I recently came across an interesting book entitled “Planes, Canes and Automobiles: Connecting with Your Aging Parents Through Travel“, by Valerie Grubb. It brought back memories of travel with my mom. I have in fact traveled with my mother on two big international trips – one to Argentina and Uruguay, the other to Ireland. Both trips were at the same time challenging and rewarding. It’s really not very different from traveling with a child.
Our trip to South America was definitely more challenging because we were doing independent travel. We flew into Buenos Aires, stayed some days touring the city and spent the remainder of the two weeks touring Uruguay. We went to Montevideo, Minas (in the hills), Punta del Este, Cabo Polonia, and La Paloma. My mother was mobile but she had to nap a lot. It was very frustrating at times, as I would be ready to head out and she would be ready to rest.
In Ireland we did one of those tour buses through the country. That trip was perfect for her because the tour group was all senior citizens and it was paced accordingly. It was kind of funny as I was the young person on the trip and always wanting to “go out” to meet the locals. We did both have a very good time.
If you are traveling with an aging parent (or with a child) plan for lots of breaks and just roll with the punches. If you want more sage advice on traveling with aging parents check out the book.