Travelling With Disabilities

That photo above is from James and I’s trip to Corralejo in 2016 for my 30th birthday. At this point, I was in a lot of back pain due to my ever deteriorating spine, I still had a numb right leg, I was exhausted, and my joints were, well my joints. However, I was determined not to let my body and mind stop me from having an epic 30th birthday. The aim was for me to spend my 30th birthday somewhere warm, with a beach, paddling about on a surfboard in a place I’d never been before.

Previously, I loved to surf. Most weekends around four years ago James and I would don our wetsuits and rent boards and head off into the water at Belhaven Bay in Scotland. We would do this all the way through to December! You get the idea – I love the ocean.

The plan – 2 weeks in Corralejo, Fuerteventura in the gorgeous villa called Wave Rider Surf School – right there on the beach – this was what we woke up to each morning:

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Anyway, on to the point of this post – what did I learn from my two weeks in the sun?

ALWAYS wear sunscreen!
Even at night. Disabilies + sunstroke or sunburn is a dangerous combination.

Pace yourself.
Have days where there is no plan except to rest. Even in then there are lots of things to do – paddle your feet in the sea, read a book on the balcony, buy lots of local food the night before and have a feast in your room. It is better to pace things out and enjoy them than to overexert yourself and be running on empty for the rest of the holiday.

Pack what you need to be comfortable.
Even if you feel a particular aid isn’t needed you will be grateful you have it, should the need arise. Things like canes, splints, braces and anything else custom to you – take it with you. It may be extra luggage, but if it means comfort, then it is worth it. Things like allergy medication, necessary pain relief, and anything else that is available over the counter you can purchase when you are on holiday but your custom made knee brace won’t.

Print off allergy warnings in the local language
I had a screenshot on my phone that essentially said not to feed me sheep products or gluten or I might explode. One restaurant served me a plate of boiled baby potatoes. Just potatoes.

Take your physical paper prescriptions with you
Your GP can arrange this. Having the real paper prescriptions will prove that they are your medications to the many people that will ask, especially if you carry auto-injectors – like EpiPens. Make sure pharmacy labels are still on the outside of each package as well.

Dress ergonomically not aesthetically
If you look amazing but are uncomfortable, you will be unhappy. Take shoes that are comfortable to walk in, clothes suitable for the weather and an easy to carry bag. If you can move with ease, you will have more fun.

That’s it!

I hope this was useful – if you have anything to add to this list comment below or catch me on social media @mieliboo.

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