Everybody loves to travel. Young or old, there’s something that’s just so appealing about exploring the world beyond your home. A great way to see the world is to travel with your aging parents although you may need to adjust your activities depending on your parents’ physical capabilities. While they may have enjoyed strenuous and challenging activities when they were younger, they may be in a different stage of life, and have different needs and desires.
Traveling with your aging parents doesn’t mean that younger folks have to give up interesting, fun activities when traveling with aging loved ones – far from it!
There are plenty of activities that are fun both for younger and older adults, which offer enough interest and fun to satisfy those of any age. Here, we explore 5 travel activities that engage older adults and their younger counterparts alike.
Walking tours are a fantastic way to get active while traveling, and see all of the sights that a new city or town has to offer. In cities, walking tours have the additional benefit of being very safe, and offering plenty of opportunities for rest, relaxation, and refueling with food and drink. Some cities have dedicated self-guided walking tours available – New York and San Francisco, among others.
There are also dedicated walking tours around the world – especially in the UK – that offer safe, enjoyable ways to enjoy the countryside and scenery, while still allowing visitors to eat and drink in restaurants and sleep in hotels every night. Some great resources for finding an appropriate walking tour for you and your aging loved one include Country Walkers, The Wayfarers, and Backroads.
You can’t really get a full perspective of the country that you’re visiting without getting into nature. Just about every city has lush and interesting landscapes, parks, and nature preserves around it, and getting out of the city to enjoy what nature has to offer in your particular vacation spot can be a great change of pace.
Nature hikes aren’t for every aging person – although generally, most state and national parks offer quite a few trails for persons of just about any physical ability.
If you need a change of pace, (or just some air conditioning) museums are fantastic destinations for you and your aging travel companion. Every major city has interesting and varied museums on just about every subject – talk with your loved one and figure out what they’d be interested in.
If you’ve already embarked on your trip and are looking for some great museums in your area, there are plenty of resources to turn to. Great Museums profiles over 15,000 museums in the US, the American Alliance of Museums has a helpful museum finder tool, and Museums USA features lists of museums searchable by ZIP code.
There’s really nothing better than taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of nature in a relaxing nature hike, and if you prepare well with plenty of water, food, and other basic necessities, it’s no more challenging than a simple walk in the park.
Biking is actually very light on the joints – more so than walking. In addition, bicycling is a more efficient way to travel longer distances, so if you’ve made the journey to a big city, renting bicycles or going on a dedicated bike tour can be a fantastic way to see all the sights more quickly.
This is especially helpful if you only have a limited amount of time to see the city – while walking tours are great, they often only cover a few square miles, whereas both professionally-guided and self-guided bike tours can allow you to see just about everything in the city.
Bike tours can vary from day-trips inside cities to extensive, week-long trips around the countryside and through different towns and cities. Biketours offers some good resources for self-guided bike tours, as does Backroads.
Historical Site Visits
Historical site visits are a fantastic way to spend a day, especially if you’re travelling abroad. Cities throughout Europe are laden with historical sites, tracing back to the earliest inhabitation of the regions by humans thousands of years ago.
Exploring historical sites blends the fun, informative experience of visiting a museum with a more active and flexible experience – while many historical sites do have dedicated museum centers, much of the activities you’ll partake in will involve exploring buildings, ruins, and other structures on your own.
Time to start planning your trip!
Traveling with an aging adult doesn’t have to be a compromise in fun. Healthy, active adults are capable of just about any activity – the sky’s the limit. Just bear in mind the particular needs of your aging loved one, and select activities that are appropriate for their fitness level and interests, and we guarantee you’ll have a fantastic time, no matter where you go.
Guest Post by Jessica Hegg of IG Brands.