Dear Savvy Senior,
I am interested in finding some type of travel escort service to help my elderly parents fly across the country. My son is getting married and would love my parents to attend, but they’re in their 80s with health issues, so they’ll need help getting there. Are there any travel services that can help us?
Looking for Assistance
Dear Looking, 
Traveling can be challenging under the best circumstances, but for seniors with medical problems, physical limitations or dementia it can be unmanageable. 
Fortunately, there are a bevy of companies that provide traveling companion/escort services to help with the rigors of travel. 
A travel escort can provide transportation to and from the airport, manage luggage, navigate the airport, sit next to them on the flight, help them to their hotel and much more. Some even provide personal care like medication management, dressing, bathing and feeding. And for those with specific medical needs, traveling nurse services are available too.
But be aware that these services aren’t cheap. You will pay for the travel companion’s tickets, the companion’s hotel room if necessary, meals, incidentals and fees. The price to accompany a client on a plane trip within the United States — including the companion fees and travel costs for all parties — can range anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the flight transfers and length of the trip. 
To locate a travel companion service in your area, search online for “senior travel companion” or “senior travel escort,” followed by your parent’s city or state. Or use an experienced national service like Flying Companions (www.FlyingCompanions.com), Travel Helpers (www.GoTravelHelpers.com) or FirstLight Home Care (www.FirstLightHomeCare.com).
Or, for medical travel companions, do a search for “traveling nurse escort” or “medical travel companion,” or check out Travel Care and Logistics (www.YourFlightNurse.com), which provides registered nurses as escorts. 
If you’re interested in hiring a travel companion service, there are a number of things you need to check into to ensure you get the right escort.
First, if your parents require personal or medical care while traveling, find out if the escort is trained to manage their healthcare needs. What sort of medical certifications do they have? (Nursing credentials? C.P.R. training? etc.)
Also, find out how many trips the companion has taken with clients. Have they completed trips with travelers like your parents? How long has the travel service company been in business? What is the company’s safety record? What sort of insurance does it carry, and what exactly is covered?
Also, get a quote breaking down exactly what you’ll be required to pay, in addition to the companion’s fees. And get a list of two or three clients/references who have used their service and call them.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.
Currently in Williston
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