There are a variety of reasons senior travelers look for companions. Companions can vary in purpose, from simply having someone with you to enjoy the journey, to assisting an elderly parent who had a recent fall get across the country for a special family event.
What is a senior traveling companion?
Depending on a traveler’s needs and abilities, a senior traveling companion is someone who shares the journey with you. A traveling companion may be desired to help with limitations, assist with transit, reduce anxiety, or generally provide companionship while helping out with whatever is needed along the way. Not only for seniors, but travelers also hire companions to assist parents with multiple young children, help with needs due to recovery from illness, and come alongside those with disabilities or special needs.
What do travel companions cost?
Hiring a travel companion largely depends on the services you require – and can be pricey. Do you require assistance only on 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 (any level needed) from start to finish.
What if I’m simply looking for a travel companion so I don’t have to go alone?
Some seniors want to travel but don’t really need assistance. Some find themselves single and retired, and decide to look for someone who wants to travel and explore, but also be compatible with activity level and budget. This type of travel companion can share expenses while sharing the joy of traveling and discovering new experiences. TripSavvy offers some great tips on how to find a good travel companion match and where to find other senior travelers with similar goals. SixtyandMe also has some helpful advice for finding a good travel partner, especially for women over 60 who love to travel but don’t want to go alone.
Questions to ask before hiring a senior companion service
If you’re ready to consider hiring, ask some basic questions to figure out if a company is right for you or your loved one. Here are a few 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 travel companions 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.
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, senior travel can be enjoyable and safe. Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance – we’re here to help you find the right coverage for your next trip.
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