Summer Travel with Seniors

With travel back to pre-pandemic levels, people are itching to get away. But for older adults and their caregivers, travel comes with challenges — like managing mobility and keeping track of prescriptions. 

“When traveling with seniors, nobody wants surprises,” says Susan Diamond, a Chicago-area group leader for Road Scholar, a not-for-profit educational travel organization for adults.

Ensure everything goes smoothly with these tips:

Bring medical information. Keep photos of important medical information and emergency contacts in your phone, plus bring a printed backup. Pack medications in carry-on luggage, and bring enough for the whole trip plus any delays. Keep prescription drugs in their original, labeled containers with the drug’s name, patient’s name, and doctor’s name.

Confirm accessibility options. Call everywhere you’re visiting and confirm they have the accessibility equipment you need, such as wheelchairs, listening devices, portable seating, and accessible entrances. If needed, arrange a wheelchair in advance for flights.

Locate medical facilities. Identify the nearest drugstore, walk-in clinic, and hospital to wherever you’re staying. Find out if your health insurance covers medical care in other countries. If not, consider buying travel health insurance.

Explore caregiver options. Research programs for caregivers. Road Scholar, for example, offers caregiver grants for eligible programs to offset the costs of arranging substitute care for loved ones.