Traveling with a disability–or with a family member who has a disability–can pose unique challenges but with some planning and creativity almost any destination can be accessible and enjoyed by all.
Ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible by employing the following tips:
Tell the agent the following things:
- You have a disability
- If you’re a wheelchair user
- What your needs are regarding the bathroom (i.e. roll-in shower and a shower chair)
- Ask about accessible transportation
- Call ahead and confirm reservations and transportation. Do not take anyone’s word that a destination or transportation is accessible—confirm it yourself. Ask if there are any stairs, curbs, ramps, elevators, etc. A great trip can quickly turn into a disaster if a destination claims to be accessible and you arrive to find that there are two stairs and no ramp!
- If possible, find out if there are repair stops in the area of your travel destination. Or if necessary, travel with a back up wheelchair and or spare parts (tire tubes).
- If traveling outside the US and traveling with equipment that needs electrical charging, make sure the electrical currency of your travel destination(s) is the same as your equipment or that you have a converter or one will be supplied for you.
- If you take medications, be sure to bring enough with you. Check with your doctor, if traveling to places with extreme temperatures, destinations and activities.
Health Care Abroad
Medical practices in other countries may be very different from those found in the United States. Add to this the potential for language barriers and unfamiliarity with your medical history, and the value of planning for potential medical care becomes obvious. If you aren’t very familiar with the country you are visiting, the US State Department Consular Information sheets and Travel Advisories are a good place to start, to see what type of medical services will be available to you once you are there.
A consumer oriented site about accessible travel. Emerging Horizons’ primary focus is travel for people with mobility disabilities; everybody from wheelchair-users to slow walkers. Lots of access information, resources, news and travel tips.
Accessible Journeys has been devoted to making the world more accessible for wheelchair travelers by creating elite, exciting and rewarding wheelchair accessible travel programs around the globe.
Resources from Wakanow.com