This month we’ve rounded up our top tips for travelling on crutches. Whilst going on holiday is undeniably exciting, travelling on crutches can be daunting to say the least. Last month, we spent a week in Portugal soaking up the last of the summer sun. It was an incredible trip but it also served as a reminder about manoeuvring an airport journey whilst using crutches. Whilst it can be stressful and exhausting, there definitely are some top tips which can help when getting from A to B.
Check the seating plan, whether it’s psychological or physical or a combination of both – knowing you have a clear path to the loo on a flight is KEY. Whilst you might not be able to sit in an emergency exit and stretch out your legs, opting for a seat with extra legroom or an aisle seat is the next best thing. Likewise, sitting at the front or back of the plane often means an easier route to get on / off / to the loo!
Don’t be a Bag
Budget dependent, consider booking a suitcase into the hold. It eliminates having to give your partner additional baggage (!) to carry but also relieves any faffing at security with liquids etc.
Choose Your Shoes Wisely
If you are in a smaller airport – we flew from Leeds Bradford – & you’re confident using your crutches, you absolutely can walk on your crutches. I have no idea why but the floors in airports can be SO slippy! So if you do decide to walk, definitely make sure you are wearing sensible shoes – ideally trainers with plenty of grip.
If you are going to an airport you know can be a long journey from check in to gate or you are going to an airport you don’t know, book special assistance. You are offered a wheelchair and a member of staff who will take you to the plane. I have never had a negative experience using special assistance, it’s comfortable and you eliminate any waiting in queues.
You are also the first to board the flight so can do so in your own time, make sure you and your bags are sorted and settled, without the added panic of hundreds of other passengers. Not to mention making sure you can put your crutches in an overhead locker without battling other bags. Also worth knowing our crutches fit comfortably into an overhead locker without height adjustment! Find out more about crutches specifications here.
Don’t be afraid to jump the queue!
In most airports the security fast track queue will also apply to you so you can avoid any long queues. At the same time, passport control at destination airports are often saturated with queues of people – look out for the wheelchair sign (usually by the staff queue), you are absolutely ok to go down this queue and let any members of staff know you can’t stand on your crutches for long periods of time (or short ones!).
Leave Plenty of Time
There is nothing worse than feeling stressed when travelling. Leave an extra half an hour buffer time so you have time to deal with any unexpected elements whilst travelling. Particularly if you have a toddler in tow!
Don’t Let Crutches Hold You Back
Whatever you do don’t let anyone hold you back, whether you want to try out skiing or visit a mountain tourist attraction – you’ll be amazed how accommodating the tourist industry is. If you are unlucky enough to encounter any hurdles along the way, speak up – there are almost 14 million of us living with a disability in the UK so rest assured, you’re not alone!