Among the top travel destinations in the world are found in the United States. Millions of tourists visit the country’s cities, national parks, and entertainment each year. A road trip with elderly parents can be a great way to explore all that the United States has to offer.
By experiencing a different culture and changing routines, traveling can improve mental health. An enjoyable road trip with elderly parents can be the ultimate family road trip.
If you’ve been looking for great ways to connect with family, you might consider bringing your elderly parents along on a road trip.
Traveling parties usually include a variety of personalities, expectations, and budgets. Don’t forget to consider everyone’s interests when planning the ultimate family road trip.
For example, being able to find a seat easily in a restaurant is important for seniors. If you see an establishment with loud music, dim lighting, and long wait times, avoid it.
Also, laugh at the family member who acts like a child even though they are adults. Except for injuries, most travel mishaps are comical. Here are some tips to help you plan a road trip with elderly.
Always Get Your Car Serviced Before a Road Trip
Old people will repeatedly ask if you’ve serviced the vehicle, it’s part of aging and micromanaging. Be prepared for this and service your vehicle before a road trip with elderly parents.
A vehicle that has been properly serviced before a road trip will make older people feel more at ease. Always get your car serviced to ensure a safe and comfy road trip with elderly relatives.
The car’s exhaust system
Get the vehicle’s exhaust system checked before a road trip with elderly parents. Inspect the car’s exhaust system for the loss of fuel efficiency and power.
The car’s steering and suspension
To avoid traveling with broken shock absorbers or loose steering parts, your vehicle’s suspension and steering must be checked.
The car’s wheel alignment and tires
Check the car’s wheel alignment and tires to prevent a flat-tire disaster. A tire check includes, among other things:
- Tire Pressure: Are your tires inflated to what your vehicle’s owner’s manual recommends?
- Tire Wear: Do your vehicle’s tires have good tread? Is the vehicle’s tire wear pattern uneven?
- Spare tire: Make sure that you have a wheel spanner and a good quality spare tire
Lights, indicators and electrical
Make sure that your car’s electronics, lights and indicators are not faulty.
A basic car service is important before a road trip with elderly people and includes:
- Topping up the car’s brake fluid, engine oil, power steering fluid, screen wash, antifreeze, and coolant
- Replacing the car’s oil and air filter
- Spark plug checks
- Check the car’s radiator and windshield wipers
If you cannot get your car serviced, rent a car. Putting your family’s health and safety first is crucial. Make sure that you are prepared to meet their different needs.
Health and Medical Supplies for Road Tripping with Your Elderly Parents
You’ll need to prepare medical supplies before taking a road trip with elderly people. Make sure you have the medications you need to treat heart conditions, hypertension, or other chronic conditions. Additionally, you should always have a first aid kit in your car.
On a road trip with elderly relatives, you should bring the following items with you:
To assist seniors in getting around, bring along a folding cane or a seat cane.
A lightweight walker
To make things easier, the cruiser II rollator from Nova is very useful. The rollator is easy to fold when not in use and weighs 10 pounds.
A transport chair
When going on a day trip, the wheelchair backpack can carry essentials. Include important things like a blood pressure monitor, a diabetes tester, and snacks.
When taking a road trip with elderly parents, make sure that they get a good night’s sleep. Try including these bedroom essentials:
- If incontinence is a concern, buy disposable bed underpads. If needed, bring wide, clear packing tape to secure the edges of the underpad to the bed. The pad can be thrown away the next morning.
- A portable bed rail with built-in storage. Take a portable bed rail to make getting out of bed easier. Several gripping devices come with pouches, so people can keep essentials close by.
- A favorite pillow and blankie
It is important to always plan ahead, pack carefully and inform everyone before taking a road trip with elderly people.
How to Plan the Ultimate Relaxing Family Road Trip
If you ensure comfort when you travel, you will experience the ultimate family road trip. When planning a road trip with elderly parents, ask them first and don’t force them. Ensure safety, comfort, and overall enjoyment of a road trip with elderly folk with these tips.
Your family road trip essentials include:
- Check your vehicle’s fluid levels and tire pressure throughout your journey
- Keep your elderly passengers hydrated
- Eat healthy snacks to maintain regular meal schedules.
- Plan your route, not just for a bathroom break, but also for stretching and fresh air
- Consider the weather
- Pack a light jacket or blanket to keep your elders comfortable
- Prepare an emergency kit that includes a healthy snack, bottled water, and a first aid kit
- Limit the number of bags per person
- Use laundry services while on your road trip with elderly parents
- Seek family assistance
- Plan family events
- Take turns escorting elder relatives to the bathroom
- Always provide your elders with a comfortable place to sit
- Don’t be in a rush or get impatient
The elderly tend to move slower and may not always have everything they want with them. When traveling with seniors, the best time to leave for a long road trip is early in the morning. Things might take longer, so being early is more comfortable for everyone.
Plan down to the minute and let your elders know upfront what / where / why. If your elder prefers a quieter atmosphere, then taking them to a restaurant that is crowded with people is not the best idea. Keep in mind when on a road trip with elderly parents that however energetic you may be, they may not be. Communication is key.
Best USA Landmarks to Visit with Family
When looking for great vacation ideas for elderly parents, the US has endless landmarks. There are many fun things to do on a road trip with family. With summer’s pleasant weather, it’s the best time to leave for a long road trip.
For the ultimate family road trip, you can consider visiting:
US National Parks
There are 59 National Parks in the US, and the cost to visit a National Park on a road trip with the elderly is low. Whether you are in Death Valley or Canyonlands, Utah, nature offers breathtaking beauty.
People usually associate Arizona with cacti, rattlesnakes, and scorching temperatures. Sedona is a tourist’s dream, the spectacular red rock city is less than two hours from the Phoenix airport. The average summer temperature in Sedona rarely exceeds 90 degrees.
Disney World, Florida
When you hear “Disney World,” you may imagine the sounds of children, but it is a great destination for a road trip with elderly parents. While COVID-19 imposes certain regulations, the park still provides a pleasant and socially distant experience.
Despite Alaska’s low visitor numbers, its natural treasures are incomparable. Things to do on a road trip with family including visiting Alaska’s 17 national parks. Anchorage and Juneau are great for relaxing.
Pacific Coast Highway, California
If you are exploring the U.S. with an RV, then the Pacific Coast Highway is one route to consider. From San Francisco to San Diego, the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most scenic routes in the world. When you go on a road trip, you need to have the right vehicle.
Top Tip: Rent a Vehicle with Sufficient Space for the Family
When taking a road trip with elderly people, unimportant things can become annoying. However, your parents have had their fair share of drama as well, so you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.
A car rental is a good option if you want to have an enjoyable and comfortable road trip with elderly parents. While on your ultimate family road trip, you can avoid wearing out your vehicle by renting a car and renting an SUV or a people mover will simply make the trip more comfortable and enjoyable.
Remember to make the most memorable time on your road trip with elderly parents. Rent a car that is suitable for the terrain or weather conditions in which you will be driving.