As soon as you know you'll be making a journey, book an appointment to visit your GP or Specialist Nurse for a check up and to discuss the details of your trip.
Remember to get repeat prescriptions (enough to last the trip and a week after).
To make it easier when you go through customs, get your GP to write a letter if you need to carry equipment or needles with you.
There should be no reason why you can't take malaria tablets and have vaccinations, however it is best to check with your GP first.
You may find it useful to talk to a UK group connected with your disability or condition, which may provide their own specific factsheets for travelling.
Take comprehensive insurance cover with a company that is aware of your condition.
If you are travelling with a friend or relative make them aware of your needs and where they can help before you travel.
If you use a wheelchair remember to take a repair kit.Air travel
Before you book check whether you will have to pay a surcharge for any specialist facilities you may need. People with disabilities who occupy one passenger seat should not need to pay extra. The ATUC (Air Transport Users Council) suggests you strongly resist any attempts by the airline to charge you for special ground services. They say that if you are charged, keep the receipt and try to claim the money back later.
Inform the airline or travel operators of your needs at the airport, on the aircraft and upon arrival when booking with them. Most can provide special chairs, seats or meals to make your trip as safe and comfortable as possible. Some may insist that you fly with a companion/ support worker.
Check the day before departure that the airline has noted down your requirements and has made any necessary preparations.
Make sure you can manage the toilet facilities in the airport and on the aircraft.
If you have a hearing disability, inform the flight attendant so that alternative safety instructions can be given to you.
If you are flying, try to take the most direct route so that you don't have the added hassle of changing flights in busy foreign airports. However if you must change flights and need help doing so, speak to the airline that should be able to arrange for someone to meet and assist you.
Arrive at the airport in good time.Other things to consider
Blind passengers are entitled to special concessionary rates if they are travelling by air in the UK for business, medical, training, education or rehabilitation purposes.
Usually the blind person and an escort can travel for the price of one adult fare and guide dogs are usually accepted free of charge and will be allowed into the cabin.
Guide dogs should not be taken on international flights because they must be quarantined for six months on returning to the UK.
Think about what specific requirements you need. Can you manage stairs? Do you need an accessible bathroom or a basic shower rather than a bath? A number of hotels and holiday centres now have specifically designed accessible en-suite rooms, some of which have wheel-in showers. For details, try the local Tourist Information Centre for the area you wish to stay in and/or the general area Tourist Board. Financial help
Holidays are on the list of services given under Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, your Social Services Department has a duty to assess you, on request, for services under this Act.
Other organisations that are sometimes able to provide funding for holidays include local branches of Age Concern, the British Red Cross, the Lions Club, the Round Table, the Rotary Club, and the Salvation Army. Details of local branches can be found in the local telephone directory. Further information
Access to the Skies Committee
Part of RADAR (Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation) they offer comprehensive information on air travel for people with disabilities.
Tel: 020 7250 3222
Air Transport Users Council
Takes up consumer complaints against airlines and has published a useful guide called Flight Plan. This includes practical advice for travellers with disabilities and is free of charge. Contact the ATUC for a copy.
Tel: 020 7240 6061 - Consumer advice line open 2-5pm Mon-Friday.
Disabled Living Foundation
Offers general advice on travel for people with disabilities.
Tel: 0870 603 9177
Camping for the Disabled
Information on camping in Britain and abroad. It publishes a directory of accessible campsites, and organises camping weekends and weeks in the summer.
Tel: 01743 761889.
The travel and transport information service for disabled people. Useful for information on travelling to and from your holiday accommodation.
Tel: 0345 585641