Traveling with a Carer: What Are Your Options?

A man and woman in a convertible with a wheelchair in the backseat

There is great understanding in the caring community that carers (whether they are employed or a member of the family) benefit from some time away from their duties.

There are many organizations offering people who need carers, time away from their home and there are plenty of organizations that provide opportunities for carers to find some respite from their duties. There is less focus on vacationing with your live-in carer or people taking a break away with their carer. Everyone deserves a vacation, whether they are disabled or able-bodied, whether they need daily assistance or are a provider of care.

Traveling with a carer is no different from regular travel in the sense that it requires planning and decision-making. It just requires different criteria than if you were a solo person, couple, or family planning a trip. With the right planning, you and your carer can enjoy a great vacation together.

Key questions and considerations for the planning process

  1. What type of holiday do you want?
  2. Where do you want to go?
  3. What type of accommodation do you want?
  4. Questions of accessibility
  5. What medical issues need to be catered for?
  6. Can you get travel insurance to fully cover you?
People with disabilities having fun on a lake

Type of vacation

There are many types of vacations available; it's a case of deciding what you both like to do. Firstly, decide if it is to be a trip-of-a-lifetime type vacation, a vacation to test the waters to see how you can handle carer-assisted travel, or a vacation for a break away from routine and a change of scenery. Don't compromise on your wishlist. All types of vacations are accessible, and their feasibility will become clearer as you work your way through the planning process. Do you want an adventure, a sightseeing vacation in an historical setting, a beach escape, a cruise, a theme park vacation, a second honeymoon, or a luxury all-inclusive pampering break?


This may be where you need to start considering limitations. Is flying an option, or train, or a ferry? But it's not just about getting there. Will you require transport to get around once you've reached your destination? Developed countries are generally disability- and accessibility-aware, but facilities might be lacking in developing countries that could make it difficult when vacationing. There are, however, supported vacations for specific care needs that might venture into exotic places that could be considered.


This very much depends on what you are comfortable with and the relationship between the caregiver and receiver. Is it appropriate to share a room, for example? Is assisted or adapted accommodation needed? Review your accommodation carefully to understand potential limits (lifts, stairs, bathrooms, etc.).


Accessibility means being able to experience the vacation and the things you want to do easily. This means looking at the practical aspects of your destination and the type of holiday you have chosen. Some practicalities to consider are: Is the public transport wheelchair-friendly? What's access to the beach like? The criteria will be different for every person depending on care needs.

Medical Issues

This is another individual-driven consideration. For the current medical requirements and care situation needs to be replicated in your chosen destination, you might have to make certain arrangements for the travel itself, especially if, for example, you are traveling by air where there are certain regulations to be complied with and conditions which must be reported to the airline. There are other extraneous factors to consider, such as laws regarding the carrying of medicines containing controlled substances.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can usually be obtained. It is important that all pre-existing medical conditions are disclosed, as this could invalidate insurance if not. Review the policies available to find a suitable one to cover all needs, rather than just opting for a cheap generic policy.

There is a big, wide, magical world out there and there is no reason why a caregiver and the cared-for should not enjoy it together. Good planning, sensible expectations, and practical application can make a fun and memorable care-assisted holiday.

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Date: 12/24/2019 12:00:00 AM

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