A Support Worker’s Guide When Travelling with Clients

Travelling in Sydney is now back to normal. If you are a Support Worker, you may need to travel with a Client upon their request, which could include a day tour or an overnight getaway. It is essential to correctly prepare for the trip to ensure that it will be a comfortable, safe, and memorable experience.

As every Client has different requirements, it is important to prepare well before you travel. This article can serve as a practical guide for you as a Support Worker so you can confidently and safely help your Clients to travel.

A Support Worker’s Guide to a Hassle-Free Travel with Clients

Preparation is Key

A smooth trip with a Client involves adequate preparation, so it is important to plan beforehand. Specifically, you will need to prepare your Client’s essentials, such as medications, equipment and other items that may be needed.

Communicate With Your Client

We recommend discussing your Client’s upcoming travel plans with them to help you anticipate potential challenges and become better prepared for the trip. This includes learning details about the trip and anticipating specific things to request from the venue staff. This could include equipment such as a wheelchair or ramp, resources such as a social story, or information such as the best times to enjoy activities for those with sensory processing requirements. It is important to eEnsure everyone is clear on how things like accommodation and meals will be paid for and have this clearly documented prior to the trip. 

Living My Way’s Support Worker team recently took the time to talk through a Client’s travel plans prior to their trip. The Client wished to see his grandmother in Northern NSW, so he and his Support Worker discussed and planned the trip until they both felt comfortable, supported and  aware of the potential costs involved. They discussed things like petrol and reimbursement of kilometres after they worked out that it would be cheaper to drive than fly, and the fact that the time in the car meant that the Client could get out and go for a walk when he felt anxious. They discussed the accommodation and decided  to rent a 2 bedroom apartment so the Client could feel supported, which  the Client paid for himself. They decided that  they would eat some meals together, and that the participant would pay for this food while the Support Worker would prepare and cook it. For the other meals, they planned that the Support Worker would take a break, eat alone and  would pay for these meals themselves. In the interest of safety, they also discussed the Client’s safety plan and other required support plans. They then checked with the broader Living My Way team  to make sure that the Client’s NDIS Plan would cover the Support Worker’s time out of Core supports, and determined the appropriate pay rates and allowances for the Support Worker. By discussing the Client’s travel ahead of time, Living My Way was able to create a plan that covered  the safety , compliance and financial aspects of the holiday. The Client had a lovely time visiting his grandmother; he felt safe and secure with his supports; the Support Worker was confident that he would be able to provide this support physically and knew that he would be paid accordingly while being aware of what was expected during this time.

Review Your Client’s Care or Support Plan

A planned trip will need to be adapted to the Client’s support needs. Upon receiving a confirmation of the trip, you will need to make sure you carefully review your Client’s support plan. Moreover, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of your Client’s care needs, their personal preferences for matters that are important to them and it is recommended that this all be discussed with your client well in advance of the trip. 

List Important Contacts

 It is important to request your Client’s key contacts, including family members, guardians, and medical professionals prior to travelling. Preparing this contact list beforehand and having this with you at all times of the trip is important in case of an emergency. 

As well as having your Client’s contact list, we also suggest researching the locations of the nearest supermarket, pharmacy, clinic, or hospital from your destination. Keep this list handy whilst you are on the trip as you never know when you may need something until the last minute. 

Anticipate Potential Challenges

For some Clients, noisy environments such as train stations and airports can be challenging. Therefore, it is best to plan how to keep your Client calm and make the situation less stressful during these times.

If your Client has allergies, intolerances, dietary requirements or dietary preferences it will also be important to work out how you will manage these during the trip. This could involve bringing safe food, thinking about how you could keep adrenaline autoinjectors cool enough, figuring out where your Client could wash their hands before eating and talking to cafes that are near your destination to see if they understand cross-contamination.

Strive to Make it a Memorable Experience

Travelling can be a lot of fun! After all, it is one of the ways for your Client to enjoy life and experience novelty. Therefore, it is essential to allow your Client the freedom to do what they want with your support. And of course, a Support Worker should be respectful and professional at all times while providing the necessary support.

Travelling with a Client can be a source of wonderful memories. The role of a Support Worker is to make it a fun, meaningful, and safe trip. Preparing, communicating, and doing research in advance are key in creating a memorable experience for you and your Client.


Since 1992, Living My Way has been supporting people with disability to live self-directed lives. As a trusted Member-based not-for-profit organisation, we take pride in offering disability support services based on an individualised and holistic approach to help empower our Members to live independently as they choose.

Our Support Workers enjoy a range of employee benefits including flexible working options, wellbeing programs, study payments, professional development, rostered days off and more. 

Would you like to enjoy these benefits while making a difference?

To find out more, call us on (02) 8525 4000 or click here to email [email protected]

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