Travel can be a wonderful way for seniors to stay active, explore new places, and meet new people. But the reality is that travel can sometimes seem daunting when seniors travel alone.
Fortunately, there are resources available to help seniors looking for travel companions find their perfect travel partner; someone they feel safe and comfortable with.
Be sure to do your due diligence on potential travel companions. Know what you are looking for in a companion and make sure the one you choose is properly vetted, usually by the agency provider.
Whether helping grandma get to a family wedding several states away, hiring a medical professional to assist during a dream trip, or simply looking for another compatible senior travel partner, read on for helpful advice and the best ways to find travel companions for seniors.
What are traveling companions for seniors?
Depending on a traveler’s needs and abilities, travel companions for seniors are those who share the journey; assisting with specific needs or perhaps just providing company and friendship in the adventure. A travel companion may be a family member or friend, but it could also be someone from a travel group specifically hired and skilled as a companion.
A traveling companion may be desired to help with limitations, assist with transit, monitor medical conditions, reduce anxiety, or generally provide companionship while helping out with whatever’s needed along the way. Not only for seniors, travel companions might be hired to assist parents with multiple young children, help with needs due to recovery from illness, or come alongside those with disabilities or special needs.
Traveling companions help make travel more enjoyable and safer for seniors by providing an extra layer of support when it comes to navigating unfamiliar places.
How much do travel companions for seniors cost?
The cost of hiring travel companions for seniors largely depends on the services required — and can be pricey. For example:
- Do you require assistance only during a flight?
- Do you only need help getting to and from your destination, carrying luggage, and checking in?
- Do you want a companion for the entire journey or only a portion?
- Do you require a medically trained professional who can manage medications, help with personal care, and/or transfer to and from a wheelchair?
Once you narrow down your exact requirements, you can then start to look for reputable help and estimate your costs. Services like FirstLight offer travel companions for seniors to provide expert help and care through an entire trip. Travel Care & Logistics, Inc. offers healthcare professionals to assist travel from door-to-door on commercial flights, charter flights, and even air ambulances. Companies like Flying Companions accompany seniors for as long as they are needed and provide travel assistance from start to finish.
What about seniors looking for travel companions just because they don’t want to go alone?
Many seniors want to travel but don’t really need special assistance, and don’t really want to go solo either. Instead, they might be seeking someone who wants to travel and explore too, with compatible interests to share in the fun.
Seniors looking for travel companions like this have plenty of options available, even if they don’t have family or close friends who are able to travel with them.
Travel companies for senior group travel
One option is to find travel groups specifically geared toward older adults, such as ElderTrek or Grand Circle Travel. These travel companies provide travel packages with travel companions of similar age and interests, making it a great way to travel safely and have some fun along the way.
Join a travel club
Joining travel clubs is another great way to find travel companions for seniors. Many travel clubs offer activities that can be tailored to older adults, making it easy to travel with like-minded people who share similar interests and passions. Additionally, travel clubs often provide discounts on travel packages for their members.
Use a travel agency
Travel agencies can also be an excellent resource for seniors looking for travel companions. Many travel agencies specialize in helping seniors find travel companions. They can provide advice on the best destinations, deals and travel companions that fit your travel needs.
Use online resources
There are a number of online resources for seniors looking for travel companions. Sites like CruiseCritic and TourDeMonde provide forums specifically dedicated to travel companionship for seniors. You can find travel buddies, group travel packages and more. Additionally, many travel websites offer travel discounts and travel packages specifically for seniors.
Questions seniors looking for travel companions should ask before hiring
Our best advice when hiring travel companions for seniors is to be thorough: ask plenty of questions, seek references, ensure the company you’re going to use is reputable with great customer reviews, and that yourself and/or your senior traveler feels safe and comfortable with their companion before the trip begins.
Here are some important questions to get you started:
- What is the experience of the companion? How many completed trips have they taken? Are they warm and friendly? When can we meet them?
- Can you provide references?
- How long has your company been in business? What is your safety record?
- What is the training of the companion? Are they certified (if needed) to assist with specific personal and medical needs?
- What sort of insurance does your company carry? What does it cover?
- What is the cost and what exactly does it pay for? Are there extra companion fees and/or additional costs we need to cover?
- How do we plan the trip with you to make sure all the bases are covered?
- Who keeps in contact with loved ones during the trip?
Do traveling companions for seniors need travel insurance?
Hired travel companions for seniors should have liability insurance, as well as travel insurance. Seek out a plan with solid emergency medical coverage and emergency transportation benefits.
Consider adding a Cancel for Any Reason upgrade to your policy. Ask if any coverage applies to a traveling companion for your specific situation.
With vast resources available to help seniors looking for travel companions, finding someone that you feel safe and comfortable with is much easier, and your journey will be one to remember.
Before you travel, check out these senior travel tips.
Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance — we’re here to help you find the right coverage for your trip
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