Traveling with disabilities may make you a little nervous, but don’t let this nervousness turn into fear and stop you from exploring your surroundings and new places. There are so many useful travel tips and information for traveling with disability.
So, don’t stop yourself, a family member or friend from taking trips, tours and holidays because of some disability.
It doesn’t matter what problem you have whether you are handicapped, have a physical limitation, developmental disability, require special needs & care, aren’t able to freely move around, use wheelchair or special scooter or simply are a senior citizen with slower pace, all these things should not make your travel full of anxiety.
Find out and get different kinds of disabled travel services there are to make your travel easier and full of fun. With regards to traveling with disabilities, here are few helpful travel tips for disabled travelers.
Travel Advice for Disabled Travelers
Travel for the disabled need not be full of doubt and worry, make every trip a hassle-free experience, with these travel tips for disabled travelers.
1. Plan ahead
You need to plan ahead for the travel, not only the basics, like your destination, hotel, transportation service, but things like getting a physical examination, changing medications and prescriptions, and carrying enough drugs while you are traveling.
If you need to have a dental work, get it done before your travel, and also if you wear glasses, have them checked and get an extra pair. The same goes for your wheelchair if you use one, have it checked for any repair works or just fine tune it.
2. Use trusted travel agency specializing on disabled travelers
Go for reputed travel agency, who specializes in providing services for disabled travelers, for booking your travels. They will take care of your travel insurance as well as other special needs; you only need to inform them about it.They will help you a lot in securing logistics and other details of your travels.
From booking wheelchair accessible hotel room, getting a wheelchair at the airport, securing transportation services like wheelchair accessible taxi service to getting you a reliable guide/companion for assistance, if you need one in your travels, they do it all with a lot of thought and care for your comfort.
3. Keep contact details handy
When you are traveling, keep all your contact details within your reach, especially contact details of your family back home, your doctor, and your travel agent, and be careful not to lose them. In case you do lose them while traveling in a new place, be it a new city or a foreign country, take phone numbers of other travel agencies, specializing in travel for the disabled, besides your own travel agent. They may be of some assistance to you in your travels, if you are having difficulty and are unable to get in touch with your agent.
4. Check the local health & medical facilities
Before you visit a new city, do a little research on the health and medical facilities available there. Check if they have oxygen, emergency care and medications needed for you, and if not, where can you get them around the city. If there are some complications during your travels, they may be able to help you out.
5. Keep copies & list
Like with important contact details, keep a list of your medications and prescriptions, along with your doctor’s / hospital’s contact details, in your carry-on. Also, make copies of these and keep them in your luggage at home. Inform one or two of your family member where you have kept all the medical reports.
6. Memorize the names of your medications
I am sure that many of us, disabled or not, do not know what kind of medication we are taking, what are they for or even their names. So, before you travel, memorize the names of your medications. If there is ever a situation where you need to inform emergency health workers what medications you are taking and what for, they may not be able to help you. And, if they do somehow, they might either give you a wrong medication or wrong dosage. It may hinder your treatment and recovery.
7. Get your transport ready
If you are planning to rent a wheelchair accessible taxi service, van, a handicap scooter or any means of transport easily accessible for you, to make the travel hassle-free, get it ready before you even step foot in the new city. Be sure to get the small details about your transportation, like whether they have tie-downs, or are equipped with ramps or hoists. Also, find out if you need to take out auto insurance.
8. Double check everything
Whether you are the one to make all the travel arrangements, or a travel agent is making it for you, double check every specific about it. This is important if you are traveling for the first time, or using the travel agent you haven’t hired before.
Confirm with airlines, hotels, and wheelchair accessible taxi service hired,about the travel dates, 2 or 3 days before your trip. And inform them about the specifics, like whether you are traveling alone or with a travel companion, or a service dog, and if you need special care like oxygen or certain medical equipment.
9. Give an update about your medical needs to a flight attendant
You may ask your travel agent to arrange the seating for you, preferably an aisle seat. It will be easier for you to move around, and going in and out of the restroom will be trouble-free. When you board the plane, inform a flight attendant about your special needs and travel requirement. You can also ask the attendant for the location of nearest restroom before you are seated, and that you may need his/her aid getting there.
10. Early arrival at the airport
Traveling with disabilities may be difficult but is not impossible. And, what little restlessness you may have, it can be reduced if you are prepared for everything. It certainly helps a lot if you arrive early at the airport too. You can take care of airport check-ins and baggage at a more relaxed pace, knowing that you have more time in your hands and are not in a mad dash to the gate. Arriving early at the airport is only the beginning of your leisurely travel.
These were the 10 advice for traveling with disabilities. I hope your travels are smooth and enjoyable because of these. If you have any travel tips for the disabled travelers or a person traveling with one, share with us in the comments.