Planning a family trip with any child can be a challenge. Planning a trip when a child has special health needs can be overwhelming. Preparation is the key to a happy and healthy trip. Here are a few hints that may help.
  • Talk to your child's primary care provider (PCP) about any concerns you may have. Get tips about what to bring, and what symptoms might signal an emergency. Make sure to tell your child's PCP if you are traveling out of the country.
  • Put together a short medical history of your child. For example, bring your child's immunization record and copies of important health forms (Word) doc format of chapter1_important_information_about_your_child.do
with you.
  • Plan for an emergency. Find out ahead of time where the closest hospital or clinic is to where you will be staying. Find out about health care providers in the area. Your child's PCP may be able to help you with this. Bring the phone number of your child's PCP's with you just in case you need it. If your child requires durable medical equipment (DME), ask the DME vendor to refer you to a vendor near where you will be staying.
  • If traveling out of state, call the Member Services Representative at your child's health plan to find out about health care coverage outside of Massachusetts. Talk to the case manager about coordinating services for your child in another state.
  • Be sure you have enough medical supplies and medications. Ask your child's PCP to give you an extra prescription(s) in case something happens to the medications you bring. If you are traveling by airplane, bus, or train, keep all medicines and prescriptions in your carry-on bags. If any of your child's medications need to be refrigerated, put them in a thermal container.
  • If flying or taking a bus or train, call a few days before you leave to let the company know of any help you might need with your child.If you need to bring special equipment, ask about taking it on board.
  • If staying at a hotel or motel, call the management in advance. Let them know of anything they could provide that would make your stay easier. For example, if you need a room that is accessible or smoke-free, ask for it in advance. Tell them about any electrical equipment your child uses. Be sure to write down the confirmation number for your room reservation and the name of the person you spoke to.
  • Call the Chamber of Commerce in the town or city you plan to visit. They may be able to tell you about local agencies and activities for children with disabilities.
  • Make lists of things to do, things to bring, and important phone numbers. This will help you stay organized. Make extra copies of the lists for other adults traveling with you.

Tip: For information about travel and transportation security, contact: