As our parents age, they slowly become less mobile. They prefer comfort over hard core adventure. Their taste buds aren’t as sharp as they once were, and so they opt for blander foods. A lot of the time, they just need to sit down. While slower, that doesn’t mean Mom and Dad don’t want to get out and see the world. In fact, as people approach retirement, travel is one of the most sought out activities.
That’s all fine and good until they want to go with you. While eating with the early bird special crowd might not sound appealing, it’s nice to travel with your parents as an adult. Just because you can’t go zip lining through the rain forest (unless your parents are game!), doesn’t mean you can’t go somewhere fun or cool. It just means doing something a little more manageable – and, hard to believe, but manageable can be really exciting. Here are some fabulous trips to take with your elderly parents.
Luxuriate at the Beach
There’s be no surfing involved here, this is the lounging, margarita by the cresting waves-style vacation. You know, walks on the beach, waking up late, scoring coconuts by the pool (most beach hotels have one), sunsets, massages, maybe a little shopping in town. It’s a tough life. You can probably get on board with this one. And it’s nice for older people, since a facial or body treatment is so good for their skin, which loses its ability to stay hydrated as it thins. While you might get harassed about the insensible shoes you wear to the restaurant, you probably get dinner free, because, you know, it’s your parents.
Be One With Animals
Assuming they can handle a long plane ride, everyone loves to go on a safari, and that includes your parents. Africa is a vast, beautiful landscape, and going on an organized safari adventure requires little physical activity. Some safaris are hardcore, including horseback riding and tent camping, so be sure to find one that has hotels and such. Either way, you get to see beautiful creatures. It’s an incredible experience to see the animals up close and in their habitat. To be sure, this is a vacation to remember.
Take to the Seas
Older people love to go on cruises. Now, there are cruises, and there are cruises. Some are very high-end and expensive, others are full of Congo lines and children running rampant. Then there are the ones in the middle, which is probably what you want. Do a little online research on this one – if it’s great for kids, it’s probably not great for Mom. Children are lovely, but they can exhaust an older person, who needs more time to get around.
Cruise ships dock at a number of places, and gazing at the ocean is a peaceful, relaxing way to recoup after an active day at port. Food is taken care of, so there’s no endless searching for a restaurant all of you like, and sleeping is set up for each night, so you don’t have to haul luggage around with you. Porters are everywhere, and this is helpful for seniors, too. Many cruise outfits also have tours you can take, which is a great option to take advantage of.
Find a Tour Outfit
Organized travel is a wonderful option for you and your parents. Often, you all want to do something different, but when you have an outfit, there’s no arguing over what to do, because it’s all planned out. The trick is agreeing to the right tour so all of you are satisfied. This shouldn’t be too hard.
Choose a company that has a bus and a guide, and all the lodging and many of the meals picked out. Most operators have free time allotted, so if Dad needs a nap and you want to go to the Turkish Bazaar, you can do that and everyone’s happy. This is a great way to curtail spending, too, which is often a big stress for seniors. Taking away the guess work means you and your parents can enjoy one another, and your trip all the more.
Have you ever traveled with an elderly person? What tips do you have for your fellow travelers?