Planning a holiday with your elderly parents? Three generations of a family travelling together? A family holiday can be a wonderful way for family members of all ages to get to know one another. However, as sentimental as the holiday might sound, if you fail to plan, it could be a living nightmare!
6 things to remember when booking a holiday for a variety of ages:
1. Make sure your holiday suits all the family and allow everyone a voice, especially if you’re sharing costs. A beach holiday may be great for kids, but if the daily trek to build sandcastles involves a walk down a steep cliff (and a hike back up to go to the toilet), then it’s hardly ideal. And while your parents may love exploring museums, teenagers could get bored. It’s a holiday, so make it fun for everyone.
2. Be realistic about how long you want to be away together. You may feel you deserve a two-week break, but would that be too much for your parents, who perhaps don’t often leave their home?
3. Is flying still possible, or can your elderly relatives only cope with a short car journey? If you are arranging flights, booking in advance through the airline will help you to organise different levels of airport assistance. From your parents’ front door, to the terminal drop-off, through customs, onto the plane (including on board narrow aisle chairs) and assistance when arriving at your destination.
4. Don’t overpack! Families have a tendency to pack everything kids use at home. However, at the end of a long day of travelling, there is a good chance you will end up carrying a child or pushing a wheelchair or buggy; you certainly don’t want to be carrying huge amounts of luggage, too.
5. As you get older or start suffering from reduced mobility from problems such as illness or injury, getting into, or as is quite often the case, getting out of your bath may become difficult or even dangerous for some. Before booking your holiday it’s important to consider how your elderly family members will get around the bathroom. Obviously they need to bath or shower too! But what happens if they can’t get into a bath or step into a shower? Make sure your destination is a hotel or villa with a walk in shower for a safer and more comfortable trip for your loved ones.
6. Of course, you have your flights booked for your trip, but your pre-booking shouldn’t end there. You might be used to arriving at a destination, getting a feel for the city and spontaneously picking a place to stay. This doesn’t work with larger groups! When you arrive in a new place, you’ll want to drop your cases off right away and give everyone a chance to rest if necessary. Pre-booking doesn’t end with flights and accommodation, either. Anything from restaurants to days out that you can book ahead of time is one less thing you have to worry about.
Remind your kids that while Grandma and Grandad may slow down the party, it’s not easy for them and they probably wish they could move faster. They’ll be out of their comfort zone, living in a different routine to usual and around small children which they may not be used too.
It can be really hard to cater for everyone’s needs on holiday, but take on board these handy tips and you’ll have a stress free travel experience.