Tips for travelling with elders in a flight
Is air travel safe for the elderly? What will happen if there’s a medical emergency during the flight? No doubt that travelling with elders is a bit different from a normal family vacation, but before you start to ponder and make a decision, check out our useful air travel tips for elders that can make the flight as smooth as possible.
1. Pre-flight Planning
For a safe and easy travel, ensure that your luggage is light before you leave for the airport. Make sure you check all luggages before boarding the flight. This will reduce time and hassle in security check in the airport. Wear loose and comfortable clothing. Slip on shoes is much preferred.
2. Discounted Airfare
With increasing age comes some benefits as discounts. Discounted airfare is seldom available to senior travellers, so it is worth inquiring the airline of available discounts. However, you must book reservation with the airline directly to avail the facility as discounts may not be eligible through travel agents or third parties.
3. Print and Share Your Travel Documents
Print and keep your travel documents handy. Make a copy of your itinerary and send it to those you are visiting. This will help them know when your plane is arriving and can make necessary arrangements if it is delayed. Remember to leave a copy with a friend or family member back home. Apart from this, carry copies of your passport ID, visas, travel insurance, emergency contacts, and medical information along with you. In case your flight is cancelled, your passport is stolen, or your prescriptions are lost, you can call your travel insurance company for help.
4. Airplane Boarding Assistance
Seniors who require special assistance can board before other travellers through priority boarding. Perhaps, they can also request escort help from airport staff to help get them to their seat.
5. Select an Aisle Seat on Long Flights
If the flight is long, choose an aisle seat that allows for easy access to the bathroom and allows you to stretch and move about during the flight. The freedom to move about or mobility is less restricted from an aisle seat. In case you are travelling with another person, you can choose seats that are across the aisle from each other that enables you to be nearby.
6. Airplane Travel Aids
Travel aid items such as noise-reduction headphones and travel pillows can help create a more restful environment, mainly on long flights. Keep compression stockings in a carry-on and wear them after boarding to reduce the risk of blood clots. Not to forget a mask or nose-and-mouth guard to wear in-flight in order to reduce exposure to infectious airborne bacteria.
7. Keep Healthy Snacks
Do not keep yourself famished in anticipation of unexpected delays – keep some healthy snacks like nuts, sliced fruits and energy bars. This is essential if you are on medication or you need to manage chronic health issues like Diabetes. You can also go through the in-flight meal schedule before boarding and get prepared accordingly.
8. Skip Alcohol and Stay Hydrated
Flying at high altitudes can sometimes lead to dehydration. Unfortunately, this becomes a serious problem for many seniors. In order to avoid this, carry a water bottle with you and fill it at one of the airport cafes after you pass through security. Keep sipping water all throughout your flight.
9.Keep Medicines Handy
Senior travelers must keep their important medications handy and that too in ample quantity, in case of unexpected delays. However, you can prepare an in-flight medication schedule, mainly if crossing multiple time zones, to assure the right medicines are taken at the right times.
10. Ask Crew Members for Help
With so many crew members available to help passengers, you should not be afraid to ask for help lifting your bag into place, or for getting a cup of water. Flying at 30,000 feet or even more through the skies is quite hard on the human body and you might be far more tired than you ever thought. So, take it easy and get help with your luggage.
Following these simple steps can certainly make air travel less tiring and complicated. After all, flying must be a rewarding experience for the elderly to see the world or to visit long-distance family members or friends, rather than be a headache for one and all involved.