Holiday Advice for Amputees

If you have had an amputation or have limb impairment, the thought of going on holiday may be daunting. You may think that it’s easier to stay at home or take a trip in the UK than go abroad and face the thought of the extra planning required to transport wheelchairs and equipment, find suitable activities, source accessible accommodation and pay the extra insurance costs.

However, many of the same trips and experiences that able-bodied people enjoy are entirely achievable for amputees - they simply require a touch of modification or flexibility in the preparation to enable you to take part.

In this article, we will take you through how to make adaptations so that you can enjoy the holidays that you choose to go on.

Planning ahead

For an amputee, thinking ahead is one of the most important aspects of taking a holiday. For instance, if you’re travelling by air, it can be useful to let airport and airline staff know in advance that you might need assistance so arrangements can be made in time for when you travel. This might include booking a wheelchair or a buggy to ease the pressure of walking through an airport and securing assistance boarding/disembarking an aircraft.

Bus, coach and train travel providers in the UK usually have vehicles designed for people with disabilities. This may not be the case in other countries around the world. It is advisable to get in touch with any transport company you plan to use abroad to let them know about your requirements.

If you book a holiday through a travel agent, most will have programmes in place to support people with disabilities. If you know that you will require assistance, make sure you ask what is available before booking and fully communicate your requirements.

Check in with your prosthetist

However you decide to travel, it can be useful booking an appointment with your prosthetist ahead of your trip to discuss any potential problems and allow time if any adjustments need to be made. It can also be useful if you’re travelling to a non-English speaking country to learn a few vital phrases, such as ‘I have a prosthetic leg’ or ‘I use a wheelchair’.

Be prepared for all eventualities

It also pays to be prepared for all eventualities as residual limbs can change under pressure, over time and during increased activities. Unexpected wear and tear can result in a prosthetic limb giving out, which may seem like a minor inconvenience at home but can be troublesome abroad.

You could pack an emergency ‘wear and tear’ kit to take with you, just in case something happens while you’re away. This kit could include:

  • Adhesive membrane dressings for abrasions or blisters
  • Antibacterial wipes or soap to keep your residual limb(s) clean
  • Extra socks and liners
  • Duct tape for temporary repairs
  • A small pair of scissors

So you don’t run into trouble at airport security, it’s best to pack these (especially the scissors) in your hold luggage as opposed to your hand luggage.

Medications and other liquids needed are usually permitted on flights if they will be required while on the plane, but it’s best to check with your airline before going away.

Contact an accommodation representative

Many hotels throughout the world offer accessible rooms, but not all hotels abroad will comply with UK standards. This can make it difficult to be independent while away from home. You should speak to a representative from the hotel and/or your booking agent about any of your accommodation needs before you travel, to make sure everything is in order for your arrival.

More advice

For more advice on taking a holiday with an amputation, disability organisations have experience helping amputees enjoy holidays and may know suitable travel agents or transport companies to use when travelling. Some examples include:

If you or a loved one has suffered an amputation and you feel it could have been avoided, call JMW’s personal injury team today. We are here to provide legal advice and expert representation for those looking to make a claim. Simply call 0800 054 6078 or complete our online enquiry form and a solicitor will be in touch.

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