Vacationing with Senior Citizens-How to Have an Enjoyable Time

Medical Clearance

With summer fast approaching it’s time to make vacation plans. When it comes to vacationing with seniors, a little extra planning is necessary to assure that caregivers and seniors alike enjoy the vacation. 

You want to start with their physician. My mom's circumstances changed in January with the need for oxygen. So that can be a limitation. It impacts the mode of transportation, the accommodations and even the destination should you need healthcare providers.

Once you have medical clearance from a physician have them write prescriptions for extra medications. Plan the durable medical equipment you will take with you and what you will need on the other end.

 Take all pertinent information with you - list of medications; advance directives; medical records.

 Double-check your medical insurance coverage to make sure they are covered especially overseas. You may consider buying medical insurance for that possibility.

Above all, use your own judgment and common sense.

Start by Planning the Mode of Transportation

senior transport

Getting to the destination can be the biggest hurdle. Let’s face it, traveling by airplane for seniors can be a hassle even with priority boarding and wheelchair availability.

Senior citizens may qualify for a simplified security process at airline gates. If you are leaving the country, consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Plan. The U.S. Department of State provides this program, known as STEP, to assist travelers in an emergency. The program is free and voluntary.

Try to book direct flights. Allow for longer connection times and arrange for cart transportation.

If going by train, Amtrak provides accommodations for accessible space, wheelchair usage and oxygen equipment.

When driving, consider the possibility of a rental vehicle with more space and accessible features. Allow for more frequent stops for eating, stretching, and using the restroom.

Make sure senior has support stockings to help prevent leg pain and numbness and improve circulation.

Consider professional assistance from a travel agent.

Remember the slower the mode of transportation, the longer the trip could be and transportation choice may help you narrow your focus on destination.

Choosing Where to Go

Senior Citizen Cruise

Involve all family members in selecting activities and destinations. Giving each person a 'top pick' helps everyone feel part of the process and ensures a good range of activities.

Many resorts offer a wide range of activities so people of all ages and abilities can have a great time together – and separately – at one location.

If it’s more of a sight-seeing destination then consider the transportation options when you get there and the accommodations of the places you visit.

One day of active sightseeing needs to be followed by a quiet day to recharge the batteries.

Plan a slower pace vacation. Designate certain times for rest to reduce stress for the whole family.

Work with your hotel or resort to request an appropriate room. A first floor room, adjoining rooms, wheelchair or stroller accessibility, or proximity to an elevator is best.

Ask the hotel if a house doctor is on-call and request the telephone number. Also, write down the location and telephone number of the nearest hospital.

What Do the Experts Recommend

branson, mo

Certainly cruises keep coming up. Because once you get on board and settled you are good to go.

Branson, MO made many of the top lists.

Disney certainly caters to family and intergenerational vacations.

Road Scholar, formerly known as Elderhostel, provides thousands of educational tours in all 50 states.

The Huffington Post lists these five cities as the most handicapped accessible  – Las Vegas, Seattle, Montreal, London and Dublin.

Web Resources for Senior Travel

rick steves

Here are some online resources that can help boomers and seniors plan.

  1. Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel Online,
  3. Over50AndOverseas,
  4. Rick Steves,
  5. Senior Women's Travel,, trips for 50+ women with a passion for travel.
  6. Travel with a Challenge web magazine,, is a global travel resource, updated monthly, that speaks directly to the mature/senior traveler
  7. Walking the World,

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