Transport and travel
The person you care for may need help in travelling outside the home. Knowing how to get around and what you need to think about when travelling can help to make things easier.
You may be able to get help with getting around, including transport services for you and the person you care for, and free or subsidised (cheaper for you) public transport and taxis.
What transport help can you get
Transport services include:
- public transport – you and the person you care for can get cheaper tickets on public transport if you have concession cards (such as a Pensioner Concession Card). As a carer, you might be able to travel for free with a Companion Card. A mobility allowance can help adults who can’t use public transport without help
- taxis – each state and territory has taxi vouchers and subsidies for people with disability and their carers
- Australian Capital Territory – Taxi Subsidy Scheme
- New South Wales – Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme
- Northern Territory – Transport Subsidy Schemes
- Queensland – Taxi Subsidy Scheme
- South Australia – Transport Subsidy Scheme
- Tasmania – Taxi Subsidy Program
- Victoria – Multi Purpose Taxi Program
- Western Australia – Taxi User Subsidy Scheme
- community transport services – many community groups offer transport for the elderly and people with disability and their carers. Support groups may also offer transport for people with specific conditions. Carers Australia can tell you about services you can get in your local area.
What patient travel help can you get
You may be able to get subsidised (cheaper for you) transport services if the person you care for needs to go to regular medical treatment. Patient travel services include:
- Australian Capital Territory – Interstate Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme
- New South Wales – Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme
- Northern Territory – Patient Assisted Travel Scheme
- Queensland – Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme
- South Australia – Patient Assistance Transport Scheme
- Tasmania – Patient Travel Assistance Scheme
- Victoria – Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme
- Western Australia – Patient Assisted Travel Scheme
- Veterans – people with Department of Veterans’ Affairs Health Cards may also be able to get help with travel costs through the Repatriation Transport Scheme
You can also talk to the hospital or medical centre you go to, because they may have some advice about where to go for transport help
What parking help can you get
If the person you care for has a physical impairment, they can get an Australian disability parking permit that allows them to park in disabled parking areas. Their physical impairment can be temporary or permanent, and you will need a doctor’s certificate to apply.
You can apply for a permit through your state or territory transport department:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
If you travel with the person you care for, it’s a good idea to research and carefully plan the trip.
Whether you are travelling in Australia or overseas, you should make an emergency care plan that has all the important information about the person you care for and their need for care, and take a copy with you.
Plan how you will travel – whether by air, sea, rail or road. When you book your travel, talk with the transport provider about special needs, for example taking a wheelchair on board an aeroplane or ordering special meals.
Plan how you will get around once you arrive at your destination. For example, you will need to know if the local buses, trains or taxis are accessible to the person you care for. Disabled Motorists Australia has advice about accessible hire cars, links to websites on public transport accessibility, and member discounts with motoring organisations.
If you are booking accommodation, find out if the place will be accessible and what services they may offer. If you are travelling within Australia, you can search for accessible accommodation on cangoeverywhere.com.au.
Planning overseas travel
If you’re travelling overseas, you may need to:
- buy travel insurance – the Australian Government doesn’t pay for medical treatment overseas or transport anyone back to Australia for treatment, so insurance is important in case you or the person you care for need health care while you are overseas
- tell the Services Australia (if you get a Carer Payment and if you will be away for more than 6 weeks)
- tell the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (if the person you care for gets a payment from the department and if you will be away for more than 6 weeks)
You may need to make special plans if you are going to take medicines when you travel overseas. You should:
- take a supply of medicines that will be enough for the trip as well as for any delays
- check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to make sure the medicines are legal
- carry a letter from your doctor that lists your medicines
- keep medicines in their original packaging so that they can be easily identified