Travel Tips

Hesitant About Vacationing with Elderly Parents? Here’s 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be!

Did you know that the average life expectancy is about 79 years old? How old are your parents?  My mom is 74 and as morbid as it sounds, I have asked her to list down about 10-20 things she wants to experience before she gets too old to do anything.  About half the goals on her list included traveling. And as stressful as it is, I’m making it a goal to fulfill it because of the time, she’s just at home, watching TV, or on Facebook.  I get it, traveling with your aging parents may not be the first option that comes to mind when you’re thinking about planning your next vacation, but it’s a must-do experience you and your loved ones definitely won’t regret. Whether you’ve never had the chance to travel with your parents or you’re teetering on deciding if you should take the family trip you’ve been thinking about for years, consider traveling now.  Let’s face it—your parents aren’t getting any younger. Aside from experiencing unforgettable memories with your family, traveling with your parents can raise endorphins, check experiences off their bucket list, strengthen your bond, and more! Here are five reasons why you should make travel plans with them.

1. Keep the Mind Sharp

Staying mentally active is imperative, no matter your age. Most people reach their mental peak in their twenties, but their brain power declines as time passes. Once this happens, information becomes more difficult to learn, and activities become more challenging to perform. The good news? Traveling can spark the minds of your aging parents.  Taking the time to travel to your favorite destinations can benefit your parents’ brain health and memory. Being in a new place heightens their senses and increases their empathy, energy, focus, and attention. Taking that vacation with your parents could be the healthiest thing you and your loved ones do all year!

2. Strengthen Your Bond And Be Known As The Favorite

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often forget about the times we could be spending with our aging parents. Luckily, traveling together opens the opportunity for reconnecting and understanding each other.  Strengthening the bond with your family helps bridge generational gaps with shared traveling experiences, whether sightseeing, trying new foods, meeting new people, or overcoming the little hiccups accompanying the journey. Each shared experience weaves a tighter bond you and your parents will cherish.

3. Check Off the Bucket List

Is there something you and your parents want to do together? Why wait? As responsibilities shift and more time becomes available to you and your aging parents, a door has opened to bring your list of travel dreams to fruition. Whether visiting a childhood home or exploring ancestral roots, accompanying them as they check items off their bucket list can be an incredibly fulfilling travel experience. 

4. Raise Endorphins

Traveling is associated with happiness and excitement; those feelings don’t just come from nowhere. Traveling releases our brain’s endorphins, increasing our mental health. If your aging parents need a boost in morale, booking a vacation may be the perfect remedy. Getting older can be depressing, but changing scenery and stepping out of their comfort zone may be just what your parents need for their well-being. In addition to this serotonin boost, traveling gives you a chance to practice gratitude for the experiences your parents have had throughout their lives. 

5. Learn Life Lessons A.K.A Learn The Family Secrets!

Parents are a reservoir of wisdom and life stories. Listening to their viewpoints and anecdotes can be deeply enlightening, no matter what stage of life you’re in. Travel can catalyze these conversations, providing context and backdrop for lessons your parents can share and imparting knowledge that textbooks and lectures often cannot match. This cross-generational exchange is truly invaluable and can reshape your own perceptions of your life now and in the future.  Traveling with your aging parents is a gift best opened before it’s too late. It’s also a compassionate nod to the cycle of life – celebrating the times past and seizing the moments that lie at your feet. Start traveling now