Family Travel: Travel with a Senior

There are moments in life that we can never repeat, moments that will stay with us throughout our lives. One of mine is a special trip I took with my grandmother through Germany and Switzerland. During her three weeks in Berlin we visited Southern Germany and Switzerland by train. This was her first trip to Europe and her first time to travel by train.

Senior Travel Swiss Alps
Grandma Betty and I at Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland

Interlaken Switzerland
Walking in Interlaken, Switzerland

Swiss Alps
The Jungfrau

Tips for Travel with Seniors

Planning Tips

*Plan the itinerary with your senior traveler in mind. Spend some time talking with them about their daily activity level. Talk about your shared interests and plan your trip accordingly. My grandmother was 73 during our trip. She was active, and we were able to do quite a bit.

*Gear the trip to a level of activity that keeps your senior traveler’s ability at the forefront.

*Another key tip is to remember that your trip will be several days or more in length. What a person can do for a day, is very different than what a person can do at that same pace for multiple days with little downtime.

*Plan accordingly and plan days into your schedule that allow you and your senior traveler to have fun while allowing time to rejuvenate.

*Plan a relaxed day after a travel day. This allows for sleeping in and a more relaxed pace.

Switzerland
Exploring Switzerland

Freiburg Germany
Freiburg, Germany

I Need to Be Alone

Traveling with anyone requires compromise and it often spurs a desire for time alone. These are my tips for finding a little alone time while traveling with a senior companion.

Plan for time at a cafe, where your companion is comfortable. This will allow you to say I want to take a few photos, I’ll be back in a few minutes. This gives you a fifteen minute window to walk alone without being rude or obvious in your desire to be alone.

After a few days of travel, you will see a rhythm with your senior travel companion. They may like a break in the afternoon, or after dinner. Whenever it is, take time for yourself. Whether it’s simply to sit quietly or explore it is time for you alone.

Stops on Our Train Trip Through Germany and Switzerland

Kleine Scheidegg

Interlaken

Freiburg Germany

Accommodations

When traveling with a companion it’s a good idea to plan ahead and determine whether you want to share a room or have two single rooms. We were traveling on a budget, so we shared a room. It worked out well, especially with it being my grandmother’s first trip to Europe. I think our shared room gave her the security and comfort of knowing I was nearby in an unfamiliar country. Consider your location and your travel companions comfort and security when deciding on accommodations.

Quality Time

Making memories and sharing travel with a special member of your family is a gift. Whether it’s a day trip, a week or an extended trip the experiences and fun will be something you remember forever.

For other great travel photos visit Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox