General travel tips


I assume that we always travel with someone. If not, I would definitely plan for this, because so many situations can arise in which a trusted person can be extremely helpful.

When traveling in Switzerland, it makes sense to always have your IV ID (invalidity ID) with you, as it is often necessary to show it in order to receive a reduced rate. 

When traveling abroad, the manual/electric wheelchair was reason enough to grant the reduced rate. In individual cases, however, it may be that an IV ID card from the country you are traveling to is required.

When traveling in Switzerland and individual countries in Europe, it can be helpful to get a so-called Eurokey. This gives you access to over three thousand barrier-free toilets. There is also an app for your cell phone where you can find the nearest toilet using the Eurokey.

If I don't already have one, I would take all kinds of glass straws (e.g. from Halm) with me when I travel. These are very hygienic and easy to clean. Useful straws are rarely available on planes and due to the increasing ban on plastic straws, sensible straws are also increasingly in short supply in restaurants.

For longer trips, it is advisable to take an inflatable neck pillow with you. This allows the head to be held in a comfortable position without much effort and prevents the head from tipping forward when sleeping, which can lead to an unpleasant stiff neck. An inflatable neck pillow has the advantage that you can adjust the optimal posture based on the amount of air.

You should obtain a written confirmation from your doctor with a detailed list of the medications you need in English. I would take this confirmation with me in my hand luggage along with the medication. Countries with very strict control of narcotics (e.g. USA or Asia) could cause difficulties without confirmation. Medication in checked baggage could cause customs to carry out an identity check, which can be time-consuming. The amount of medication should cover the entire trip including a small reserve, as identical medication is not always available abroad. This means there are no problems with tolerability and prescription medications will not be able to be obtained with the existing prescription. Covering the costs through health insurance could also be difficult.

In order not to be left behind upon arrival, I recommend fully charging the electric wheelchair before departure and taking a separate power adapter for the charger that is suitable for the destination.

For the hand wheelchair, I recommend one or two spare castors with the associated tools as well as a small hand pump for the tires. Personally, I still have a spare hose with me. One of the rollers broke in Australia and I had no chance of finding suitable replacement parts locally...

Public transport such as buses are not always wheelchair accessible and taxis are hardly available for wheelchair transport, and when they are, they are associated with long waiting times (hours) without prior registration. You also have to take into account that two taxis will be needed, as the space for the wheelchair usually comes at the expense of the storage space and sometimes the back seat.

That's why I would definitely clarify the transport options (bus, taxi, rental car) for all transfers when planning the trip and book them if possible. When booking, be sure to specify the size and weight of the electric wheelchair including the person. The amount of luggage, including a hand wheelchair, should also be communicated so that the service provider can plan enough capacity (possibly a second vehicle).