How to Plan a Vacation for Senior Citizens with Limited Mobility
Today’s seniors are not your grandma and grandpa from previous generations. They’re more tech-savvy, active, and well-traveled than ever before. After all, it’s now common to see senior citizens hitting the road for road trips, booking hotels for vacation getaways, or searching for activities in their hometowns to keep them active and out of the house during their golden years. A growing number of older adults are taking extended vacations and seeking new travel experiences to add excitement to their lives. But these ventures aren’t without challenges. A decline in mobility, aches and pains from arthritis or osteoporosis, and other physical limitations can make planning a vacation tricky — especially if you live far away from family or friends who can help ease the stressors involved with planning an upcoming trip. Below are some tips on planning a vacation for senior citizens with limited mobility.
Decide on your travel dates and destination first
Planning a vacation is like planning a house: You’ve got to start with the foundation. Decide on the dates you want to travel and where you want to go. The first step in planning a vacation for seniors with limited mobility is to look at your calendar and select the dates when you can travel. If you have a special event, such as a family reunion, scheduled in the near future, you’ll want to avoid scheduling your vacation during this time. Next, decide where you want to go. The best way to decide where to travel is to let your hobbies, interests, and personality guide you. If you’re into hiking and walking, you might want to consider visiting a national park. If you’re a foodie, you might want to consider visiting a city with lots of restaurants.
Review your mobility limitations
Health conditions, injuries, or even joint pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk long distances, climb stairs, or stand for long periods of time. If you’re having trouble with one or more of these activities, it’s important to review your mobility limitations and select activities that you can enjoy without overexerting yourself. For example, if you’re experiencing joint pain from arthritis, you might want to consider visiting an art museum or an indoor shopping mall instead of hiking a mountain trail. If you’re recovering from an injury, you might want to consider visiting a city with lots of museums you can visit indoors instead of hiking a mountain trail.
Be flexible with your travel dates
If you have a specific travel date in mind, you might find that some of the activities you want to do will be closed on that date — especially during holidays and other peak travel times. A simple solution to this problem is to be flexible with your travel dates. If one date is not available, you can try a different date. If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you’ll have a much better chance of getting the activity dates you want.
Find accessible hotels near the activities you enjoy most
One of the most challenging aspects of traveling as a senior is finding accessible hotels near the activities you enjoy most. A good starting point when searching for accessible hotels near the activities you enjoy most is to visit a travel website such as TripAdvisor or Expedia and conduct a search using the “accessibility” or “handicapped” filter. Another option is to locate a travel agent who specializes in accessible travel and ask for assistance in booking hotels near the activities you enjoy most.
Use Mobile Apps to Help Senior Citizens with Limited Mobility
For example, booking a vacation online can be difficult for those who need a wheelchair or scooter for mobility. Many hotels do not have ADA-compliant ramps or do not offer accessible rooms at the time of booking. With the help of a mobile app, seniors can find ADA-compliant hotels and book a room at the time of booking to ensure they have an accessible hotel. When traveling, seniors can use a mobile app to find ADA-compliant attractions and restaurants to ensure they have an enjoyable vacation. Also, for international travel, there are handy apps that can help. For example, when traveling to China, a VPN for China (翻墙VPN) can be used to unblock websites such as Google and Facebook.
Talk to your family about assistance with traveling
If you live far away from family and friends who can help you with planning your upcoming vacation, consider reaching out to them for assistance with booking hotels, purchasing plane tickets, and researching for rental cars and nearby attractions. Even if they don’t live near you, many families enjoy helping with travel planning. Plus, it might help strengthen your relationships with loved ones.
As you can see, planning a vacation as a senior citizen with limited mobility isn’t impossible. With a little bit of planning and a positive attitude, you can enjoy a vacation like anyone else. There are a few things you can do to make it easier. First, try to stay healthy during the year, so that you don’t have any health problems that would prevent you from traveling. Second, familiarize yourself with the places you are going to visit so that you don’t get lost or confused about your surroundings when you are there.