Travelling with Elderly Parents: What You Need to Know

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

I believe many of us have heard about or even experienced firsthand the challenges of travelling with our elderly parents. As you would naturally expect for the elderly, our parents may be unable to walk for long periods, need to go to the toilet often and find extreme weather not tolerable. Apart from that, they may have a travelling style that differs from the rest of your family as well as food preferences that are hard to cater to in a foreign place. Nevertheless, it is possible to have a fun and memorable trip with your elderly parents as long as you know and prepare for the problems that may arise.

For those of you who have yet to but are considering going on a trip with your elderly parents, here are 4 things you need to take note of:

1. Check with the doctors

The first thing you should do is to check with a doctor if your elderly parents are in a suitable condition to go on an overseas trip. Let the doctor know about the medical conditions they have, the medications that they are taking as well as the intended travel destination. In some cases, elderly persons may be advised by the doctor to receive certain vaccination shots before travelling.

2. Pick the right destination

The choice of country is crucial to the success of your trip. It would be wise to pick a destination that has a similar climate to your own country and has food options that cater to your elderly parents’ preferences. Additionally, you may want to ensure that there are convenient transport options within the destination country since your elderly parents may not be able to walk for long periods.

3. Plan your itinerary beforehand

It would be very helpful to do research and plan a detailed itinerary as that would reduce the likelihood of unwanted situations such as realising that there is no convenient transport option from one place to another, being unable to find food at certain places or having an argument over the choice of activity. Get all your family members who are going on the trip to state their preferences and inform them about the planned itinerary before the trip.

This would ensure that everyone is on the same page and therefore reduce possible conflict during the trip.

4. Make sure there is enough “manpower”

It may not be a good idea to bring two young children and four elderly parents on a trip with you and your partner. While some of our elderly parents are still relatively healthy and active, they may still need help with carrying heavy items or require someone to support them when climbing the stairs. It can be very stressful to have to tend to our elderly parents while the children are running around.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that there is enough “manpower” to take care of the young and old during the trip.


Going on a trip with our elderly parents means having to cater to their needs and preferences, just like how we would cater to that of our young children or friends if we were travelling with them. Rest assured that if you sufficiently plan and prepare, the trip will be a success, and you will be able to create a memorable experience with your elderly parents!

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