Traveling can be stressful and busy for all of us. If you’re also traveling with someone who requires more attention or closer monitoring, there’s an added layer of planning to the mix.
If you’re considering a weekend getaway, or even longer summer vacation, remember to pack an emergency bag. If you’re traveling by air, make this bag your carry-on so that you’re prepared in case of any travel delays or other mishaps.
Even if your family member or loved one has physical or cognitive challenges, they may enjoy traveling or may wish to visit familiar places or people —especially if it used to be a favorite activity. You may want to consider traveling to a known location that involves little changes to the person’s normal routine—like a short trip to see friends or family, or taking a “staycation” instead. Wondering if you’ve got everything covered?
Use this list to pack your emergency bag.
Your emergency travel bag should include:
- medications and current medical information like dosages (setting reminders for when to take medications on your phone or calendar is helpful)
- list of emergency contacts, and important contacts like your physician
- insurance information
- list of allergies
- first aid supplies and any necessary incontinence products
- extra clothing (prepare for travel delays and/or mistakes that may occur)
- water or other hydrating drinks, and snacks. If you’re traveling by flight, remember to eat or drink them before you go through security, as some airports may not permit these items. You might also want to purchase a few drinks or snacks and add to your bag once you’re through security.
- acceptable forms of ID
- photocopies of important legal documents (keep sensitive information protected from being easily viewed)
- your travel itinerary
What about preparation for before your traveling begins?
Before you head out, use this checklist to help you plan.
Be sure that you:
- Confirm time and dates for all reservations (flight, rental car, or hotel).
- Contact hotel or airport staff before you arrive and let them know of any specific needs.
- Consider requesting a wheelchair (even if mobility is not an issue) so that an attendant can help you through the airport.
- Build in some extra time for your travel. If you can, try to avoid tight connections.
* If traveling by air, remember to follow the size and measurement requirements for travel bags, liquids, and toiletries. Also be sure to check with your airline about what’s permitted on the plane, in case you need to get anything cleared ahead of your travel date.