Travelling with a disability can be stressful, especially if you are going on a solo trip. Here are a few useful tips to help make your trip more enjoyable, and a little easier. Happy travels!
1.Make plans with your needs in mind.
Once you decide your destination, start planning each segment of the trip with your unique needs in mind. While online bookings are convenient, it can be better to talk to someone on the phone if possible. This gives you the opportunity to explain your unique situation better, and avoid any confusion when you arrive at your destination.
2.Your trip is more than flights and hotels.
Most airlines and many hotels do a reasonable job of accommodating people with a disability as long as bookings are made in advance. However its also worth researching and pre-booking transport, tours and other parts of your trip in advance, as depending on where you are travelling to options for these maybe more limited.
3.Make appropriate enquiries
If you need to use mobility aids during your travels its wise to contact your accommodation provider first to see what they are able to provide for you, and if you are bringing your own aids that they will fit in the room / transport you are using.
You can request door measurements for example if you are bringing a wheelchair with you, and many larger hotels offer accessible amenities and grab rails in the shower. Some also provide things like shower stools on request.
Ask for connecting rooms if you are planning to bring a support worker with you.
4.Choose the right travel agent
It’s a good idea to work with a travel agent who specializes in working with disabled travellers. They can save you time and have experience about which hotels, transport providers and tour operators will be a good fit for you.
If you can find a local guide who lives in the destination you are travelling to that is even better! They’ll know the spots and restaurants you can and cannot access to give you an enjoyable experience you will remember for a long time to come, and they’ll be able to do some research before you arrive.
5.Packing and Luggage
Depending on your personal situation you may need to think about what luggage you can carry and what mobility equipment you’ll need to pack. There are some good bag options that are designed to fit wheelchairs. Also a comfy seat cushion can prevent a soreness after prolonged sitting in a wheelchair.
Consult your doctor and ask about any additional medications you may have to carry. Make sure you have enough medication and equipment for the length of your trip. Keep your primary medical provider’s contact information handy and relevant information about your condition and potential complications. This is to ensure any new medical provider you consult while travelling can effectively treat you.
7.The airport trip
If you use a wheelchair remember to book a ride to the airport which accommodates your wheelchair. Don’t hesitate to ask for help; most drivers are more than willing to assist.
Clearly describe wheelchair so that the airline will appropriately compensate you if it gets damaged on the trip, and ask whether you can use it right up until you board the aircraft or whether it has to be checked in as luggage.
Carry an extra bag of supplies with medications, extra clothing, a drinking water bottle and anything else you need easy access to on the plane as carry-on luggage.
Hopefully these 7 tips for travelling with a disability help make your tips a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable!