request for tour rec's for cancer patient

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Sep 19, 2019
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#1
My father was just given 6-9 months to live from prostate cancer. I would like to take my parents to see the UK again very soon, from where my father's family comes. Both parents have trouble walking for even a short time so I am looking for some kind of small tour group that deals with elderly octogenarians routinely or just hiring a private guide if it would make it more special. I am hoping to get them on the road as soon as possible while my father still has the strength to do this. I would appreciate any tips and recommendations you could give me.
 
Likes: FrankL183

Neil Maley

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#2
Find a travel agent to help you. They have many Suppliers they work with and would be able to match you with one.

You can find one bs led by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) at Travelsense.org. You can search by destination to find an agent specializing in UK travel.

You really should consider travel insurance as well - if anything should happen before hand and you have to cancel because your Dads health declines, you must find a policy that covers pre-existing medical conditions and his. dr must certify he was able to travel the day you buy the tour and insurance. You’ll also want this because it’s likely his health insurance doesn’t cover him outside the US.

Good luck and I hope your Dad has his dream come true.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
What a thoughtful and loving gesture.

If it is financially possible, I would consider a custom tour -- so that places that mean something to your father and mother can be visited -- and they do not get taken to places that are less interesting, because it may wear them down. I would want their energy to be spend enjoying something meaningful.
 

Carrie Livingston

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#6
I will second @Christina H 's suggestion to try for a private tour. This will allow you to adjust the schedule if necessary. We had a private tour when our cruise ship visited St Petersburg. My mom wasn't doing too well with walking so they even provided a wheelchair for her use. Definitely would not have had such a great experience with a public tour.

With private tours you are also somewhat able to skip lines since it's a smaller group.
 
Sep 19, 2019
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#7
Thanks everyone!! Yes, I'm gonna try to find private tours so my parents' difficulty walking is factored into the plan. There's so much info out there that it's hard to find what I'm looking for but tomorrow I'll give a travel agent I've used in the past a phone call. Thanks again! :)
 

Neil Maley

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#9
Thanks everyone!! Yes, I'm gonna try to find private tours so my parents' difficulty walking is factored into the plan. There's so much info out there that it's hard to find what I'm looking for but tomorrow I'll give a travel agent I've used in the past a phone call. Thanks again! :)
There are companies that can do a fully private escorted tour for you with a personal driver. It’s not inexpensive- but if you want something like this, it can be done.
 

AMA

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Dec 11, 2014
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#10
Previously on this site there were mentions of an organization that specializes in mobility-limited tours. Maybe someone else remembers the name?
 

weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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#11
Previously on this site there were mentions of an organization that specializes in mobility-limited tours. Maybe someone else remembers the name?
Without naming providers, google "tours for mobility challenged".
Also, Rick Steeves has published on this topic: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning/travelers-with-disabilities
One can rent or buy mobility assist devices (like scooters or wheelchairs). My wife just had a knee replacement 2 weeks ago so we have investigated these things.
You could also consider a UK cruise with private shore tours. A good cruise agent could arrange this for you. It would avoid a different hotel every day or so but give you options onshore.
 
Last edited:
Jun 13, 2019
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#12
My father was just given 6-9 months to live from prostate cancer. I would like to take my parents to see the UK again very soon, from where my father's family comes. Both parents have trouble walking for even a short time so I am looking for some kind of small tour group that deals with elderly octogenarians routinely or just hiring a private guide if it would make it more special. I am hoping to get them on the road as soon as possible while my father still has the strength to do this. I would appreciate any tips and recommendations you could give me.
My TA had trouble finding a policy that would cover us when we were taking a terminally I'll friend on a last trip. She found out that many companies exclude preexisting when a terminal diagnosis had been given. It was a challenge.
 

Neil Maley

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#13
There are companies that will do it - there are just policies that have to be met, such as a doctor clearing patient to travel on the dates chosed and certifying the passenger is well enough to travel the day they buy the policy. It's not something that is impossible to do.
 

Patina

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Dec 22, 2015
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#14
I was able to sign up for a policy waiving pre-existing conditions without asking what they are. And it didn't cost extra. Of course the age of the passenger will highly effect the price but I do believe its possible.
 
Sep 19, 2019
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#15
There are companies that can do a fully private escorted tour for you with a personal driver. It’s not inexpensive- but if you want something like this, it can be done.
Yes, this is precisely what I'm looking for. They will need as much as possible. I am hoping the travel agent can help find me someone. Your link was helpful but there are so many names that come back from a search result that it's hard to start.
 
Sep 27, 2018
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#16
rjames, having a father in his 90s I can understand what you need to plan for. The experts on this site probably have given you all that you need for the technical info to get started, however I would take a few minutes to think of likely scenarios. I see 3 major ones. The big one is if either one gets gravely ill on the trip, for that you need emergency medical and evacuation insurance, that you do not want to skimp on. The second is if your father takes a turn for the worse before you can travel. My guess is insuring for that scenario would be very expensive, and not very useful if the repayment is in credits instead of cash. This is value judgement only you can make. The third scenario is where you need to do some planning. This is when they are on the trip, no medical crisis, but they just get run down where nothing is enjoyable, can't sleep right, they don't want to eat and Mom says "we need to go home". I have faced that and there is no good solution. For that scenario the best bet is to plan on flights that can be changed and hotels that allow you to cancel. A little planning will make the trip more enjoyable, because you won't be haunted by the question of what to do if something arises.
 

Carrie Livingston

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#17
@FrankL183 wow! What a great post about things to consider.

I echo Neil's suggestion to have a fully private tour with guide and driver. That is what we had in St Petersburg with an 8 passenger van, tour guide, and driver. We tipped both the tour guide and the driver so that's something to keep in mind when you are planning. Since we were on a cruise, I used Cruise Critic for my research on ports. They may have research for ports in the UK to save you some trouble. An additional online resource is Trip Advisor. They have forums for many cities and you can browse those for information or create your own post to ask for information. Locals often browse their local cities forums so can offer "onsite" information in real time.

Trip Advisor can also provide research on tour companies for each location. But always book direct or use a travel agent for the booking. Do not use an "online booking service" like Trip Advisor to book. It's best to leave middle men out. A travel agent can handle all of your details from airline tickets, hotels, tour guide, and insurance.

I hope you can find something that will work. Good luck and prayers for your father.