Tips on travelling

Combating loneliness at Christmas
12th December 2023
Gut bacteria may be cause of Parkinson’s
13th December 2023

Tips on travelling

Tips on travelling

Many of us travel over the Christmas/New Year season. For people living with Parkinson’s the prospect of travelling can be daunting enough to stop them from catching up with family and friends and enjoying a holiday.

Planning is the key to travelling well – whether you’ll be travelling for a day, weekend, or a couple of weeks. Planning means people living with Parkinson’s can relax and enjoy their time away during the festive season.

Before leaving for your trip:

  • Ask your neurologist or Parkinson’s NSW to find you the name of a doctor and other medical resources in the area where you’ll be travelling.
  • Take your Parkinson’s Passport with you whenever you travel. This is available from the Parkinson’s NSW HealthLine (1800 644 189) or web site (
  • Also call Parkinson’s NSW HealthLine to find out if there are local Parkinson’s resources – such as exercise classes and Support Groups – in the area you’re visiting.
  • Plan a rest day before your trip and for the day after you arrive.
  • Carry all medications in the original bottles, with the name of the drug and your doctor’s name on the label.
  • Bring a copy of your prescriptions (generic and non-generic names) and medication schedule, including your doctor’s name and contact information. A printed copy of your medication schedulecan also help.
  • Keep all your medications, with you in your carry-on bag (if flying) for the entire trip. Also include snacks, water, or juice to take with your medications. Pack extra in case you are delayed, or your supply is lost.
  • Continue to take your medications as prescribed with the same intervals between doses, even if changing time zones. Use your phone or consider wearing two watches: current time and time at home to help track your medication schedule.
  • Write an essential checklist before packing and mark off as you pack these necessities.
  • Gather passports, tickets, money, and special items.
  • Put complete outfits together including socks, underwear, and shoes suitable for the length of your time away. Pack Parkinson’s-friendly clothing and accessories, such as wrinkle-free items with elastic waistbands, jumpers, or button-free tops to simplify dressing.
  • Pack toiletries in a compartmented bag that can hang on the back of a door for easy access.
  • Label any assistive equipment, such as a walker, cane or walking stick, with your name and contact number before travelling.
  • Check with your travel agent, airline or Smart Traveller regarding your destination’s vaccination and testing requirements ahead of leaving.
  • Wash your hands often, have hand sanitizer and masks easily accessible.
  • Be flexible with your plans. There are many variables that may require a change of plans whilst travelling.
  • If you are travelling outside Australia, check your travel insurance policy to ensure you’re adequately covered wherever you are going. Be aware of services provided (or not provided) in other countries.
  • Check that each mode of transport that you’ll be using on your trip offers accessibility (if required) and leave extra time to board.
  • Request assistance at the time of making any bookings and let the provider know about your Parkinson’s diagnosis and any mobility issues.
  • Organise wheelchair or electric cart service within all terminals or stations and find out how your bags will be handled.
  • Arrive and check-in early. Take advantage of early boarding privileges and special requirements to get to your seat.
  • Ask for an aisle seat, as close as possible to the bathroom.
  • Call ahead to ensure you have an accessible room and confirm that your hotel room is wheelchair accessible if required and request a room near the elevator. Most hotels are accessible and can offer special accommodations such as shower seats. However, some older or smaller forms of accommodations may not be accessible.
  • Download our handy travel guide and keep with you.

When you’re away:

  • Plan to see and do less activities to enjoy them more.
  • Give yourself extra time for everything to reduce your stress.

Now that you have done the necessary planning, sit back, relax, and enjoy your time away from home!