Holiday travel is around the corner. Traveling with older parents does require pre-planning and this blog highlights my recent trip accompanying my mother to see her older brother and sister in law who live over 4,000 km away. Like any trip, it required organization but alittle more so to ensure we had:
A direct flight, a wheelchair available at both departure and arrival x 2, renting a large enough car, and most importantly I think, an adjustment in our expectations.
There have been some recent concerns regarding a lack of wheelchairs at the airport. If the senior was travelling on their own, they need to have a lot of extra time to wait. We were able to commandeer one. Travelers using or accompanying someone in a wheelchair does allow for a much speedier trip through security and immigration (tip one). We also booked bulk head seats; while more expensive it was really appreciated, especially for an overnight flight (tip 2).
As mobility and stamina are common concerns for many, as they were for us as well, we tried to keep to one outing per day.(tip 3). Most activities started after lunch time; rushing to be somewhere first thing in the morning does not work out well (tip 4).
The hardest part of any trip and visiting with loved ones who live far away, especially when one’s health is failing, is saying goodbye.
I am glad to say that my mother and uncle are face time/skype savvy. While the departing hug has to last a long time, it is good to know that they can see each other again tomorrow and the next day and the next day – thanks to technology and their IPADs (tip 5).