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Traveling with a Loved One Who Has Medical Needs

Traveling with a loved one with medical needs can complicate vacation planning, but there are many things you can do to prepare. Consider consulting a doctor or healthcare professional before making any extended travel arrangements. If your loved one uses a wheelchair, you will need to plan ahead. Keep in mind other routines your loved one has such as doctor or therapy appointments. 

Make a Packing List

Make a packing list of things your loved one will need. In addition to their medication, don’t forget to include clothing, toiletries and anything else required for the journey. If traveling to a sunny locale, pack sunscreen and a hat. Be sure to bring along your own necessities as well. Bring all medication in carry on bags, just in case your other bags get lost. Bring copies of pertinent prescriptions and any notes you need.

Transportation Policies

If you are traveling via airplane, train or bus, you will need to research what types of medications both are and aren’t allowed, and what you may need to get permission for. For example, liquids on planes are limited, but exceptions are made for medical liquids. Different states and countries have different laws concerning medications, so be sure to research your loved ones medication in advance. You may need to reach out to a foreign embassy or the US Center for Disease Control for guidance.

Medication Preparation

Make sure you know the details of your loved one’s medication schedule if you aren’t their primary caregiver. You may want to download a medication tracking or reminder app. Make sure to know what each medication does, proper dosage and any potential side effects. Do you need to get your loved ones medication schedule from their caregiver or in-home aid? Do you need to learn how to administer medication? You will need to plan the quantity of medication needed, as well as plan ahead with a cooler or ice pack if the medication needs to be refrigerated. 

Wheelchair Accessibility

If your loved one is in a wheelchair, plan ahead. If you are staying at a hotel or resort, make sure that it is wheelchair accessible. Consider renting a wheelchair accessible van for long road trips and make sure the rest areas you stop at have wheelchair accessible bathrooms. There are many resources to use when traveling abroad, such as this one.

Hotel Stays

When booking a hotel or other accommodation, make sure you request an accessible room. Clearly define what your loved one needs, such as shower or bathroom specifics. Book your hotel in an area that is accessible. If your loved one’s medication needs to be kept cold, make sure that the room has a refrigerator. 

Utilize These Helpful Tips to Make Your Travel Plans Smoother

There is a lot to prepare for when taking a vacation with a loved one who has medical needs. One of the most important tips for going on a vacation with a loved one with medical needs is...to have fun! After all, it’s vacation. Be sure to take the time to relax and decompress with your loved one.

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