Be Prepared

Royal Flying Doctor Service will be there for you no matter where you live, work, or travel throughout Australia. But, there are some simple things you can do before you travel to prepare for the unexpected.

Our experienced team share their tips including what to pack, how to prepare, and what to do in case of emergency.

Preparing for an RFDS flight

Preparing for a drive

If you do need RFDS help, you can call 1300 MYRFDS (1300 697 337). You’ll also find some helpful information below if you do need to take a flight with the Flying Doctor.

Preparing For An RFDS Flight

Graphic: Is the plane safe

Is the plane safe?

Our aircraft are all maintained under world-class safety standards by qualified engineers. We understand that you may feel anxious about flying, so please talk to our flight team who are armed with tips, tricks and even earplugs to help make your transfer more comfortable.

Graphic: What if I am nervous?

What if I'm nervous?

If you're anxious about flying, flag this with the flight crew on arrival. Our teams are highly experienced with helping patients deal with nerves and anxiety around flying. Along with helpful tips, they can take you through all the safety information and various breathing exercises. We also recommend bringing along good distractions such as movies preloaded on your phone, a book, and noise-cancelling headphones.

Graphic: How long will the flight take?

How long will it take?

Our flight crew will be able to provide an accurate flight path and itinerary once you are onboard the aircraft. We may at times have another patient onboard, or need to drop-off and pick-up a patient along the way, which can impact your arrival time. We know friends and family may want to meet you at your arrival location, and our flight crew will do their best to provide an accurate time once you’re onboard. You can use your mobile phone before take-off to communicate with loved ones and organise a time to meet.

Graphic: What do I bring?

What do I bring?

Please ensure your luggage is less than 5kg.

As part of our rigorous safety standards, we do have a strict 5kg weight limit on all luggage. Please only pack essentials such as:

- A comfortable set of sleepwear 1 or 2 comfortable outfits for during the day
- Slippers and/or another pair of appropriate footwear
- Your phone and charger
- Just the basic toiletries
- All  medications you will need

Graphic: What can't I bring?

What can't I bring?

Please don't pack any dangerous goods.  Dangerous goods such as cleaning products, batteries and weapons are not permitted on the flight. Similarly, aerosols including deodorant will only be permitted if they have a secured lid or twist turn-off function.

Graphic: Entertainment

Is there entertainment?

Some of our planes have iPads that are preloaded with family-friendly movies, but not all. You are allowed to use your phone or handheld device so long as it is set to flight mode. We recommend you download your entertainment from streaming services before you fly, and don't forget your headphones. Other than safety information, we don't carry reading materials so the same goes for preparing your own books, newspapers and magazines.

Graphic: Can I use my phone?

Can I use my phone?

Please ensure your mobile is set to flight mode. The crew will provide instruction for when flight mode needs to be turned on and off. You can take photos, watch or read preloaded content, as well as play any offline games. You cannot make phone calls, text or use online internet functions during the flight

Graphic: Can I take photos?

Can I take photos?

Yes you can! Please share your journey highlights with us by tagging @rfdsqld on social media.

We love seeing our patients share their RFDS journeys on social media. It's a great way to acknowledge the crews who are working tirelessly, help drive community awareness for our services, and it brings a big smile to all our faces when we see patients enjoy their RFDS experience.

Preparing For A Drive

Graphic: Preparing for a drive

What should I bring?

Pack a regionally-relevant first aid kit. Ensure you're prepared for the unusual dangers that can be associated with regional travel. Prepare for experiences such as extreme weather conditions, snakebites and dehydration. It's best to pack a first aid kit that is tailored to this kind of experience and includes items like burn blankets and window breakers, as well as carrying excess drinking water. If you need a first aid kit, check out Rescue Swag, the only kit you need for adventures, which also supports the RFDS..

Graphic: Emergency planning

How can I be found in an emergency?

Travel with a real GPS or EPIRB. There are large spans of road across Queensland where you will not be able to rely on your mobile phone's GPS. Ensure that you can be located in an emergency by bringing a real GPS or an Electronic Position Indicator (EPIRB) - and know how to contact emergency services such as the RFDS in rural locations without phone reception. We recommend also packing a paper map to prevent becoming lost and running out of fuel.

Graphic: Planning a driving trip

What should I plan out?

Plan out fuel stops, a secondary driver and weather predictions. Know your vehicle's capabilities, and don't push them. Petrol stations can be few and far between on rural roads so plan fuel stops and top up when you can. Check weather predictions and forecasts before you depart and don't risk extreme conditions. We recommend that you always have a plan for who and how someone will operate your vehicle if you become incapacitated.

Graphic: medical chest

Should I pack medications?

Most rural pharmacies hold limited quantities of medications, so ensure you pack enough medication to cover the length of your trip.
The RFDS manages more than 1200 Medical Chests throughout Queensland, providing a wide range of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical items which may be available for treatment of non-emergency conditions. If you are travelling and find yourself in a medical situation, please call 1800 MY RFDS (tel link: 1800 69 7337) for assistance.