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Research and Admin

On this page you can discover the following sections:

What to look out for when researching accessible holidays for travel with chronic illness?

Organising travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions

Things we may have to consider [that you don't see] for chronic illness travel 

Key things to do before travel with chronic illness

What to look out for when researching accessible holidays for travel with chronic illness?
  • Your journey duration and including all modes of transport and any changes or stopovers required on the journey

  • Whether there are enough days across the trip to leave contingency for rest days either side of activities?

  • Whether the airport offers an assistance service with mobility support, caters for dietary requirements and if they have criteria for pre-existing conditions with medical forms to fill out or a fit-to-fly letter?

  • What the transfer options are between the airport and the accommodation, do they offer assistance services?

  • How many restaurant options are available on the complex or nearby, if they’ll cater for dietary requirements and whether they offer room service for flare ups and the pricing?

  • What daily activities are within the hotel vicinity and which activities will require you to schedule rest days?

  • If it’s a step-free and accessible accommodation/hotel/resort with disabled access rooms?

  • If there is a buggy service around the hotel/resort for all guests or disabled guests, or wheelchair hire?

    • Beach permitting; if they have a beach &/ water suitable wheelchair on the premises

  • How many amenities are nearby including nearest medical facility or hospital?

Organising travel insurance that covers pre-existing conditions (or chronic illness)
  • Prepare this all and get quotes before you book your flights and accommodation.

    • You don't want a nasty shock of the price after you've booked!

  • Here’s a list of some comparison and specific sites in the UK

    • COMPARISON SITES: (Go to the ‘pre-existing conditions’ page or filter for pre-existing conditions)

      • Money Supermarket

      • Go Compare

      • Medical Travel Compared

      • Compare The Market

      • Confused

      • Money Helper


      • Insure and Go

      • Avanti 

      • Post Office

      • All Clear Travel

      • Ok to Travel Ltd

      • Good to Go 

      • Cooperative

      • Insure and Escape

  • Confirm the small print, including if they cover for c*vid and the terms for this

    • Typically you will need to be up to date on every single possible vaccination/booster for this to be valid so definitely double check

  • Keep all of your health conditions listed somewhere easy to copy and paste

    • I keep them on my notes app with the title 🚨 IN CASE OF EMERGENCY - ICE - MEDICAL INFO so it’s super easy to search to find

  • Enter them digitally but get on the phone if they’re not listed 

    • It’s a lot quicker to manually type them especially if you have multiple, however from my experience doing this getting on the phone in the end (after semi-completing the forms) was worth it. Plus, they may cover a condition even if it's not listed so double check this by calling.

  • Be patient and save yourself a whole day, or few days to research and then book this. It will be energy intensive, you may need to type in details lots of times across several different insurance companies.

    • You don’t want to skip reading the crucial small print because of fatigue, so factor in time for this.

  • It may be better value to book an annual multi trip policy if you’re going to travel again in the year 

  • If your travel partner DOESN'T have pre-existing conditions it may be cheaper to book this JUST for yourself so research both options.

    • In our experience with this, it was hugely cheaper to just have myself on the policy booked with a company specific for pre-existing conditions as the premiums are higher. Despite travelling together, it’s worth investigating price differences to book separately if they’re completely healthy with zero conditions.

  • Bring printed copies of the insurance policy with you when you travel

    • Especially if the wifi is limited but you need access to emergency documents, having these printed out can be life-saving if you need to claim whilst away

Things we may have to consider for chronic illness travel 

Below is a list of a huge range of things we need to consider for chronic illness travel. Use these questions to think about what you're going to need to prepare.


  • Have I emailed the accommodation to check it’s suitable for all my requirements before booking?

  • Possible reactions to bed linen / laundry powder - perhaps bringing own towels and sheets?

  • Choosing a large enough suitcase that can fit sleeping pillow and other essentials

  • Whether the accommodation allows pets (appropriate for service animals but inappropriate for allergies)

  • If the hotel is near activities (otherwise what the transport options are?)

  • What to do if reacting badly to the accommodation or it triggers a flare up? What’s my "escape plan” for a flare up or emergencies?

  • Are there carpets can soft furnishings/dusty cushions and throws or rugs be removed from the room or covered with a sheet prior to arrival? 

  • Can housekeeping clean the room with scent free products or water and a sponge?

  • Have I got all aids and supports, emergency meds, preventative meds and flare up toolkit?

  • Distance that local hospitals/medical help would be from accommodation?

  • Can hotel restaurants accommodate my dietary restrictions? Is room service an option for days cannot move?

  • Is it ground floor or level access and is there a buggy service across the resort or wheelchair hire for variable mobility?


  • What’s the total journey time, including all transfers?

  • Is it possible to include any stopovers or contingency if there are multiple modes of transport?

  • Is there a space to sleep comfortably during the journey / can supports like neck pillow, eye mask, earplugs etc help?

  • Have I got sufficient snacks or meals for journey (especially if have dietary restrictions)

  • Can I rest a week or so before the journey and have ample time to recover the week after the trip?



  • Is the vehicle high up to reduce motion sickness and is there an option to sit in the front?

  • Could symptoms be triggered? (i.e motion sickness / vertigo )

  • Will the roads be straight or windy and bumpy? (i.e. neck or back pain from the motion or speed bumps) 

  • Do I have suitable pillows and cushions for comfort? (i.e.neck support, bolster for knees, cushion to sit on, lumbar support etc)

  • Can supports be worn to reduce instability of joints? (e.g. cervical collar)

  • Will the vehicle fit mobility aids?



  • Do plans mean travelling in rush hour or off peak?

  • Have I prepared how to advocate for a seat?

  • Have I got cards / badges / lanyards to advocate?

  • Where to go for the disabled seats near the exits?

  • What could be the best train carriage that's empty for a seat?

  • Will it be level access or will there be stairs and no lifts at the station need to go to?

  • Is there sufficient time allowed for contingency / delays? (waiting for staff assistance / lift queues / letting trains pass to be more empty etc) 

  • What to do in case of sudden need to go to the loo or vomiting - mapping out toilets on route ?

    • Tips on advocating for a seat on public transport (trains/tubes) on this video



  • Are all essential medicines for the full trip in my hand luggage?

  • Have I booked mobility service in airport (including stopovers)?

  • If there's a changeover is there contingency for the next flight or a night to rest in between?

  • Have I checked the airline medical conditions policy and filled in the pre-flight form / fit to fly form?

  • Have I brought a doctors letter listing my conditions and recent prescription list for my medications?

  • Are my mobility aids booked on the flight (and will the airline damage them!?) 

  • Have I alerted the airline about my allergies and will the flight be safe? 

  • Is there an alternate route in the airport to avoid duty free fragrances?

  • Have I requested a meal or have I got my own?

  • Have I got a reusable water bottle to ask for refills to keep hydrated?

  • Do I have suitable pillows and cushions for comfort (neck support, bolster for knees, cushion to sit on, lumbar support etc)?



  • Are my mobility aids portable or foldable?

  • Have I booked them into my mode of transport? 

  • If travelling in a vehicle is there space for them?

  • Is the location suitable for mobility aids?

  • Do my symptoms even suit mobility aids? 

    • I.e. would a wheelchair movement trigger vertigo, motion sickness, neck subluxations, pelvic subluxations and sciatica (trouble sitting) 

    • Is it more suitable to simply rest in full if symptoms flare: what is the plan if this is the case throughout - is the accommodation accessible with options for room service or very nearby food options?



  • Are rest days scheduled in between with plenty of contingency?

  • What triggers could there be at _ venue / activity / location?

  • Are all medications (preventative and acute) packed for all eventualities ?

  • Do I have things prepared for rest days, especially if I can’t join in with others on activities that can’t be postponed?



  • Are they nearby to accommodation?

  • What's the distance to the location?

  • Can I schedule rest on either side of it/them or extend my trip to suit this?

  • Are all medications (preventative and acute) packed for all eventualities?

  • What’s the nearest medical facility in case required?

Key things to do before travel with chronic illness
  • Research the weather & climate of the destination

  • Organise travel insurance for pre-existing conditions

  • Ensure you’re up to date with any vaccinations or that you organise to have them 6-8 weeks prior to travel

  • Pack slowly and over several weeks to help you pace energy

  • A recent prescription script with you for all medications you’re carrying 

  • A recent doctor’s letter with your conditions including a fit-to-fly confirmation 

  • Checking the airline ‘medical conditions’ page and confirming you’ve filled out their forms if appropriate 

  • Booking any mobility aids or medical devices into the flight

  • Airport mobility service and assistance service organised including layover

  • Assistance cards, badges or lanyards to advocate

  • Allergy cards and foods that you can eat cards (if you have dietary restrictions) - template to make these here

  • A detailed guide printed with what your conditions are and how they affect you to give to medical personnel in an emergency

  • Ensuring that the digital medical ID section on your phone is filled out with sufficient detail

  • Requirements and accessibility at accommodation confirmed, sending them allergies list and other specifics in advance

  • Ensure all necessary items are packed (based on these lists)

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