This man went traveling with his 81-year-old uncle and wants to share what he learned

by Jack Smith
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Not wanting to disappoint their uncle’s Safari trip, one niece stepped up as his travel buddy to ensure he could go on his dream vacation. Along the way, they learned important lessons about traveling with an older companion, and share their experience here.

Plan ahead

Appease worries by planning ahead and be ready before you leave. Book hotels early, schedule the best safari tour ahead of time and know transportation options to and from the airport.

Seek assistance

Make your travels easier by asking for help and accepting help when offered. Let the airline know beforehand that you need extra assistance. This allows them to help provide transport to a connecting flight, ensuring you won’t miss it. While at your destination, allow hotel staff to help with luggage and provide guidance for tours.

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Print paper documents

There are many travel apps out there that hold all your documentation however, remember who you are traveling with. While you may be tech-savvy and have everything ready online, it may stress out an older traveler who is not as familiar with the technology. Print paper copies of all documents as back up to ease their worry.

Slow down

Arrive extra early to the airport and any booked tours. Be sure to plan rest days so your companion can catch up on time differences, and don’t overbook each day with activities.

Keep routine or comforts

Be sure to ask your companion what routines they’d like to keep while traveling. If they overheat quickly, need air conditioning in rooms or one with an accessible tub, it will be important to know ahead of time so you can book accordingly.

Overcome fears early

Before leaving for your trip, be sure to ask what your companion might be worried about. Knowing beforehand will allow you to make sure of the arrangements you’ve made, make changes, and talk them through it all together.

Prepare for anything

Carry a backpack or bag with extra supplies if your companion forgets something. Extra water, copies of documents, snacks, or sunscreen are great items to keep in your bag while out.

Insurance and vaccines

Book your trip with a credit card that provides travel insurance, or buy some before you leave. This way, if there is an emergency, you both will be taken care of. Also, check with your companion’s doctor to see if any vaccines are needed when traveling to different countries and arrange for an appointment beforehand.

Check lists

Prepare for the trip by ensuring your companion knows what to pack and double-check passport and visa information. Some countries require visas or passports that don’t expire within six months, others may not. Do your research and be prepared. Make lists and check them twice before heading to the airport.

When traveling with an older companion, be prepared, triple check everything, and be flexible to change your normal routine to fit their needs.

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