Packing options for the holiday!

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.

Clothes

  • 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
  • Pyjamas
  • Tops – Tee-shirts and long sleeves (depending on weather)
  • Socks and Shoes
  • Underwear
  • 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
  • Wet-wipes
  • Lip Balm
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • ​Shaver’s
  • 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.

  1. One small pouch contains all wheelchair related tools and supplies such as a spare inner tube, tyre irons, Allen wrenches, lights, etc
  2. An everyday knapsack for carrying keys, glasses, and other personal items.
  3. A medium-sized cylindrical duffel bag for clothes and/or gear.
  4. A rectangular bag with compartments for clothes and/or gear.
  5. A medium-sized backpack for more clothes and/or gear.
  6. 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