4 Fun And Exciting Vacations For Elderly Parents In The United States


Vacations with the whole family can be rewarding... and challenging. Here are some family vacations for elderly parents to tag along that are fun and exciting for everyone.

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family leaving on vacation for elderly parents

Planning a family vacation is never an easy task.

Bringing along your aging parents can be a great bonding opportunity but it also presents a few unique challenges of its own. You want to find a vacation destination that has access to some fun and exciting activities. You also want a destination with the comfort, security, and amenities that seniors are accustomed to. Luckily, there a lot of destinations like this around the globe.

All of these particular destinations are in the United States because limiting travel time is often beneficial for the elderly. But if your parents are willing to make the extended travel then are many more destinations outside of the US.

Here are 4 destinations for vacations for elderly parents in America.

Sarasota, Florida

downtown sarasota florida
Downtown Sarasota, FL

The two biggest attractions in Florida are the year-round warm weather and the 8,436 miles of coastline. Combine these and you’ve got yourself one of the best vacation destinations no matter the time of year.

Millions of tourists visit Florida each year and a lot of those visitors are seniors. Florida has become one of the most popular destinations in the country for seniors due to its warm summers and mild winters.

Local businesses and hotels are aware of this fact as well. Many of the buildings are handicap-accessible and the businesses operate with seniors in mind. Frugal shoppers are also going to find plenty of discounts at the local shops.

The best part is that Sarasota is a great destination no matter how old are you are. Seniors aren’t the only people who will enjoy it. In addition to the beautiful beach, there are nearby nightclubs, events, concerts, and amusement parks for the younger members on the trip interested in a little more excitement.

Las Vegas, Nevada

the las vegas strip from above
The Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is an entire city that might as well exist indoors. It’s one of the best vacation destinations you could bring your aging parents because there’s no worrying about the temperature or the humidity. You’ll spend the majority of the trip indoors where the air conditioner is always running and the temperature is always comfortable.

Vegas has is all – from shows, to games, to concerts. There is always something happening in Las Vegas.

But unlike many other destinations, you don’t need to physically exert yourself to enjoy yourself. There’s no hiking through the woods, swimming in the ocean, or navigating a rocky slope. All of those can be fun activities, but they aren’t ideal for seniors. In Las Vegas, you can stay entertained from sunup to sundown without ever breaking a sweat.

When are you too old to win money at BlackJack? Ummm… never! Gambling is the main attraction in Vegas and it’s a great activity for anyone over the legal age. It doesn’t matter if you’re 24 or 67, your chances at the slot machine aren’t going to change. The oldest person in the group might win more than the cost of the vacation. No matter what, it’s a vacation that people of all ages can enjoy and that nobody will ever forget.

Denver, Colorado

downtown skyline of denver colorado with blue sky in background
Downtown Skyline, Denver, Colorado

Family vacations that involve live sports always seem to go well. A great way to do this is by visiting Denver during the fall and catching a football game at the legendary Mile High Stadium. The modern stadium has plenty of handicap-accessible options so it’s not a problem if you’re traveling with elderly parents who have limited mobility.

An unforgettable football game is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Denver has to offer the family. Denver is known for its natural beauty. There are hundreds of miles of trails that cut through some of the most impressive scenery in the country.

Hiking may be a bit much for some seniors. But if your parents still enjoy a little workout, then this is a great place to visit. Some of the parks have trails that were designed with seniors in mind. These are very mild trails that feature plenty of rest points along the way. Those same parks even offer significant discounts to seniors over a certain age.

Finally, Denver has an impressive selection of award-winning restaurants. You’re guaranteed to be able to find a great meal even if you or your elderly family member have serious dietary restrictions.

New York City

statue of liberty with new york city skyline in the background
Statue of Liberty, New York City, New York

What city is more well-known or beloved than New York City?

People live their entire lives there and still never experience all that it has to offer. The sheer volume of buildings, attractions, and events is guaranteed to keep everyone in the family busy as long as you’ve planned your trip ahead of time. You can also research individual events or buildings to make sure they are easily accessible for senior citizens with limited mobility.

There’s a reason NYC is considered the culinary capital of the world. NYC also happens to be one of the few cities with more food choices than Denver. You’ll find more diverse and delicious restaurants here than anywhere else in the world. Even seniors with the strictest of diets can find high-class restaurants with plenty of viable options.

As with the other destinations on this list, NYC has something to offer the older and the younger. There are dozens of clubs, parties, and other nighttime events taking place if you manage to find the time.

And if you brought kids along there are tons of family-friendly attractions in the area. Whether you spend the day visiting museums, art shows, or watching Broadway; there’s never going to be a boring moment.

Tips for Traveling With Your Elderly Parents

  • Pack the Essentials in a Carry On – If your parents have any medical conditions, make sure that you take some of their medication in their senior friendly carry on bag. Include any other essentials so that if your luggage gets lost you aren’t caught without those supplies.
  • Plan for Plenty Downtime – You may be used to keeping a blistering pace on holiday but your parents may want to take things slow. So build some extra break-time into the schedule. If things are going well you can add more activities later in the day.
  • Use Wearable ID – It’s a good idea for anyone with a medical condition to have a wearable ID bracelet that will alert medics to the condition, especially when traveling abroad. The bracelet should highlight conditions, medication, allergy and anything else that it might be important for a medic to know in an emergency.
  • Take Basic Phones With Good Battery Life – Make sure that there’s an easy way for the whole family to stay in touch. If your family aren’t big on using smartphones, basic ‘call and text’ feature phones will get the job done. Many still have built-in features for location sharing in case you get separated from each other while you are away.
  • Stick to a Good Routine – Try to maintain some semblance of a routine when you’re away. Get up and have breakfast at the hotel at the same time every day, agree to stop for lunch at a specific time, and keep to a normal bedtime as well, at least for the parents. You can go out again later if you’re still full of energy. Keeping to a routine will help to keep your elderly parents feeling happy and energized, and will make the rest of the holiday far less stressful for the whole party.

How Should You Get to Your Destination?

The travel to your destination is probably going to be the hardest part on your elderly parents. Think about their limitations and plan accordingly. Here are a few ideas:

  • Driving in the family car is a typical way to travel. But, you’ll have to stop often for rest breaks and leg stretching.
  • If driving is your preferred method, you could rent a van or RV to offer more room to your senior loved ones.
  • Take the train! Riding the rails on Amtrak gives you opportunities to move around while traveling. You’ll also get to see some sights along the way.
  • Take a plane and fly. Flying is hard on many elderly people because of the tight spaces. Getting in and out of the airport is usually the hardest part.

Fun Vacations For Elderly Parents

Planning fun and exciting vacations for elderly parents can be difficult, but it’s definitely possible. It’s particularly easy if you stick to the destinations listed above.

Each of the above destinations has a lot to offer young adults as well as elderly parents. Pick a destination, plan your itinerary, and let the fun begin.

Do you have any other destinations you would like to suggest? Please tell me about in the comments below! Also, if you found this guide helpful, please share on your favorite social media!

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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