Traveling with senior parents doesn’t have to be a drag. On the contrary! Helping your parents get out of their comfort zone and sharing with you once in a lifetime experiences is something none of you will ever forget. Take a look at these three amazing experiences in Cape Town & Kruger National Park, Cuba, and Tenerife – The Canary Islands and get inspired to travel with your parents (or convince your kids to take you!).
Cape Town & Kruger National Park Safari – Pamela Chieffallo from Travel like a Chieff
Pamela’s family on Safari
My husband and I surprised our parents with a trip to South Africa last year, and they are still raving about it! We chose the destination based on activities that would suit my 70-year-old father in law, the most senior of the group, without sacrificing fun and adventure.
Our first stop was Cape Town, where we rented a luxury villa in Camps Bay; the perfect option for a family wishing to spend time together. We visited Boulders Beach, dined at a World’s Top 50 Restaurant, spent the day wine tasting in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, saw one of the “new” seven wonders of the world – Table Mountain, toured Robben Island, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, and Chapman’s Peak.
Vineyard in Cape Town
All in the comfort of a private luxury vehicle, courtesy of Rhino Africa to ensure no one got too fatigued. Our final stop was Londolozi in Kruger National Park for a three-day Safari. This is where we witnessed our parents turn into awe-struck children and where the vacation became a trip of a lifetime.
A Safari is truly an authentic experience and the memories last a lifetime. Our parents can vouch for that! It is suitable for most physical levels, and everything is pre-planned. You just need to show up and have a wonderful time!
Pamela and Her Family During Their Lovely Safari
Cuba – Jennifer Riley from The Rainbow Route
Jennifer & Her Mother in Cuba
When my 65-year-old mom decided she wanted to do a mother-daughter trip, it didn’t take me long to decide on Cuba as our destination. My mom had never been overseas before, so I wanted to give her a trip that would broaden her horizons, but not be too far out of her comfort zone.
Cuba, Havana in particular, is an affordable destination with a unique culture, as well as lots of interesting things to take photos of on slow walks. Taxis were readily available for when our feet got sore, and there were plenty of mojitos to keep us both in good spirits.
It helped considerably that I speak Spanish so that my mom was able to take part in conversations without having to stress about the language barrier. Cuba is a destination better suited to a person who can go without certain conveniences and has an adventurous attitude.
It is also a very safe country, so I never had to worry about her personal safety while I took care of the other details – like finding a room for the night and navigating winding streets.
Tenerife, Canary Islands – Maria from Tigrest
Tenerife – Canary Islands
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands (Spain). Thanks to its location, the temperatures rarely drop below +20C (even in winter months) making it an ideal winter destination for most Europeans.
However, this is really not a party island – most visitors are actually middle-aged and seniors. Beach resort properties in the southern part of the island are a great investment for retirement, and a lot of senior Europeans already take advantage of that.
The promenade is easy to walk and stretches for many kilometers. Numerous pubs and outdoor cafes offer live music (classic, 90’s) throughout the night. Every now and then you see happy couples finishing their evening walk before heading home for the night.
Even the biggest resort – Playa de Las Americas – is a very peaceful place, perfect for seniors to relax and enjoy the ocean, sun, and sangria.
The food is delicious – traditional Spanish flavors along with Canary specialties. You simply can’t miss tasty seafood, cute salty mini-potatoes (papas arrugadas), sauces made from herbs (mojos), paellas, and tapas. Everything is fresh and really delicious.
Although there are many other, much more peaceful resorts, Playa de Las Americas is my favorite. Here you can read about what makes Playa de Las Americas the best resort to stay in the area.
Thank you to everyone that contributed to this post, including their lovely pictures. I am now more convinced of planning a trip with my mother outside of the United States. I also hope this post had inspired some of you to do the same.
Also, these three experiences happened during the warmer months, but if planning a winter holiday with your parents don’t forget to check out ‘The ultimate winter toolkit for older people’ where you can find a number of tips, including tips for a winter holiday with senior parents.