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- Tips for traveling with seniors
- Get a list of their must-see sights
- Do a health check
- Do a transportation check
- Research all the details
- Buy up front
- Plan for longer stops
- Ask about food preferences
- Include some local fun
- Bring water
- Go solo
- Know where to find the nearest hospital
- Take advantage of all senior discounts
Are you planning to spend a day (or more) traveling with MeMaw, Gigi or Pops? Traveling with seniors requires a little more advance planning and some considerations to ensure the comfort and convenience of everyone in the group. These 12 tips were compiled after a day of traveling with seniors on a New York City adventure.
Disclosure: The writer was provided consideration by the brands mentioned.
Tips for traveling with seniors
Think your hometown is boring? Lead a multigenerational trip around town and you will rediscover the beauty of where you live. I recently took my dad, his wife and two of their friends all around New York City, a city I tend to take for granted since it is only a 45-minute train ride away.
I had a great time with them even though I had seen these sites several times before. They were grateful for the private tour and I was grateful for the reminder of how wonderful the city is. But traveling with seniors isn’t always easy, which is why I’ve compiled this list.
Get a list of their must-see sights
Before you start the trip, find out exactly what your group wants to see, eat and do. In my case, my tour of seniors had to include the Statue of Liberty – they wanted to touch it, not just float past it. And they wanted to see the 9/11 Memorial, so I made sure that we were guaranteed to hit their must-sees.
Do a health check
How much walking can they do in a day? Plan frequent breaks to make sure nobody is overextended. My dad does not love long walks, so we bought tickets to ride the hop-on, hop-off double decker tour bus.
Do a transportation check
Make sure that the public transportation you’ve chosen for your group is appropriate. The City Sights NY bus we took made all the stops but it only had one level – upstairs, uncovered. Great for sightseeing with kids. Not good for freezing seniors.
Research all the details
Doing your research ahead of time will definitely save undue aggravation. My group wanted to go in the Statue of Liberty monument so we took a Statue Cruise . The New York Pass would get us a free ferry ride to the island but not admission – you have to purchase those tickets separately. And did you know that if you want to tour the crown, you have to reserve several weeks in advance? Imagine how disappointed my group would have been if we’d taken the trek out there only to be turned away?
Buy up front
If you can purchase activity tickets ahead of time, do so. In our case, we cut some of the stress and much of the waiting by using the New York PASS for easy and fast entry to the attractions we visited. The New York Pass saved us time and money, which starts everyone out with a smile.
Ready to take a vacation with the grandkids? Get all the help you need from our Traveling with Grandkids Facebook Group!
Plan for longer stops
There may be entry lines, tired feet, hunger pains, and lots and lots of photo ops.
Ask about food preferences
Are there allergies, aversions, or foods they never get to try at home? My dad and his friends are from Kentucky, so we ate at Carmine’s, a family-style Italian restaurant. My Italian mother-in-law would not approve (it’s not the best food) but my guests enjoyed it and the atmosphere.
Include some local fun
We ate dirty water dogs and pretzels from street vendors – just because that’s what locals do in New York City. We took the subway and the train instead of driving in to the city.
No one in my group brought water so I packed extra. They drank the water.
Instead of dragging everyone of all ages around the city, keep the tour to just those of a particular age. My teens had plenty of visiting time and photo ops (see funny face makers above) at home. They prefer a faster-paced visit to NYC, so they chose not to travel with seniors. We were able to go at a slower pace that was perfect for these senior travelers.
Know where to find the nearest hospital
You don’t have to tell them you are doing this. Just know where it is JUST IN CASE.
Take advantage of all senior discounts
Lots of locations from venues, attractions and restaurants may offer a senior discount. Just ask because those discounts can add up to big savings!