Some handy hints for amputees travelling overseas:

  • It is worthwhile having your prosthesis serviced by your Artificial Limb Centre prior to going overseas to ensure that it is in the best possible condition.
  • Leave a spare limb (if you have one) at home already packaged so that it is able to be couriered to you in the event of a significant malfunction with your current limb.
  • Take your disability card with you for ease of parking in crowded areas. It is an internationally recognised sign although does not have jurisdiction in countries other than NZ (see below).
  • Hiring a lightweight, easily collapsible and transportable wheelchair can make life a lot easier and less tiring, also providing access to a far greater range of sights and experiences, especially for a double amputee. In some European countries, a person in a wheelchair goes to the front of any queue.
  • Elbow crutches that can be taken apart and packed into a suitcase are ideal for those who rely on crutches for mobility at any stage.
  • Take an adequate supply of your normal lotions and potions so that you are not reliant on accessing them in a country whose language/culture may be different.
  • Take plenty of stump socks (if you use them) to allow frequent changes, particularly in hot weather when perspiration can quickly irritate the skin.
  • Take adequate supplies of Derma Prevent (available from Artificial Limb Centres) to be applied and massaged into the residual limb at regular intervals to reduce perspiration. To obtain maximum benefit, always ensure that the limb is clean and dry prior to application of this.
  • Warn the airport security prior to going through the metal detector that your artificial limb will probably trigger the alarms.
  • Wearing firm support stockings on the lower limb(s) reduces the usual swollen ankles experienced on long flights by many people, and means that at the end of the flight shoe(s) are not tight, making initial mobility much more comfortable.

The following parking information may be helpful for those planning to travel to the United Kingdom:

In the UK, the English version of Operation Mobility is an Orange Badge. To ask for membership, write to RADAR, 25 Mortimer Street, London WIN8AB. Tell them when you are travelling, how long you are staying and that you would like an Orange Badge for parking concessions.

In Australia, each State operates its own scheme and not all recognise the NZ parking permit.  Australia has the following schemes:

  • South Australia – Disabled Persons Parking, administered by Transport SA, 60 Wakefield Street, Adelaide 5000
  • Northern Territory – Disabled Persons Parking is administered by each city or town
  • Queensland – Disabled Parking, Queensland Transport, P O Box 673, Fortitude Valley 4006
  • New South Wales – Mobility Parking, Roads & Traffic Authority, P O Box K198, Sydney 2000
The CCS Disability Action website is a good source of information for travellers

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