Health and Mobility Tips

Ms Bella St John

If you know me at all, you know I am a solid Pollyanna-type – focused on the positive, the inspiring… finding the beauty in the seemingly mundane…  You will also know that I live a most amazing life, travelling the globe, working from and exploring extraordinary places, meeting interesting people, and having fabulous adventures…

What most do not know – or even if they know a little, do not know the full extent – is that I have a set of physical ‘challenges’.

On this page I would like to share some of the health and mobility tips I have discovered over the years that make travelling the world and exploring amazing places not only possible in the first place, but an amazing, inspiring, and enjoyable experience.

Please note, this information is general in nature for those who have health and mobility challenges, but are still able to travel solo.  Obviously, for those under medical supervision, check with your doctor before embarking on any journey.  Also, the following are simply tips and suggested based on what I have used – I do not endorse any of these services, nor do I recieve any compensation for referrals.

Luggage Forwarding Services

I travel the world 24/7 with about eight suitcases, but only four of them are checked baggage on the aircraft.

The other four are sent via a luggage forwarding service – these days I use SendMyBag.  It’s a simple process of packing in advance, letting them know how many cases and the weight (I suggest buying one of those nifty little luggage weighing devices), plus if you are travelling internationally, there will be a standard customs form to fill in with a list of the contents.

They collect the suitcases from the door in one location and deliver them to the door of my next location.

Just remember to check out their FAQ section, and in particular what you are not allowed to send.

Wheelchair Assistance

While I do not need a wheelchair generally speaking, when travelling by commercial air, I always have my assistant book wheelchair assistance for me.  This saves so much hassle, and means that there is someone there to assist with my luggage – and that I am not holding people up going through security (there is usually a separate security line).

It is necessary to contact the airline well in advance of your flight to book – and from personal experience, it is also a good idea to double check right up to the actual morning of your flight.

If, as in my case, you are travelling with more than one wheeled suitcase, it is also essential that you advise them so they can be prepared with a luggage trolley.

Connecting Flights

When using wheelchair assistance at the airport, it is important to remember that while you will be the first person on the plane, you will be the very last one off – sometimes a good ten minutes or more after the other passengers have disembarked.

As such, it is important to ensure that you have sufficient time between your connecting flights – and that you confirm with wheelchair assistance on both ends on the morning of your flight, and again when you board.

Getting To and From the Airport

While many people would not think of using a limousine instead of a taxi, there are many benefits of doing so.  Among them are that the driver will go out of his way to make sure you are taken care of at each end.  He will handle your luggage for you, and more often than not, will go over and above to make sure you are taken care of both during your transfer and at the destination when he delivers you.  For me, it is always worth the extra expense – especially when travelling alone in a foreign country.

The company I use is Blacklane, and they are wonderful!  With the one app, I can book a chauffeur in most places around the globe.  Not only that, but they confirm the price when I book, and process payment only after the trip has been successful (another bonus is that you do not have to worry about paying the driver in person – although I do recommend tipping him anywhere from 10% to 30% based on the level of service).

On top of all that, they send me a text message with the name and cell number of my driver, as well as a text when he arrives at my location.

Plus, if ever you have a hassle or need to ask a question, they respond almost immediately via Facebook Messenger.

Folding Walking and Hiking Sticks

For those who use walking sticks, it is important to note that several airlines will no longer allow you to take your walking stick on the plane with you.

A good alternative, is to purchase folding walking and/or hiking sticks.  These are permitted in your carry-on luggage.

Language Basics

It is always a good idea to learn the basics of the language of the country you are about to visit – hello, goodbye, please, and thank you, etc.

What many do not consider is how useful it can be to ask questions such as:

  • Where is the nearest pharmacy?
  • Is there an elevator?
  • Do you speak English?
  • Can someone help me?

For me, the very first essential phrase I learned when I was about to spend several months in Italy was:

Vorrei un bicchiere di vino rosso, per favore

Give it some thought and come up with a list of questions and phrases that will be most important to you when you are travelling.


Ms St John has spent literally years travelling the world with both health and mobility challenges, and would love to be able to support you by providing whatever information she can.  If you have any questions at all on the subject, please email us: