Travelling with equipment and medicine

We've got some top tips if you're travelling with medication or medical equipment for you or the person you care for, particularly if you are travelling by plane.

Travelling with medical equipment

  • Always try to keep the equipment that you take with you on holiday to a minimum. Take only what is essential. You may be able to hire equipment when you get there but check before you set off.
  • You can’t prepare for everything that might happen but if you have an emergency when you are on holiday you should be able to get help locally. 
  • However, you could look up the names of disability organisations in the area where you are going on holiday. You could get in touch with them before you go or just make sure you have their contact details with you. 
  • If you use electrical equipment such as a ventilator, and are going abroad, check the voltage supply in the country you are visiting and carry a supply of spare batteries.

Travelling with medicine

  • Don’t put all your medicines in one bag. Instead make sure you have enough medicine in each bag in case a bag goes missing. Make sure you also pack enough medicine in case you are delayed.
  • It is a good idea to have a letter from your GP saying which medicines you need with you. 
  • Some countries may have different rules about which prescribed medications you are allowed to take into the country so make sure you check before you travel. You may need to get a permit to let you travel. Find out more about travelling with controlled drugs on
  • Also have a look at Can I take my medicine abroad? on the NHS website for more advice about traveling with medication.

If you are flying

  • Carry medicines in your hand luggage and put any spares in your suitcase. 
  • Airlines usually let you carry medicine and medical equipment in the cabin for free and in addition to the normal cabin baggage allowance but check with them first.
  • Carry a letter from your GP which lists everything you need to take.  
  • Check with your airline to see if there is anything else they recommend you do.

European Health Insurance card and private travel insurance

  • Buy travel insurance to make sure you can get the healthcare treatment you need.
  • Find out more about the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and how this is likely to change.
  • See the NHS Guides to healthcare when travelling abroad.