Before leaving home
We recommend that you have any necessary medication for the duration of your trip, and keep it in your hand luggage. It is wise to have a copy of your prescription with you in case you need a refill while away. Please note that this is particularly important if you are visiting a country that has differing rules on prescribed and over-the-counter medications.
Syringes or injection pens carried for the treatment of diabetes or anaphylactic shock should be accompanied by a medical certificate if they are to be taken on board the plane in your hand luggage.
Make sure that any hold luggage is easily identifiable (attach a bright tag, ribbon or luggage strap), so that anyone assisting you in reclaiming it from the baggage carousel will find it easily from your description. This is also worth doing for any wheelchairs being transported in the plane’s hold (a secure cover is also a good idea – to prevent the loss of any parts that may become detached in transit). It is advisable to remove any detachable parts that could become lost in transit and put them into a bag for stowing onboard the aircraft.
If you are a wheelchair user, note down the dimensions and weight of your wheelchair as these are what defines whether it needs to be stored in the aircraft hold. For electric scooters and power wheelchairs, also note down the type of batteries. To prevent damage, you may want to attach handling instructions for your airline or ground crew.
Unplug and switch off any electrical appliances that won’t be in use whilst you’re away. Not only does this save energy, compared to equipment being left on standby, but it can limit the chance of electrical fires. Don’t forget to lock all doors and windows. Timed security lights can also help keep your home safe. Cancel newspaper, milk and any other deliveries made to your home for the duration of your trip. Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property, and perhaps pop in occasionally to move post and check that everything is OK.
In the winter months if very cold weather is forecast whilst you’re away, it may be advisable to have your central heating come on for a couple of hours each day to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
Make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the airport. If you’re early you can relax with a coffee or do a little bit of shopping before you board your flight.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes for your journey. Thin layers are good as you can then easily adapt to the different temperatures en route; ie travelling to the airport, in the departure lounge, on the plane and at your final destination.