What do we need to think about?
Mobility & Medical Equipment
- Organise medication for the time away. Handy pill containers are always good for keeping things compact. Particularly the labelled weekday containers with breakfast/lunch/tea divisions. Being out of our routine means we can easily miss something.
- For incontinence – waterproof sheets are extremely handy pads.
- If you use a hoist – your sling can be handy in case you wish to hire (slings are often an extra cost but light enough to take with you).
- Extra cushion covers if you’re a wheelchair user.
- If you have specialised equipment think about a basic repair kit. Spare bolts, fittings, spanners, Allen keys, screwdrivers and a kit in case of a puncture.
- Power chair battery charger
- Portable Ramp – this could make your entry and exit in places a much smoother ride.
- Folding step stool for use in a shower – often the benches or shower seats in an accommodation are too high for some.
- Pharmacy Scripts and First Aid Kit (particularly pressure sore bandaging & cream)
- Don’t forget your Parking Mobility Card. For overseas travellers here is a link to CCS Disability Action where you can download an application form to apply for one before you arrive.
- Urine container.
- A travelling shower commode would be worth it – neatly packs into a travel suitcase.
- Sleep system supports.
- Rain jacket or poncho for the unpredictable weather.
- Light trousers or leggings – avoid jeans (easy to pack and wear)
- Sun hat, cap
- For women, long skirts can be nice and light
- Tops – Tee-shirts and long sleeves (depending on weather)
- Socks and Shoes
- Jacket – zippy fleeces are a good option
- Swimwear and floatation device for the pool or beach.
Entertainment & Extras
- iPad or other similar device.
- Camera – (a Go-Pro can be a lot of fun)
- Leave your spare house keys with a neighbour or friend – just in case a situation arises.
- Cellphone and charger – cellphones are essential these days especially when you are on the road. Maybe invest in a charger for the car – never know when you may need to call. You will also find USB points in a lot of public transport these days and Wi-Fi!
- A good book.
Personal Care Items
- Sun cream & sunglasses (hugely important in New Zealand as no Ozone layer protection).
- Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Floss
- Soap, Deodorant (small bottles)
- Skin Creams
- Lip Balm
- Hand Sanitizer
- Mosquito Repellent (we do have them along with persistent SAND FLIES that are rife on the West Coast)
Travelling in a wheelchair on your own
Now, this is not something I can personally advise on as I’m a caregiver with my son in a wheelchair. But I came across these helpful points made by Eric Condo Wheelchairtraveling.com. This is what he had to say:-
“The modern wheelchair provides the wheelchair user tremendous mobility and independence. This ability transfers into opportunities for solo business and pleasure travel. Sometimes these trips require carrying a fair amount of luggage and gear.
The problem arises when wheelchair users attempt to apply able-bodied luggage systems such as rolling suitcases to wheelchair travel, or alternatively carry a large backpack on their back. Only small suitcases are able to balance on the wheelchair user’s lap, and towing large rolling suitcase risks a backward fall. A wheelchair user needs significant trunk control to handle the weight of a heavily loaded backpack. So what do you do when you have a lot of stuff to carry combined with a manoeuvrable but “tippy” wheelchair?
Eric Condo is a T5 paraplegic. When he travels he needs to bring a “lot of stuff”, he uses a six bag system. Six bags may sound like too many, but there is a method to the madness.
- One small pouch contains all wheelchair related tools and supplies such as a spare inner tube, tyre irons, Allen wrenches, lights, etc
- An everyday knapsack for carrying keys, glasses, and other personal items.
- A medium-sized cylindrical duffel bag for clothes and/or gear.
- A rectangular bag with compartments for clothes and/or gear.
- A medium-sized backpack for more clothes and/or gear.
- A large hockey duffel bag for consolidation for airline baggage”
Travelling with a Service Dog
- Vaccination Records
- Medical Documents
- Legal Documents
- First Aid Kit
- Food and Bowl
- Special Treats
- Favourite Toy