hustle and bustle of boarding a large plane.
No matter how you get to your destination, safety must be your number one priority when traveling with an older adult. Remember, you’re traveling with someone who needs to adhere to a slower pace. You’ll need to allot some extra time for him or her to recover after a long day of traveling.
Another safety concern is the weather. Most of the country will be experiencing cold temperatures during the holidays. There may be snow and ice in the area, along with those frigid temperatures. Long periods of exposure to cold weather can cause an older adult serious problems with circulation and in extreme circumstances can even cause frost bite. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing to combat the elements and provide adequate warmth.