Tips For Taking A Road Trip With Elderly Passengers

Road trips can often end up being a frustrating experience due to a myriad of reasons. You might end up getting stuck in traffic or with a passenger that has thrown up all over the dashboard, though that isn’t very likely. Still, having to drive long distances can get very tedious very soon. This is why it is advisable to prepare for a long trip beforehand; to minimize any risk of something going wrong.

It is quite easy to see why travelling with someone dependent on you can become a difficult chore. Be it a baby that needs constant attention or an elderly person that is agitated or sickened by the constant movement and rocking of the vehicle. So we will be going over some tips in this post. Tips to help you prepare the next time you have to go on a long trip with an elderly person, and hopefully make the experience much more pleasant for all parties involved.

Make Them Comfortable

The more comfortable an elderly person finds his accommodations the happier they are. Obviously, the elderly often have frail bodies and cannot stand prolonged discomfort. If the seating is not adequate for their demands they might start getting restless or even a little ill. If they aren’t allowed to shift around they might even start feeling a little pain. Make sure they have the best seat in the vehicle and lots of comfy pillows to place anywhere they please. Your much younger body may be able to shrug off small inconveniences but the elderly don’t have it so good.

Another thing that can make them feel comfortable is the use of weighted lap pads. If you are interested to learn more about these, you may read our article about What are Weighted Lap Pads and Their Benefits?

Bring Along Medicine

No matter how comfortable you make them, you can never be completely certain that an elderly passenger will not get sick during the trip. Bringing along all common and necessary medicine is never a bad idea. If the trip isn’t too long and the elderly passenger requires a regular dose of something, never assume you will reach your destination on time. Always be extra careful and bring along whichever medicine they need a dose of in case something goes wrong and you don’t make it in time. The last thing you want on your road trip is the elderly passenger missing a dose and falling ill.

Give Them Something To Occupy Them

It’s no secret that time passes faster if you’re doing something you like. And travelling down a long stretch of road for hours and hours can bore anyone to death. For this reason it can be a pretty good call to bring along something to keep the elderly passenger occupied. They might even start feeling ill if they have nothing to do. However, if they have something to focus on, they have a better chance of getting through the journey without problems. Perhaps a good book or an audiobook will suffice. Maybe a card game in the backseat. Or maybe they prefer watching some videos on a tablet or smartphone. What you decide is up to what the passenger likes, though bringing along more than one option is also a smart move.

Schedule Rest Stops 

Making the elderly passenger as comfortable as possible is a great step in the right direction, but you should definitely schedule some stops along the way. Stopping at some place for a few moments can breathe new life in all the passengers as they can get out and stretch their legs and maybe even buy something to eat or drink. These stops can also be excellent opportunities for a quick trip to the restrooms. Another good idea would be to always ask the elderly passenger if they’re ready to head back out again. If you are looking for more recommendations on how you can keep seniors safe and comfortable in the car, whether they are your passengers or they are the ones driving, our list of Useful Car Aids for Seniors may help.

Bring along Food and Water

A bit of a no-brainer this one. It’s a common rule to bring along food and drink on long road trips. But if for some reason you are one of the people who don’t bring along edibles, it would be very unwise to not do so when you have an elderly person with you. Older people get weakened by long trips and require constant sustenance to stay healthy. You would be saving yourself a ton of headache by bringing along a healthy amount of food and water. Bonus simplicity for the trip if it is food the elderly passenger really enjoys.

Have Long Conversations

Another excellent way to pass the time during a long road trip is to converse about topics you both find interesting. Try to create a jovial mood inside the car and have friendly discussions on a variety of topics. If the elderly passenger is also a close family member this can be the perfect opportunity to bond with them. Share stories with them or reminisce fondly on the past and share a good natured laugh every now and then. This experience would be immensely beneficial to both of you and it will help pass the time in a fun manner that also keeps the elderly passenger feeling happy and relaxed.

Ask And Ask Again If They Require Something

Remember, the more comfortable an elderly person feels the better the trip goes for everyone. To make them as comfortable as possible, ask them if they need something done or if you can make them more comfortable somehow. If they politely decline, try again after a short time. Even if they don’t require anything, their health will be bolstered just because of them being cared for so diligently, and they will be less likely to create problems.


And that’s about it. Slam the trunk closed and settle old grandma in between her cushions and let’s head out. These few very simple and very easy to do tips should make your road trip much easier. In the meanwhile, if you’re looking for tips or other help on looking after elderly patients we have a ton of articles to choose from. Eating essentials for elderly patients is a good one. So is our buying guide on the best transfer benches for elderly people.