Top tips for travelling after spinal cord injury

Pedro shared with us some of the top travel tips he has learned after spinal cord injury. Read on to learn how to ensure safe and smooth travels after spinal cord injury.  

Don’t forget you can also read the travel guide on our website to hear from more people affected by spinal cord injury who have had successful travels.  

Ask questions and do your research – email your accommodation beforehand and ask for photos and measurements of your room. Also be sure to check in with your airport or train station’s assistance team. Make sure they know exactly what support you need.  

Be prepared – bring extra medication, dressings, or catheters you may need just in case. Print a warming label for your chair reading “DO NOT FOLD” if using a manual chair, or any other message relevant to your circumstances. If travelling abroad, be sure to write the message in both English and the language of the place you are visiting.  Also make sure to research places in your destination that can repair your wheelchair if something does go wrong.  

Everywhere is different – some places are not as accessible as the UK. If you’re going to a place without as many drop curbs, bring a third wheel add-on to tackle higher curbs easier. If travelling by train in the UK, the passenger assistance services at UK train stations are great to help you travel smoothly. I went to the Back Up Multi Activity Course in the Lake District on my own via train. It was an amazing experience, I’m so glad I did it.  

Learn from others – Back Up can be an amazing source of knowledge about travelling after spinal cord injury. You can learn a lot from their resources, as well as from meeting others in a similar situation.

Be sure to check out the range of guides on the Back Up website, for more top tips on living life to the full after spinal cord injury.