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For my father's 90th birthday last week, we surprised him with a trip to Florida - specifically to attend the UDT/Navy Seals Museum Muster with the WWII UDT Veterans group on November 7th. It will be a nice break from the cold in Maine & these Vets are his peers (so no big drinking parties or swinging from the rafters) - after the Muster & associated events, we'll spend 5 days with my daughter in Fort Myers.


Pop is in excellent shape for his age - gets around on his own (a little slower since Mom passed), he does have to wear a diaper at night due to enlarged prostate, the only med he takes has to do with his prostate, blood pressure is good, both hearing aids are perfect & brand new (thanks, VA), his vision isn't too bad (also new glasses & such), has all his own teeth (minus one or two)...so there isn't a strong medical based concern about him traveling.


We've planned the trip based upon his needs and low speed. He's traveling with my sister and myself - my three adult kids are meeting us in Florida.


I think I've covered everything - making sure there are those "golf carts" waiting to transport us from gate-to-gate at the airports, reserving handicapped accessible hotel rooms (he doesn't exactly need them, but it helps make it easier), sending diapers to my daughter in Florida so he won't have to transport many in his suitcase, and preparing his carry-on items as required for him. Someone mentioned giving him those "airborne" pills to keep him from catching anything on the plane - what do you think? Also, any suggestions for snacks to carry with us during our travel days that the airline will accept? Any "lessons learned" from traveling with elders you'd like to share?


Thanks for your thoughts and ideas!

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Sendme - I'd love to do the RV thing,,,but I do my best to avoid even driving my husband's truck! LOL - Airline tickets purchased. My parents used to pack we 3 kids in the back of a station wagon & drive from TN to CA for 3 weeks every other summer of my childhood. My father's from Los Angeles - we'd go see family. Started taking that trip when it was the old Route 66. If I had the means and the time off and the gumption, I'd rent an RV for a long trip across the west again with Pop.
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If the roads are clear, I suggest traveling in a rented RV.
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Yogagirl, good suggestion, and thanks for thinking of the practical issues.

I'd add extra batteries for cameras or smartphones as well as the chargers, a notebook or something to make notes on photos taken, especially names and phone numbers of others in Fontes' father's range in case they want to keep in touch.
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Enjoy!! I suggest bringing along mini hand-sanitizers, and wipes to avoid catching a bug, and afternoon naps.
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Fontes, I've noticed that the Korean Vets, and even more so the Vietnam Vets, avoid discussing their experiences, even with others at the VA. WWII was a different, much different war though.

We were standing in line at the Eligibility section at the VA once and a fellow about my age started a conversation, eventually mentioning he served in Vietnam, then developed the thousand yard stare. Obviously I didn't pursue the issue.

Your father is very lucky to have you and such a supportive and loving family. You'll enrich his older years with your care.

I think Windy's found himself a good deal. Let's hope his wife approves!


Mina, the Ireland trip must have been a real highlight for your mother, even if she had been before. And it seems to have been so appropriate. In retrospect, your decision was very wise and timely.
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GA....excellent point!.....Windy, how about it?......Seriously, pfontes, sounds like you've done an excellent job and have this covered.....also, you have a loving extended family involved.....and, of course, most importantly, your Dad is still very healthy for his age and mobile. My sister and I took my Mom on a "surprise" Mother's Day trip back to Ireland when she was 88. Mom was still the "energizer bunny".....fantastic trip, beautiful photos and esp. memorable because sadly, shortly after that, things did start to go downhill for Mom. She will be 94 next month and is still beautiful, hilariously funny and in good spirits....BUT.....she now has moderate dementia and is wheelchair-bound after a series of serious falls and breaks.....sadly, her "travel-for-pleasure" days are over. So.....I say "GO For It!"....don't miss this opportunity....what a wonderful, memorable trip for your Dad and entire family....you won't regret it, and based on your post, EVERYONE, and esp. Dad, will have a fantastic time, in no small way, due to your excellent planning......ENJOY!
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GardenArtist - I hope the time comes soon for you to take your Dad on the Honor Flight. Our fathers served as young men and that service shaped their lives tremendously. The WWII/Korean Conflict era soldiers seemed more closed mouth about their service over the years, but as elderly men (and women) they seem ready to accept the honor and thanks for their service and share it with us. It's important to them.

If the Florida trip works well, I'll be looking into the honor flight next. Pop was also in 11th Airborne as a paratrooper during the Korean Conflict - I made sure he got the window seat on our flights for the Florida trip! He has perked up a little since our big birthday "reveal" - I do believe he's looking forward to it.

AND....I'd be willing to share windyridge with you...I get him for inside work & you get him for outside work! *wink*
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Windy's also an electrician so he can rewire your house for free! And he's interested in gardening too!
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No I would adopt you, then you would be responsible for my old age care! I'll leave everthing to you in the will. There's no money but I've got lots of tools, a little rusty now, a couple old guitars, and I'll cut down on the booze!
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I think this sounds like a great adventure, and what could be more exciting for a former UDT frogman than meeting with contemporary Seals?

I've been wanting to enroll my father for the WWII Honor Flights to D.C. but this isn't the best time now. Still, I think it would be nice just to be in a plane again even if it's not a WWII bomber.
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Awww windyridge - I'd LOVE to adopt YOU - no Will needed. Being a good daughter doesn't come with a price tag for services rendered.
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Ya know, after reading all the horror stories on the forum about no good, thieving, ungrateful children, I was kinda glad I never had any kids. But now I'm not so sure. So Pfontes, here's my offer: let me adopt you, I'll put you in my will and you can come get me out of the county poor farm in a few years and take me on nice trips. Oh...you'd have my wife too but she's easy and likes Florida.
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I appreciate the suggestions so far! I'm making notes! Windyridge - you're welcome to join us! lol... The reunion and associated activities are actually only 2 days and I've "blocked" out time several times each day for a Papa-break. My daughter has reserved hotel rooms for us on the beach with balconies overlooking the ocean for Nov 6 thru 8 - the last full day in the hotel is a day free of anything scheduled - so an Oceanside rest before the car trip to my daughter's home 3 hours from the museum. We have nothing scheduled for the 4 days with my daughter - other than a 1 hour professional photo session that will include photographing Papa & his two daughters (me & my sister). So again, it's all going to be a Papa's pace.

My kids could travel to visit Pop in Maine - but this is a rather special event - my son will only be able to join us at the museum/Muster event - he's a Veteran that lives in VA - he feels it's important that he be with his Grandfather (who was instrumental in his raising) - he'll leave us on the 9th. Nobody on this trip with pop is younger than 34 and to be honest, since Pop lives with me, I am looking forward to giving 4 other folks the opportunity to spend some time doing with and for Pop.

The fact that we are giving him the chance to feel the sand between his toes, feel the salty spray of the ocean and view a sunset from the beach makes me extremely happy (and sad at the same time).
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I guess all 90 year olds are different, but it sure seems like a long trip for someone that age. If he is up to the Veterans group event, then great, but I would be very low key after that and return home soon thereafter. Can't the others visit him in his home?

With a lowered immunity, I would also be concerned with plane travel. I've never flown that I didn't pick up something. I guess that can't be avoided though, due to the distance. I don't know if those immunity pills work.

I think I might look at the trip more from a 90 year old cancer patient's view than from someone our age. If he's up for it, then have a great time and enjoy. I'd take lots of photos so he can enjoy them later as well.
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Can I go too? If not will you set up my next vacation? You rock kiddo!
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Snacks should be solid - nothing like yogurt which TSA made me throw away. Individual packs of raisins and nuts. Grab a sleeve or two of his favorite crackers. You can make sandwiches for the plane and wrap them in a ziplock. Make your own trail mix in ziplocks. Keep all food in a plastic bag in your carry on so if you need to take it out it'll be easy. Have a great trip!!!
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It sounds like you'll have a great time! The only thing I'd say is plan lots of down time for your dad - like a break every few hours where he can just relax/snooze/chill. He'll want to go and go, but most seniors over 90 get tired pretty quickly. By pacing himself, he'll be able to enjoy the whole trip, instead of getting overly tired and then being down for a few days to recover or getting sick.

I'd also be sure he washes his hands a lot, so the "foreign" germs won't get him. And keep him well hydrated. Enjoy!!
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