10 Helpful Tips for Traveling With an Elderly Parent

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Are you traveling with an elderly parent or friend and want to ensure they have fun and it's not too much? You've got company. Recently, someone shared, “I'm traveling to London, Paris, and Brussels in Summer. My mum, in her 70s, is coming with me.”

“However, she doesn't walk as long and fast, and I would like to see some places (museums, markets, hiking routes). What are your tips on not exhausting mother while visiting as many sites as I want?” Here are the top-voted tips.”

10.  Check for Elevators

“Make sure your accommodations have elevators. Not always guaranteed in smaller places in Europe,” replied one. “Be aware that many buildings in London and particularly Paris do not have lifts and that first-floor British means second-floor American,” replied another.

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9.  Prepay Admissions

“For big tourist attractions that you want to go to, look into a timed entry, pre-paying admission, and anything that will let you skip having to line up to get in,” one person suggested.

8.  Plan Stops into Your Days Events

“I guess I am the older and slower mom. I travel a lot with my 20-something daughters. From my point of view, I am happy not to do everything they do. Go to the market and poke around a bit, then I'll find a table to people-watch while they explore a little farther.”

“Maybe keep an eye on how far you have to walk to get to the attraction, and once there, it is easy to mitigate the number of steps required to enjoy the attraction,” one mom shared. 

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7.  Proper Footwear

“My friend went with their mother to Italy, and within two days, her mother fell on uneven stone steps and broke her hip. They spent the subsequent two weeks of the trip trying to coordinate how to airlift her back to North America from an Italian hospital so she could have surgery.”

“So I recommend wearing proper footwear and being aware of uneven stone steps. It's common everywhere in Europe and not something we deal with often here,” another person suggested. 

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6.  Train Your Body

“I had my mom start training before we left. I got her a fitness watch and set a reasonable but semi-aggressive daily walking goal. She did it and was much happier on our trip. I also researched cafes near the museum or whatever to rest and people-watch (it was amazing to go slower),” one user recalled.

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5.  Taxi/RideShare

“Taxis and Uber will likely be easiest on her. However, there are also several cobbled streets, and a wheelchair will be difficult to maneuver,” one user stated. “It looks best to Uber/taxi to indoor places (such as museums) and let her explore at her own pace,” another agreed. 

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4.  Join a Tour Group

“I never join tour groups for any of my travels, but in this case, I'd say it's better to join a tour group. Costco Travel offers excellent packages. If you have a bigger budget, have a travel agency arrange everything for you, including hiring a car,” another traveler suggested. .

3.  Folding Chairs

“Large museums like the Louvre in France have free folding chairs that you can borrow. Even if she is against a wheelchair, a folding chair that you can carry is a small accommodation that can improve the experience for her.”

“When I was in my 20s and touring Europe, I wondered where people got those nifty chairs. Make a plan of what you want to visit, and then check out the websites for accessibility options,” another stated.

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2.  Reserve Wheelchair

“Reserve a wheelchair at the airport in advance. Check with your airline. We went to London last year and discovered that not all tube stops have elevators. Check-in advance (wheelchair logo) while planning your route, Or just Uber if the walking distance is too great from the tube stop,” replied one traveler. 

1.  Hop On and Hop Off Buses

“Use the hop on, hop off buses for transportation. They go to most places a tourist would want to be anyway, and you'll save her feet quite a bit,” said one. “London buses – the tube has a lot of stairs but seeing London from the buses is a nice experience!” another person commented.

We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of tips for traveling with an elderly parent or friend. Also, check out the top destinations for spiritual enlightenment. 

This article originally appeared on The Impulse Traveler.

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