Sunday 5 December 2021

Travelling with a Chronic Illness or Disability

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With travel slowly beginning to open up with restrictions in place to keep everyone safe, many people have begun once again thinking about where they would love to jet off too next. With many holidays having been cancelled or postponed over the last almost two years, it is no wonder people are feeling so excited about the possibility of being able to feel the sea breeze and the sun in our hair once again. 

But if you have a long term illness or a disability there can be several challenges to contend with before you even get to enjoy your holiday unfortunately. But this post aims to share some tips and advice to help the next time to need or want to travel but are worried about an illness or disability and how it may effect your travel plans. 

Plan and Prepare 

If you are someone who already lives with having a disability or chronic illness then you are probably all too used to having to prepare and plan ahead, and when it comes to travel this definitely applies too. Whilst most travel provider's, holiday sites and hotels etc will have access information available on their websites or upon request, its important to know all of the up to date information before you travel.

Planning ahead will not only mean you can plan for any issues and resolve these before hand but it will also give you peace of mind that hopefully nothing unexpected will crop up on the day.  Plan ahead and keep everything to hand so you aren't rummaging around for any letters or documents you may need during flights or check in's etc. Print everything, write it all down and keep it in a handbag or hand luggage that you will have on you at all times. 

Stock Up On Medication

If you need daily medication then this is definitely something to think about when travelling and to ensure you are well stocked up in advance for your travel. Your doctor is the best person to talk to about this and so you should try to arrange an appointment (either face to face or via a call) to discuss your travel plans and how to handle your medication during this time. If they agree you will need medication during your travel they can arrange a prescription for the amount you need so you don't run out during your stay. 

Also if you require any equipment such as a wheelchair or you will be travelling with oxygen it is worth allowing extra time for any check in procedures. Many UK companies don't permit their equipment to be taken outside of the UK so this is something worth checking as you may need to arrange private hire if this is the case. It is also worth checking with your chosen airline as all airlines and travel providers will have their own procedures for traveling with oxygen so if you know these in advance you can plan ahead. You may require a note to say your are fit to fly too if you will require oxygen during the flight, your GP can help you with this. 


The first thing many people book when looking at a holiday is the transport, but if you have a chronic illness or disability there are many things to consider when doing this. If you are flying for example always check the airlines policies for things such as policies for medication or mobility equipment (can you be placed in a part of the plane that makes it easy for you and your wheelchair for example). It is also worth asking what assistance will be available to you in the case that you may require help or assistance during your flight. 

Whilst it is obviously important to plan your travel to and from your destination, its also important to consider your travel plans once you arrive at your destination too. If you plan on staying on resort all you will need to worry about is the transfers between airport and resort. But if you plan on travelling more once you arrive at your destination, ensure all of your travel options are suitable. If you plan on taking public transport check whether is is fully accessible, how often the trips are and how long the walk may be from the stops. 

Another option is to look at hiring a car which can then be hired to all your needs. This can be a great option if you plan on doing lots of travelling whilst on your break. 

Call Ahead

I mentioned above about planning ahead and part of this might involving calling ahead and this is definitely something you shouldn't be afraid to do. In fact calling ahead, clearing up anything you are un clear about or arranging things you may need ahead of time will actually benefit you and the travel provider. By ringing ahead you can confirm all of the details you need to know to give you peace of mind, plus its always better hearing the latest up to date info that just following what a website or leaflet may say that could be outdated. 

Calling ahead will also help those involved in ensuring your travel and holiday run as smoothly as possible too. If you require transport that has wheelchair access, a room that can accommodate a wheelchair or needs to be accessible for example this can be arranged ahead of time for you. Write down everything you need from them (or want to ask) ahead of calling and that way you can write down everything as you discuss it and you won't forget anything either. 

Don't Forget to Have Fun! 

Holiday's are suppose to be fun and whilst travelling with a chronic illness or disability may require some extra planning and extra time, it shouldn't take away from the main reason for your travel, fun and maybe relaxation! Planning ahead and having everything arranged and thought out beforehand should hopefully allow you to sit back and enjoy your holiday once you are there. 

Hopefully these tips will help with any upcoming travel plans and remember to have fun! If you have a disability or illness (or know someone who does) and you have any tips for making travel a little easier and smoother, please do share them in the comments below. 


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