Traveling with Elderly Parents: Survival Guide


Planning a vacation with your elderly parents can be very challenging, even tougher than when you are with kids. Older people need extra care, more attention, and you will need to pack specific accessories and items for your aging mother or father. Unless you want your trip to turn into a nightmare, see our survival guide on traveling with elderly parents.

Accessibility and navigation

When picking up a destination for your vacation, make sure the city or resort is easily accessible for people with wheelchairs, for instance. Is there a convenient way for transportation and airport transfers? How good is the public transport? And will you be able to find all the beautiful sites you’ve planned for the trip? Always make an extensive research online to check up everything.

The right hotel

The hotel needs to be air-conditioned and have elevators, so your older parents feel comfortable and don’t get tired walking the stairs from the reception to their room.

Flying basics

You need to consider airport rules for medications, wheelchairs, and so on. You can take a little blanket, a pillow and a sleeping mask in case they are not available for free on the plane.


This will be the most exciting part of the trip, but don’t plan too many walking and sightseeing. Do something in the morning, then relax and have lunch, and plan for some activity in the afternoon. Of course, a little nap is a great idea – there is no need to rush, as it will only exhaust an elderly person. And most of all – keep it simple; choose one city or resort and stay there the whole time.

Essential items to pack

You need to be prepared for medical emergencies, so don’t forget any medications and prescriptions for your parents. Pills and other drugs should be always in their original bottles, but in case you need to buy something from local pharmacies, find their generic names. You should also consider all of your parents’ chronic conditions and allergies and write the terms of each one of them in the local language.

Other essentials include a bottle of water, anti-diarrhea and anti-headache pills, as well as pills for high blood pressure. You can take an extra pair of glasses, a hat to protect your elderly mother or father from the sun, wet wipes, a repellent, and so on.

When travelling with older people, you should be prepared all kinds of emergencies and be ready to endure their bad mood, complaining from cold or hot weather, insects, and many others. Of course, taking a trip with your parents can also be one of your most memorable experiences, so don’t let minor obstacles stop you.


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