Distant Family and Senior Health Issues

Distant Family and Senior Health Issues

Over the years, many seniors move away from siblings, children and their extended family.  Distance grows because of work, financial, housing or lifestyle choices.  As seniors, we encounter health issues for the first time.  Distant family and senior health issues combine to create concerns new and complications.  However, these are concerns that cannot be ignored despite the miles.

Distant Family and Senior Health Issues

My wife and I are on the west coast.  Our family, at least my side, are on the east coast.  We only see each other once every couple of years.  Because of the of the distance, we keep up relationships with texts and FaceTime.  Because my oldest sister has been sick for awhile, we decided to visit her and have a little vacation on Cape Cod at the same time.  Senior health issues seem are frequently the reason for travel with family members are far apart. Over the years, we have compiled some senior travel tips.  We attempted to use them all for this cross country excursion.

Discount Fares

With just a week for the trip, we decided to fly. senior health issues necessitate travel to family members Because we bought the cheapest tickets we had to pay for everything.  Assigned seating was $12 each for every flight.  A carry on was $30 each way.  Despite the extras, we had cheap flights because we did not need to carry much with us.  With planning, we have found that discounts fares are great.  An unexpected benefit of the cheap tickets was that our row was not full on any of the flights.

Small Airports

We fly out of our regional airport.  It means an extra, short flight to a major airport.  Regional airports cost a bit more.  But, they make flying much easier.

The TSA lines are short.  There is a great restaurant on site.  It’s not necessary to be at the airport hours in advance.  Because the airport is close to home, there is no driving time involved.  Usually, someone is able to give us a ride so there is no cost involved for parking the car.  The inconvenience of an extra flight is far outweighed by how much easier the departure process is at a regional airport.  From our point of view, when senior health is involved, things should be as easy as possible.

Travel Light

Inexpensive tickets mean carrying on only one personal item each.  This can be a Travel if senior health issues are the reasonback-pack, computer bag, or a purse.  A carry-on bag can be up to $30.  A full size suitcase is $50.  We have found that one carry-on between us and two backpacks are adequate for short trips.  I usually don’t carry toiletries because they are inexpensive to buy where we are staying.  Everything that needs to be presented at the TSA checkpoint is kept in one backpack for easy access.  The backpacks are light and easy to manage in the airport.

Rental Cars

We get the cheapest rental car possible with cruise control and air conditioning.  This is particularly true if our destination is not far from the airport.  It is often very inexpensive to rent a car from an off site agency because they are not paying the airport transportation tax.  We have found that an Uber to and from an off site rental agency can save up to $25/ day on the car rental.  However, the convenience of renting a car at the airport is nice.  Reserving a rental car online does not require payment so changing pick up times is usually not a problem.


My wife and I like our privacy.  We don’t like having to be “on all the time. As well, we don’t like making other family feel like they have to entertain us.  So, we almost always stay in a hotel when visiting family.  We aren’t extravigent, but we do try to choose accommodations that are comfortable, near to fun things to do and in nice settings.

Staying on the Cape made dealing with health issues easier.

Traveling during the off-season helps.  We choose a hotel on the ocean,  close to night life and not too far from my sister.   Price is always a consideration, but comfort and proximity usually win out over price.

A Reason to Travel

I find the older I get, the more I want to stay put.  Family illness is not the best reason to decide to travel, but it is a reason.  For us, traveling means encounters with the world beyond our backyard.  That’s fun.  We don’t like the security lines when we fly.  We aren’t happy with the traffic in some cities.  Sometimes, weather frustrates our plans.  But, traveling keeps us learning and keeps us feeling young…. even though we aren’t.  Our trip to Cape Cod from California brought me to my sister.  That was wonderful.  But it gave us a chance to play in a different part of the country.  We’re going to do it again.  I hope you will.



22 thoughts on “Distant Family and Senior Health Issues

  1. You gave a great many tips on things that I have never considered when traveling. I don’t have any immediate family that lives a great distance, but do have close cousins that live in the north and I am in the south. Am I understanding right that the only luggage you have are the two backpacks and the other bag? How do you pack your clothes to keep them from wrinkling? I don’t iron. so I don’t know if that would work for me, unless all I took was jeans and t-shirts, and of course under items. What is considered a regional airport? What would be the savings in flying this way vs. the regular way other than the obvious in cost. Do you save in time or are you still prone to layovers? When I flew, I was so uncomfortable because I felt like I was jammed into my seat. Are you more comfortable paying for the other seats?  I have flown one time and didn’t care for it mainly because of lack of comfort and the layovers. If flying the way you do, is more comfortable, I might reconsider this mode of travel. I had a very bad experience traveling by bus and the closest train station is two hours away.  You gave great information on how to cut the cost of a trip. 

    1. We have found that most rooms supply irons so the wrinkled clothes are a problem.  Flying out of regional airports is a bit more expensive but worth it because security and waiting are so much easier.  Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. Hello there. Thanks for sharing this post on distant family health issues.

    I grew up living with my grandmother. She got an accident whifh took her some months to recover, that was when we got separated. I usually go to see her; not often anyways because I was in school. So sad to hear the news that she passed away late last year. I think she was sick then.

    My kind regard!

  3. I’ve enjoyed reading this post, to be sincere, one of the reasons why some people don’t visit their distanced seniors is financial incapabilities. It is a good idea that you explained how you were able to manage and reduce the cost of your trip. I’ve learned a lot from it and I’ll make sure I apply it.

  4. I can see how looking at traveling and trying to find a more reasonable price can be helpful.  I know that my older aunts and uncles don’t like to travel much as it can be a big hassle.  Do you think driving to visit family that is only say 10 hours from home is a better option for people?  Can take your time doing it but have to be in a car for a long time.  I don’t travel at all so not sure about the best way to travel and I am also not a senior but was searching some options for my uncle that is a senior and hates to travel at all but with the holidays they are going to drive but it’s a 10 to 12 hour drive.  Thought I would ask you if you would think it would be easier to fly as you really don’t have a ton of driving involved and can get to the destination a little faster.  Thank you for the great info and I will come back soon to find out some more info.


    1. Thanks for reading the article.  Sometimes it is easier to drive especially if there is a long drive to the airport.  Two hour arrival before take-off, delayed take off, baggage claims, travel to ultimate destination all take time.  I guess it depends on personal preference and time frame.

  5. Being a senior subjects you to some kind of circumstances, like not being able to work or do strenuous chores, needing assistance more than before and mostly this period of one’s life makes you go back to being a baby because you’re liable to develop some health issues because of the deteriorating conditions of the body. Its our own duty to not keep too far distance from them. 

  6. Hi! I love your website!

    Family is so important, and being the eldest son in my family, I know what it’s like to live away from home for around 10 years. I studied at uni, 200 miles away from home, then got married, and lived far away from my parents. Now we have a child, I have recently moved back because as you say, the cost can be too much financially sometimes and we shouldn’t avoid travelling for the sake of cost. Now, my mum is over the moon I only live a mile away!

    Going back to your website, I thought I’d offer some feedback…. hope you don’t mind! 

    You website, is very warm, welcoming and bright. Easy to read and some great widgets to give your site a bit more life. The only downside, is that I found the links under the recent posts harder to see, but if they were in bolder text and slightly bigger, it would be perfect!

  7. Its very thoughtful of you to post such an amazing and resourceful article, keeping up with our family members is very important, most especially the old ones. This is because of monitoring, they need constant checking and inspection both emotionally and health wise. Its good that you shared your journey, I enjoyed reading through.

  8. Right from younger age, I have lived far away from my parent and such, seeing this here only makes me resonate with it because I always visit my parent often too. This is really good of a post and well worthy. I try all my best to be able to ensure that I visit them on a frequent level. This is really good and awesome to see here. Thanks for sharing this here as you seem to be a lot more knowledgeable on this

  9. What a nice article about your travel experience to see your sister.  I sincerely hope she is well and I am sure is was so excited and happy to see you.

    I must agree with you, maybe it comes with age, is that I dislike overly busy destinations or airports and when I travel it normally is out of season too. Prices for accommodation and airfares are so much cheaper and there are a lot of special offers to take advantage of.

    Thank you for your insight article and wish you happy travels.

  10. Very interesting journey. You have shared each thing which you have done during your journey for your sister. While reading your journey I start planning my journey with my wife. I am felling very happy while reading. I also decided we will also stay in a hotel white we go on trip etc.


  11. Thanks for sharing a very helpful article full of great information. I’m living far away from my parents and traveling to visit them has become a frequent thing. It’s good to get a few advice from someone who is more experienced with this matter. Thanks again for sharing your experience. 

  12. Hi James 

    I enjoyed reading about ways to be smarter when you are traveling. My parents are in their 70’s and sometimes they travel to go see their Great Great Grandkids abroad. I feel that some of the tips you have on your website could help them as well.  I am in my mid-50’s and I know that life goes by so fast that before I know it I will have blinked and will be a Senior Citizen myself. Even though none of us want to get old – we all should be able to “Grow old Gracefully” and happily prepared. 

    I love your Website !! 

    Good Luck to your in the future 🙂

  13. Thanks for this informative and useful post on travel to see distant family and senior members who may have health issues, as so many are faced with these days. I am a senior myself, and thus far have been able to maintain things on an even keel even with some health issues that I have had to deal with lately. I still travel and have fun.

    The travel gets harder but is less stressful as a senior I have found. The kids are grown so there is not to deal with, and as you rightly point out, you can plan for travel and make it as painless as possible. In spite of some of the issues that you mention (and irritations), I still like to see places and meet new people, even at 63! Great post and it has me wanting to get back on the road! 

  14. One of the valuable article I saw on the internet. 

    There have valuable tips for all seniors who have health issues and distant families. not only them personally those details helped me to travel  without spending a lot of money and without worrying about luggage.

    when I read this article I feel it like a story. I must say you have a great talent of writing. definitely I will be back to read your articles.

    Thank you for sharing this valuable information. Keep up the good work!

  15. I completely agree with you about traveling. We should all travel somewhere sometime in our life no matter what age we are. I. myself, aspire to travel to become a “citizen of the world” and meet other citizens of the world. Enjoy life while you can. There is so much more of the world to see and experience.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my article.  It is amazing to wake up and be able to say, “Where should I go today.”

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