When planning a holiday for an older person, you should find something which won’t over-stretch them, that they will enjoy, and which caters for those with dementia or limited mobility.
In this episode of the Age Space Podcast, we talk to Debbie Marshall, who is the founder and managing director of Silver Travel Advisor, on why age isn’t a barrier to travel. In fact, older people are ready to enjoy a range of holiday experiences.
Debbie advises us to think of their limitations
f you’re planning a holiday or trip for an older person, be careful not to over-stretch them. Consider the age and stage of the traveller. For example, will they find using airports too stressful? Could they cope with possible queues and delays?
If you do plan to fly and require special assistance, contact the airport beforehand to find out what they can offer. Airports are legally obliged to provide special assistance to passengers that need it. Gatwick Airport is a good choice, as they have invested a lot in this area.
Debbie's top travelling tips for older people
Listen to the podcast for more of Debbie’s tips and advice for making travelling in old age as carefree as possible.
Take a Cruise
Cruises are a great option for older people travelling, due to their comfort and convenience. Once on board, you only have to unpack once and have the option to do day trips or remain on the ship. For a first-time cruise, go for 7-10 days. Lots of established cruise companies, such as P&O Cruises, offer easy mediterranean cruises from the UK.
What to look out for in accommodation
A lot of hotels and private properties (like Airbnbs) try to make the accessibility information easy to access on their webpage. It is also a good idea to look through the photos and make sure that the entrance, bedrooms and bathrooms are step-free and have accommodations for disabilities. If you don't think it's clear or you just want to check it is completely acceptable to ring or email the provider to ask about the accessibility details for a specific property.
Top travel destinations
The USA was rated the top travel destination by Silver Travel Advisor's customers. Reasons for this included the relative ease of travel around the country; there being no language barrier; and the US offers a variety of holiday destinations. Closer to home, Italy and the UK are also favourites.
Debbie is clear - get insurance. Use established price comparison sites to help you find the best deal. It is recommended to find at least 2-3 quotes before buying. Also make sure that the insurance you get covers everything you need.
A top tip for single travellers
Single travellers put off by single supplement charges, with flexibility on when they can travel, should call up cruise operating companies and ask what they can offer to single travellers, as this is often a good way to get a last minute deal.
Get support and advice
- Dementia Adventure organises holidays for people with dementia and their carers.
- Shearings Holidays have a dedicated help centre where travellers can ask questions to make sure their needs are catered for before booking a holiday.
- Enable Holidays specialises in holidays for travellers with disabilities.
- Limitless Travel offers coach tours with carers on board.
- Driving Miss Daisy provides home to holiday transfers, and also organises days out for people on their holiday.