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Traveling with a loved one with infirmities

Do you or a trusted caregiver need to travel with a fragile loved one? If so, you’ll want to read this.

Trips planned even a year ago probably wouldn’t have stressed anyone out that much. Now with Covid-19 challenges paired with advanced age and/or infirmities, planning a long-distance journey can be daunting.  While many travelers with medical conditions can technically travel by air, there too many conditions that that may worsen, have serious consequences, or cause significant problems while on board a flight.

RoadStallion Use Case (Actual): Mr. & Mrs. Michaels; Mid-70’s; 1,250-mile trip from NY to FL

Mrs. Michaels has Parkinson’s with serious mobility and speech impairment, and moderate dementia. She is on a maximum dose of medications, which she can take every 12 hours, but which wear off after 8 hrs. She requires constant care and attention from her husband, Mr. Michaels.

Mr. Michaels has back problems bad enough that he cannot stand for more than 5/10 minutes at a time and complicates the full-time caregiving responsibility for his wife.

Having sold their upstate NY home, they were moving to Sarasota.  Most furnishings were to be moved by a moving company.  He did not want to ship 8 valuable/delicate musical instruments, large lithium batteries, their clothes, and the things he needed to attend to Mrs. Michaels’ needs en route (and several boxes and miscellaneous items that the moving company overlooked).

The Michaels’ were as Covid-conscious as anyone we have encountered – travelling customers or otherwise.  Though we wore N-95 masks, he asked us not to get into the passenger cabin once the trip started, even while they were in hotel room for the night and reminded us of this several times.  As well, they asked us to stay at least 6 feet away at all times, even though chauffeur wore gloves and mask whenever out of the cab.  They also asked that we place meals we bought for them, and then step back at least 6 feet away so they could retrieve them.  They also always wore their masks when stepping out from the RoadStallion.

These are the travel options that Mr. Michaels reported that he had considered:

  1. Rent an RV and try to drive down to Florida while managing Mrs. Michaels’ needs en route and to sleep in the RV. (He had one reserved, in fact).
  2. Private Jet Charter: $19K, with limited luggage capacity that was insufficient to carry instruments, let alone lithium batteries, boxes, etc. Travel to the airport would also have been immensely difficult.

Mr. Michaels’ brother told him of us after encountering our Facebook ad and its link to our Snowbird travel blog post. He called us.  The expression of relief was hard to miss.

Important considerations Mr. Michaels had mentioned:

  1. Separate passenger cabin
  2. Separate ventilation system for passenger cabin
  3. Toilet
  4. Day bed

We removed two of 8 seats, installed a portable RV toilet and prepared the day bed. We helped load and unload all their belongings. We also placed orders for and picked up meals en route, bringing them to RoadStallion or to the hotel room. We reserved and paid for 1st floor hotel rooms that were closest to entry doors, and we called ahead to check them in. We stopped multiple times so Mrs. Michaels could use the toilet without the RoadStallion being in motion.

We also stocked the vehicle with snacks and other food and beverage items the Michaels requested (cereals, crackers, bowls, milk, nuts, sodas, water).

The biggest impact was that we seriously reduced Mr. Michael’s stress in getting the trip accomplished safely and comfortably while managing his highly needy wife.  He must have said a dozen times how relieved he was to have found us, used us, and for having our help every step of the way.  We did not handle Mrs. Michaels, other than to pull out her seat/walker and position it for her use.

Mr. Michaels was taken aback by our personal attentiveness and assistance from pick-up to drop off, and very expressive of his appreciation.

Per Google, this was a 19.5 hour trip, which we estimated at 23 hrs with stops.  We would ordinarily have done this trip in 2 days, but Mr. Michaels asked us to break it into three.

We could have driven this trip “straight-through” by using two chauffeurs. This would have been an unworkable option for the Michaels.  But it is preferred by Covid-conscious travelers who don’t want to use public restrooms or stay in hotels en route.

We quoted the Michaels $6,800 for the trip, plus $175/hr over 23 hours.  Because of stops requested by the Michaels, plus the unusual loading time, the trip took 28.5 hrs. So it ended up being a $7,800 trip and they reimbursed us for hotels and meals, about another $350.

RoadStallion offers more than just safe and comfortable door to door transportation. As a complimentary service we can place food orders or book your hotel. If you request any specialty/personal items to be purchased other than what we typically offer (premium snacks and water) it’s just the cost plus 20%.


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