Transport & travel with a prosthesis

After an amputation, your life will be altered considerably on many levels. So, it is important to find your own way again in daily life. What is possible with a prosthesis – and what is not? Can you still drive a car, for instance? And what about cycling?

Your daily life changes dramatically after an amputation. Apart from modifications in and around your home, you will also notice changes related to transport. Driving a car and parking or cycling require adaptations. You’ll also have to consider your amputation and prosthesis when deciding on your next holiday (destination). The checklist before you travel is a bit more extensive than clean underwear and socks.

Is it possible for amputees to drive a car with a prosthesis? Is it even allowed? And what other factors do you need to consider before getting behind the wheel. We went looking for some answers. Please note that there are differences between countries. 

Whether taking the train or traveling by tram or metro - our tips and a little extra time for preparation will help you using public transport during your holiday more carefree. Read more about traveling with a prosthesis.  

Do you want to go cycling and don’t know how to do this with your prosthesis? We show you possible modifications for your bike and what you need to consider in advance.  

5 tips for a carefree holiday with a prosthesis

Almost every holiday requires good planning, but travelling with a prosthesis often requires a bit of extra preparation. Fortunately, there are ways to make your trip as trouble-free as possible. Below are our five tips for a carefree holiday. 

1. Check your prosthesis before leaving home

There is nothing more irritating than experiencing problems with your prosthesis while on holiday. So, check your prosthesis carefully before leaving for cracks, odd sounds or tears in your liner. Discover a problem? Schedule an appointment with your O&P professional to have your prosthesis repaired. Now you can go on holiday without any worries!    

2. Put together a travel kit

Make sure you have everything you need with you during your trip. This lets you leave home with any worries. Suggested contents:

  • Soap – It’s important to keep your prosthesis clean, especially in a hot environment. So, include a bottle of mild antibacterial soap in your bag.
  • Antiperspirant – If you’re travelling to a hot or humid climate, you can keep the skin around your prosthesis dry with an antiperspirant like baby powder. Just make sure to talk to your doctor first.
  • Extra parts – It can sometimes be difficult to predict how your residual limb will respond in a different climate. The volume of your residual limb may decrease, for example, as a result of which your prosthesis will no longer fit properly. So, consider bringing extra parks with you, such as extra prosthetic socks or other items that you normally use in combination with your prosthesis. 
  • Residual limb care – Enjoy an active holiday? All of the activities may result in the onset of a blister or sore. So, make sure you have care products with you to protect and treat your skin.

3. Flying? Take precautionary measures

Flying with a prosthesis is not always a picnic. You may be subjected to an extra inspection by customs officials or have to cover a long distance from the departure hall to the gate. So, take the necessary precautionary measures by informing the airline beforehand of any needs you may have while travelling. Need to borrow a wheelchair at the airport? Extra legroom? Extra baggage? Assistance during a short layover? Contact the airline, so that your airport experience will be a pleasant one. 

4. Choose the right accommodations (and ask for help!)

Not all hotels, resorts, apartments or cruise ships offer all of the facilities you might need for a comfortable stay. Which facilities are important to you, of course, is individual. So, make a list of all of the facilities you need and select your accommodation based on these criteria. Of course, that is not always easy, so don’t hesitate to use a travel agency, travel agent or holiday organisation to plan your trip. 

5. Stay calm and know your rights

Travelling with a prosthesis can be frustrating. But if you are well prepared and remain calm in difficult situations, most problems can be resolved quickly. Do you feel uncomfortable in a situation or has someone crossed your boundaries? Express your concerns. 

More information?

Want to travel again and are you curious about the experiences of other amputees? Join the Movao community! Here you will find all the information you need about amputations and prostheses. Become a member and get access to all of this information and become part of an international network. Our community has numerous experienced members who can provide you with support and answers to your questions. You in turn will have the opportunity to help others. Register right away or log in to contact the Movao community.