Preparing to travel for surgery

When you’re planning to travel for hip or knee surgery, it is important to be prepared and be flexible.

General travel tips:

  • Bring a support person. You’ll need help before and after surgery. Arrange to have someone with you for your entire trip.
  • Book open-ended tickets so you can change your travel plans if needed.
  • Be prepared for an early or late discharge from the hospital. Your discharge date and/or time may change. Make sure your support person is prepared and that you have a place to stay if you are discharged early.
  • Bring only the equipment you need.  To learn more, visit Equipment.

Travel Assistance Program (TAP)

You may be eligible for funding to help with travel costs. The Travel Assistance Program (TAP) is managed by the Medical Services Plan (MSP) and may help to reduce travel costs for people who have to travel within BC for non-emergency medical services.

Visit the Travel Assistance Program website or call 1-800-661-2668 (toll-free).

Travel by air

Ask your airline if you need to fill out any forms or bring any documents for your flight home.

Travel on BC Ferries

Special arrangements can be made when you travel on BC Ferries after surgery.

To learn more, call: 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779) or visit BC Ferries Website.

Travel by bus

BC Transit - information on travel within BC 
Translink - information on travel within Metro Vancouver 

Travel for people with disabilities
SN Transport - door to door transportation within BC for people with disabilities

HandyDART - transportation for people with disabilities who are unable to use conventional transit

Staying in and around Vancouver

Some hotels offer discounted rates for patients. Ask about “medical rates” when you book your room.

Medical Travel Accommodation Listing - a list of hotels in BC that offer discount rates for patients, maintained by the Ministry of Labour and Citizens’ Services

Vancouver Coastal Health Accommodation Guide (PDF) - places to stay near Vancouver General Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre and UBC Hospital

Hospital Information

Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) – Jim Pattison Pavilion webpage

UBC Hospital webpage

Richmond Hospital webpage

Lions Gate Hospital webpage

CIBC Centre for Patients & Families