Traveling to Southern Europe, need pointers for traveling with my dad who has a hard time walking

Hello fellow travelers,

I surprised my father with tickets to southern Europe- landing in Florence and out of Lisbon in early April. My dad’s cancer has spread to his body so he is not as mobile as he has been, but traveling abroad has always been on his bucket list. I was hoping my fellow redditors would be able to suggest low impact sites/tours as I know Europe is loads of walking.


Here are my current notes on where/what/when we are thinking so far: [](

We will be there from April 1st-19th and planning to do a few days in Italy, France, Spain then fly out of Portugal.

Any and all suggestions to our travel plans are appreciated!

View Reddit by hammster26



  • RichardYing

    4 days in Italy to see that many things, including Vatican, is too optimistic, especially given the condition of your father.

    Florence and Rome have many buses and taxis running around the center so you should be fine if he has a momentaneous weakness.

    Cinque Terre will be cliffs, hills and towns with steps and slopes.

    Tellaro is really too far south to be included.

    Many slopes too in Cannes, but doable.

    Paris is quite flat with the exception of accessible hills, uber/taxis are easy to get, and the bus network is dense.

    4 days in 2 Italian cities and a national park vs 4 days in Cannes+Paris vs 4 days in Barcelona is a bit unbalanced.

    The Picasso museum in Paris is better than the Picasso museum in Barcelona, it covers almost all periods of Picasso’s life (while Barcelona covers mainly his early career).

    The museum of world cultures of Barcelona is nice, but again a museum in Paris, quai Branly, has a better exhibition.

    The museum of chocolate in Barcelona is kind of a tourist trap.

    In Lisbon, most of the pensao’s will be in old buildings, without elevators. Check the floor before booking.

    Free walking tours in Europe can be fast paced.

  • vagrantheather

    I am concerned that a fit young 30 year old would be winded by this trip. An older man with metastatic cancer is likely to be exhausted. It is not just about the physical grind of walking around the city; it is also very tiring to move to a new accommodation every other night.

    I bet you he would enjoy taking it easy in 2 cities just as much as moving every other day trying to see it all. Alternatively, it might ease some of the stress to book a multi-day bus tour, which lets you see lots of things without having to worry about transit or managing your time. Reddit is not always a fan of these bus tours (they can usually be done cheaper on your own, and it’s nice to personalize the trip to fit your specific wants), but in this situation I think it could be ideal.

  • AllyTheCat7

    We took my MIL to Argentina. Really, it was following a tail off bread crumbs to rent her wheelchair, find parking ahead (rented a car for this very reason). I hate planning a vacay day by day, hour by hour, but in my experience that’s what you’ll have to do so you can do all that homework ahead of time.

  • Girnelis

    I’d recommend hop on-hop off city tours. I’ve been in them with mom for the same reason and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s perfect for Barcelona, since it’s so big even a fit person would have hard time walking everything around. You also get earbuds and information about every attraction. For Lisbon I regret that I saw this too late in my trip, would also want to try it out:

  • WombatsAmok

    This seems like too much to me, and I just have bad knees, not anything like cancer. Has your dad said he definitely wants to see all these places? If not, you might ask him to prioritize a few and then cut out the rest. Even if he’s “just” sitting on a sight-seeing bus or in a wheelchair, it’s still tiring to be constantly on the move, so you might replace some (several!) tours or hilly stuff with “spend a day hanging out in cafes and watching people.”


  • fu-depaul

    I have experience traveling with older parents.

    You can only plan to do one thing a day.

    Anything else is just a bonus. But one thing each day is realistic.

    Meals and getting around will take up at least half a day.

    They just move at a slower pace.

    If you over book and try to do too much, it will be hard on everyone and spoil the trip.

    Less is more.

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