Anyone have any suggestions for a travel agent that can help with planning a vaction for the elderly and/or disabled?
Look into trips organized by Road Scholar (formerly known as Elder Hostel?) They are terrific.
there are travel agencies that focus on accessible travel...i just don't know the names offhand. look up something called 'abilitiesexpo' that should be in edison in April or May...they usually have a company like that
My parents loved the Road Scholar trips (I believe it is the same as Elder hostel, yes?). They went all over the U.K. and France thoughout their 60s and early 70s. But they were both relatively well and able to get around on their own.
what kind of trip are they looking for? And what is the disability or mobility issue? Many resorts/cruises are very accessible without much planning needed. If you are talking about something more active like a multi-city Europe tour, then you need to find a company specializing in senior tours.
PeggyC said:My parents loved the Road Scholar trips (I believe it is the same as Elder hostel, yes?). They went all over the U.K. and France thoughout their 60s and early 70s. But they were both relatively well and able to get around on their own.
I believe that Road Scholar was formerly Elder Hostel. Not sure if there were other changes along with the name change.
If they are reasonably mobile but use a cane or have some difficulty with stairs or walking quickly, they might do well on a river cruise. We did a Viking trip on the Danube last summer and it was wonderful. There were people who were unable to do the longer walks or manage spiral or other tricky stairs, but there was enough to see via coach and simple street level tours to make it manageable. I'd say most of the Viking (and probably other lines too) river cruises are essentially multi-city tours; you get a superficial but interesting coach tour of a city in the morning and a more in-depth trip or other opportunity in the afternoon. There were certainly people well into their seventies and probably older on the trip, though I think the larger proportion were in their fifties or sixties. Demographically we were right in the mainstream. The trip was good for us because we have discovered we have difficulty maneuvering suitcases on trains, which we had found a real challenge on our recent independent trips. The river boats don't necessarily have elevators, so if mobility issues are absolute, that would need further research to determine suitability.
More generally, it is hard to gauge what elderly means, and what disabled means to various people, other than the blanket assumption of needing a wheelchair. Lets of people in their late seventies and older are perfectly fit and not limited in terms of mobility, and younger people may have conditions that make them far less mobile. I think if your parents are interested in traveling they might do better researching on their own based on their interests, such as heritage travel, which is a big thing these days. Also, the AARP probably has advertisers/sponsors that could be useful resources--if parents are members they could easily check ore could check for them. I am sure there are travel agencies that focus on specific age group too, but with so many tours available that additional resource may not be needed. Probably better to target interests and type of travel desired.
When you say 'elderly', how old? Travel insurance is difficult to get when you're over 80. Depending how much older, and what your chronic conditions are, you may need special exemptions to be allowed actually on the planes or boats. (FIL needed special written approval to fly with his then early dementia even though at that stage he was still driving. Not just insurance: the airline wasn't happy because of the known effects of cabin pressure on some dementias)
even a regular cruise should be fine and they can pick excursions that would be easier for them. Or an All inclusive resort that's flat and accessible. sandals Whitehouse or sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica come to mind and the service is excellent- they'd be well-cared for and catered to. It all depends on what they want.
We did a trip with my in-laws last year. FIL was 80 at the time and we had no problem getting trip insurance. (We took the policy with the airline ticket and then added additional coverage with them.)
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