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Travelling and holidaying with a carer

Older people are often put off from travelling due to the significant effort involved in preparing and organising trips.

Key Points:

  • A holiday carer can be a family member or friend, or a carer from a service provider
  • Holiday carers can help you prepare for a trip as well as accompany you on it to ensure you are safe and well while away from home
  • Do some research to find the right service provider that can help you organise a holiday carer

All of the components of travelling – packing, bookings and transportation – can be a little daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. 

Whether you are travelling overseas, a short break interstate, on a cruise ship or a road trip, you can organise a holiday carer to assist.

They can help with the planning and can escort you on the holiday to help you have a good time while receiving the care required.

Suppose you struggle with planning a trip or are worried about your mobility limitations -in that case, a holiday carer can help you put your travel dreams into reality and accompany you on the journey so you can focus on enjoying your time away.

Holiday carers can assist in all stages of the travel process

Holiday care services are similar to home care services, so you may already have experience utilising a carer to assist you with daily tasks.

You could have a formal or informal carer. A formal carer is accessed through a service provider, while an informal carer could be a friend or family member who takes on that role.

You can organise either type of carer for your holiday and they can be as hands-on or as passive in your preparation and journey as you like. 

On top of basic essential personal care, holiday carers can help with the tasks involved in organising and embarking on a holiday while also doubling as a travelling companion. 

Some of the ways a carer can help you include:

  • Helping you navigate information available to book your holiday
  • Filling out any necessary documentation such as a passport application or a declaration of goods if you are flying internationally
  • Finding suitable destinations and accommodation for your needs, including accessibility considerations
  • Helping you pack
  • Ensuring you have enough medications and other essential medical equipment before you go and that it is taken/ used properly
  • Navigating an airport
  • Boarding a plane or other forms of transport safely
  • Driving you to your destination

By having all of the details taken care of, you can focus on what’s important – having fun, making memories and exploring new sights!

Financial considerations

Considering your finances before organising a trip is important to ensure you are financially safe and secure while you are away from home.

If you are taking an informal carer with you on a trip, they may be willing to come and contribute to the cost of the holiday, but expenses such as travel insurance need to be considered too.

Similarly, if you are accessing a holiday carer through a provider, you will likely need to contribute to the cost of their services. 

What you will pay depends on how you are paying, what type of services and support you are receiving and for how long, so it is important to discuss all of these things with your service provider when organising a holiday carer. 

You may pay privately from your own personal money, commonly known as private home care, or you may have some costs subsidised by your Home Care Package. It is likely that the Government won’t allow you to use your HCP to fund your trip or to take a carer with you. 

You should discuss your options with your family and aged care provider to see what can be organised.

If you need further help to understand what may be required, you can engage a financial advisor to discuss the agreement you make with your provider or your financial situation. You can read more about different types of financial assistance available in our article: ‘What a financial advisor can do for you’.

If you are unable to find a holiday carer, there are also specific organisations that provide holiday services for older people or those with disability that include access to carers while you are away travelling.

How to access a holiday carer

If you already utilise an informal carer who is willing to assist with your holiday, you don’t have to worry about finding one through a provider.

However, if you don’t have an informal carer, you may have a home carer that works with you as part of a Home Care Package and may be able to assist you on holiday.

Alternatively, some service providers have specific holiday carers available for you to access.

Providers should work with you to assess your needs and provide you with the best type of support required. 

You can find a suitable provider who can assist with travel through the Aged Care Guide service finder tool, or by reaching out to your current home care provider to see if your carer is available to go on holiday with you.

Have you been on holiday with your carer? What was the most memorable moment? Let us know in the comments below. 

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