to buy flights for my parents

(40 Posts)
Smetana Sun 10-Mar-13 12:48:33

My parents have their 40th anniversary this year, they're 63 and 59, and I would like to get them flights somewhere (Sweden or Denmark, as they love Scandi-drama). The problem is they've never flown before, and only went abroad to visit me when I lived in France a few years ago, and would be very nervous about it. My brother has also never flown, thinks it's a bad idea.

A family trait we all share is that we're not very adventurous - however, I was the first in the family to go to university, and through that and my later work, I've been really lucky to travel. I worry that my parents are falling into retirement - they say they're not happy, and they don't have things to look forward to, but they're terrified (as is my brother) of doing nice things.

I think this would a really good opportunity to have a holiday, and give them a push to do something new. What would you do? I know I'm pushing my views onto them a little, but if they got to Sweden, they'd love it.

BeeBopDingALing Sun 10-Mar-13 18:51:53

I would get them the flights but tell them that is what you want to do and ask them first.

honeytea Sun 10-Mar-13 18:28:38

My grandparents fly to stay with us from Bristol to Edinburgh or Amsterdam and then to Stockholm. They are both well traveled but much prefer the smaller airports.

When we're you thinking of booking the holiday? In Sweden the summer tends to peak sooner than the UK, June/July are lovely but August/September can be chilly/autumnal and the rest of the year is bloody cold, slippery and dark.

ThePinkOcelot Sun 10-Mar-13 17:29:38

My parents went on their first holiday in their early sixties, having never flown before. There was no stopping them after that.
My mum has just come back from a 3 month stay with my sister in Australia. Travelled herself from Perth, via Dubai to Newcastle and she is 84!
I think once they are over the initial worry of doing it, they would love it.

Iaintdunnuffink Sun 10-Mar-13 15:42:41

I would go with a tour or an organised package, just flights to somewhere cold be quite daunting.

I've been meaning to do one of the DFDS weekend breaks, they change them depending on time of year.
http://www.dfdsseaways.co.uk/mini-cruise-breaks/esbjerg-mini-cruises/

Waswondering Sun 10-Mar-13 14:55:59

Or could you do a day trip somewhere the three of you? Eg first flight to Amsterdam in the morning, lovely day, then fly home that night ....

quoteunquote Sun 10-Mar-13 14:32:17

A flight to Dublin or somewhere english speaking, they will love it, I bet they get the bug and get adventurous.

Smetana Sun 10-Mar-13 14:13:55

They have passports - travel insurance would be an additional cost

Arithmeticulous Sun 10-Mar-13 14:06:29

What about passports and travel insurance?

Smetana Sun 10-Mar-13 13:47:01

I'm keen to encourage them to fly, rather than to go to Scandinavia per se - I think Scandinavia is somewhere they'd like to go, and the flight would be short, people speak english, etc

WorriedTeenMum Sun 10-Mar-13 13:42:01

I actually think it is a good idea. How about looking at flights between smaller airports? Especially at the overseas end. Smaller airports can be a lot more manageable than larger airports. Not quite where you are aiming for but Rotterdam airport is tiny and very easy to manage.

Waswondering Sun 10-Mar-13 13:40:11

(My parents LOVE Cunard cruises ... They have been on the Queen Elizabeth and rare it. Excellent shows at night, and enough activities to fill every waking minute.)

Trills Sun 10-Mar-13 13:38:18

Cruise sounds like a very good idea - my aunt and uncle have done similar ones and enjoyed them a lot.

Smetana Sun 10-Mar-13 13:37:25

That cruise sounds a good idea to be honest - I don't think I'm going to be able to encourage them to fly, which I think is a shame. Thank you

Waswondering Sun 10-Mar-13 13:36:01

I don't know what your budget is but Cunard have a 7 day cruise from Southampton taking in 4 or 5 Scandinavian cities from £599 pp. all food and entertainment would be included .... Very safe way to travel and other guests probably a similar age. Good reputation too, so as a first introduction, could be good for them ...

Smetana Sun 10-Mar-13 13:28:24

Thanks for the tips - part of the logic of scandinavia is that there wouldn't be a language problem. They're not keen on the idea of being on a coach with other people, they're not sociable - I may have to look at going with them

Have you tried something like this http://www.superbreak.com/ allows you to choose flight/hotel and add on extras like tours booked in advance. So they would have some "safety net" of an organised trips, but also some freedom fo their own and not have to herded round on a full coach tour.

HazleNutt Sun 10-Mar-13 13:18:50

PILs are the same and no, I would not just get them tickets. They would be too nervous to enjoy it. We are buying them a trip to Baltics and Sankt-Petersburg, but going with them. If you can't, then get either a package tour or possibly cruise. Or maybe some friends of theirs could join?

SoftSheen Sun 10-Mar-13 13:17:28

Should add, Stockholm is very clean, organised and efficient, and most people speak some English, which would probably be reassuring for nervous travellers!

Kat101 Sun 10-Mar-13 13:17:06

Also, do they do nice things when at home? Thinking U3A, Age UK and all the other organisations / clubs for retired people. What are their interests? There is a plethera of activites and interests for newly retired people, its just getting the message out there.

Saga holidays (does that still exist?)

SoftSheen Sun 10-Mar-13 13:15:04

I think it's a lovely idea. I agree with others that it might be better to get them a package rather than just flights, if you can afford it, as then they won't need to worry about organising hotels etc. Perhaps you could drive them to the airport and help them check in?

Stockholm was the first place I ever flew to (I was 19) and it is a lovely city- perfect for a short city break.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Mar-13 13:14:29

Yes, how about cruising over to Denmark or Oslo if they like Scandinavia?

And if you have the money, and they do, how about a short flight somewhere together, depending on where you live so you can go along and hold their hands, as it were. Jersey maybe?

I know what you mean about parents falling into retirement - mine moulder around the house feeling old and retired, doing nothing simply because they don't want to organise it. I'm scared that one day soon they really WILL be old and it will be too late sad

Kat101 Sun 10-Mar-13 13:11:54

They need at the very least, a package where everything is laid on and they have no responsibility for arrangements. I feel for them, I haven't travelled for years (kids, money etc) and I am out of the habit. I am scared of all the things that could go wrong and not having the familiar uk security blanket (police, nhs etc) to go to. I am going to force myself to book a package med hol next year to try and ease myself in slowly.

Would they enjoy this hol you are planning, or would they be so stressed in the run up that you'd end up wishing you hadn't bothered?

SaltaKatten Sun 10-Mar-13 13:07:51

You can get cruises that take you to Copenhagen and Oslo.

Smetana Sun 10-Mar-13 13:06:44

it is the process of checking in at the airport that worries them I think. I'm going to look into packages - I'm really worried about them right now

Trills Sun 10-Mar-13 13:05:31

YWB a bit U, I think.

Just flights, to a country that they don't know, when they are nervous travellers, sounds like the sort of gift that becomes a burden.

A package or escorted tour would be better and less stressful for them (but a lot more expensive for you, I know).

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