Travelling abroad with a chronic illness

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you would have seen that I have recently been spending some time over in Spain. You will also know by now that I suffer with a long term chronic illness.

Travelling with a chronic illness is a very big ordeal. Travelling abroad can be difficult enough for healthy people - It's a long tiring day with lots of waiting around at the airport. Luggage needs to be taken care of and if you are anything like me you will always over pack, and the majority of people I saw at the airport definitely didn't seem to be opting for travelling light either, as they struggled to carry as much as they possible could. There's all the queueing up and then of course comes that long walk from customs to the aeroplane that always seems to go on forever. So imagine how difficult it is for those of us that struggle enough to get up and dressed in the morning. But why should the chronically ill have to go without a nice holiday abroad just because we are sick and can't handle the travelling?

Fortunately for me, I was lucky enough to be able to go abroad for a while, something I didn't think I would be able to do for a long time, and god knows I needed the break after such a long and difficult couple of years in bed! But that was all before I found out about the special assistance service available at most airports. If it wasn't for this service there is absolutely no way it would have been possible for me to travel. Physically or mentally. The assistance basically means you are given special treatment (in a good way) as soon as you arrive at airport number one, right up until you leave the doors of airport number two. They cut out all the waiting about as much as they can and I even got a race with another wheelchair user thrown in as we used neighbouring lifts - we won in case you were wondering...




I have my own wheelchair, and I was able to take that with me for my holiday. But if you don't have your own wheelchair, they can supply one for use at the airport. You have the option to have one of the airport staff escort you fast track through customs, or if you prefer one of your party can wheel you through. You are also permitted to take with you any mobility equipment you need - crutches, canes etc and the whole service is free.

I was the first to board the plane and they had reserved a whole row especially for me so I would have plenty of room and could sit quietly and comfortably. I was pleased to discover this as I had been dreading sitting next to anyone who was loud and annoying! I was given help with my luggage, and I jumped the queues so I was never left waiting around surrounded by noise and overall I was given help with everything I could have needed it with. The staff were extremely polite and helpful at both ends and made a conscious effort to check and ask that I was okay and if I needed anything throughout the day.

The travelling still left me feeling exhausted, and I did have to put on a brave face but I was happy to endure the pain for the day because it meant I was able to have a lovely time in Spain.

I can't recommend the service enough to anybody who might struggle with travelling.





I'm now back in England and I must admit the temperature difference has hit me hard but I'm very happy to be able to drink a decent cup of tea at last! And on that note, I think I'm going to go and boil the kettle.

x Hayley-Eszti


22 comments

  1. Thanks for reminding me of this service. I'm glad it helped you. I know how much you needed a break and now you have many wonderful memories from Spain.

    I also love how you find the good in the small things in life, like a cup of real British tea. I think this quality will see you through, no matter what happens. I think about you often and it's good to hear from you. Hugs, Inger

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  2. Excellent information. The last time we traveled it was in the US and we didn't call ahead and ask about this service. We had a bad experience only at the gate (my daughter was in a wheelchair provided by the airport)

    I sometimes wonder where they hire the personnel who man the turnstiles. . .

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  3. I used this service the last time we took the family to Hawaii--it was wonderful. So glad you enjoyed your trip!!

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  4. aww I'm so glad the service was great! It's really good that they can do all of that :-)
    I hope you had a really lovely time in Spain and I imagine your kettle will now constantly be boiling. BRITISH WEATHER SUCKS

    Francesca xo
    www.yummylikecake.com

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  5. So good to see that you are back safely and soundly! What an excellent service provided for you too.
    Good to see you enjoy the simple, but important, things in life.....a good cup of tea!!

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  6. I'm glad to hear you had an enjoyable break, and thank you for sharing about the service. I would love to travel but don't think I'm physically (or financially) up to it currently - also, the whole having no one to travel with would surely make it even more difficult - but you have given me hope that I will be able to travel earlier than 'after I fully recover'.

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  7. Exhausted maybe but I guess it was all worth it? <3

    /Avy

    http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

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  9. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  10. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  11. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  12. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  13. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  14. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  15. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  16. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  17. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  18. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  19. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  20. After using special assistance witg Ryan air myself I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. You only ever hear bad things about them. Flying with them again on Sunday. So fingers crossed it goes as smoothly.
    Sian

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  22. Ah sorry Hayley, just seen how much I'd spammed your comments. I couldn't remember on which blog I'd left this comment either, but now I know! Xx

    ReplyDelete

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