Unlock a smoother travel experience with our tips for navigating journeys with disabilities. Essential tricks for accessible and stress-free travel.
Many people have disabilities. Some can make their lives difficult or tricky. Others present more significant challenges.
13% of the population live with a disability, and if you have one, you have probably developed your routine and way of doing things. If you’re traveling, though, you might not have such a routine set up.
You’re getting out of your element when you travel, and that can present some additional difficulties.
In the following article, we’ll discuss tricks and tips you might utilize if you live with a disability and have a trip coming up.
Check Into Whether an Airport Has Wheelchair Accommodations
If you travel with a wheelchair and you’re flying, you should check out the airport out of which you’re traveling. You must see whether they have ramps and elevators.
In theory, all airports should have them. All modern airports must show wheelchair compliance. However, you should still check to be sure. You might contact the airport and see whether you can only enter with your wheelchair from specific parts of it. This way, you can enter without wasting any time when you arrive.
Get an Uber or Lyft with Wheelchair Accessibility
You can also look into getting an Uber or Lyft with wheelchair accessibility if you don’t drive and you’re taking your wheelchair to the airport. Only some ride-share vehicles have wheelchair accessibility. You can look on the app and find one that does.
You want a vehicle that can accommodate both you and your wheelchair, and you should also get one with a driver who has no issues helping you if you’re traveling alone. Some drivers can assist you with getting into and out of the car. Make sure you give them a nice tip on the app if you go this route.
Make Sure to Notify the Airline if You’re Flying with a Service Animal
Some individuals fly or travel with service animals. Planes, buses, and other methods of transportation must accommodate you when you do.
However, if you let an airline or bus know that you’re traveling with a service animal, that’s helpful. If you’re blind, for instance, or visually impaired, you can let the airline know you’ll have your seeing-eye dog with you. The airline will expect it and give you a seat with additional room so the animal can lie down and feel comfortable during the flight.
Check with Your Doctor
You might also ask your doctor about traveling if you’re not sure whether you should do it with your condition. Some disabilities make travel difficult or restrict the ways you can do it.
If you have a lifelong disability or have spent many years with one, you probably know how you can travel with it and which methods don’t make as much sense. However, if you’re recently disabled and still adjusting, having a telehealth or in-person doctor’s appointment and discussing it makes sense.
Look Into Travel Insurance
If you have a disability and you’re traveling, you never know when you might need medical attention. If you get travel insurance, that can help you. You can get kinds that offer medical care when you’re abroad. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, it’s best to cover all your bases.
Have the Right Documentation
As someone living with a disability, you have certain rights that no one can take away. You should know those rights, and you should also have documentation establishing or proving your disability.
You may have a disability that’s immediately evident when someone looks at you, or you might have one that’s much less obvious. In the latter situation, you can get proper documentation to show if anyone ever hassles you about needing special treatment or accommodations.
It’s sad that some people will deny you your rights if they can’t see your disability, but it does happen sometimes. In these unpleasant situations, even a simple doctor’s note can help you.
See Whether Someone Can Help You Through the Airport
You might also see whether someone can help you through the airport. Any decent airport in the modern world should have employees standing by who can assist you when you arrive. Still, it’s helpful if you contact the facility first to let them know your travel plans.
You can have an employee meet you and push your wheelchair across the airport or do anything else you require. They are often happy to help a traveler.
Look Into Hotel Accommodations in Advance
Many hotels have rooms designed to help individuals with disabilities. They might have specially equipped bathrooms and other amenities. However, most hotels only have a few rooms like this.
If you call in advance or send them an email, you might find out whether you can book such a room. If you arrive and didn’t book the room in advance, the hotel may not have any rooms, or the ones they have may not work well for you with your condition.
Ideally, you should book your hotel months in advance. That’s not always possible if you travel with short notice, but whenever you have the opportunity, reach out and confirm an adequate room reservation.
See Whether You Can Arrange Transportation in the City You’re Visiting
You can also plan out your itinerary before you reach the city or country you’re visiting. If you need transportation or assistance when you get there, and if you’re not traveling with someone who can help you, make some calls and see whether you can set something up.
Remember that some other countries may not have the best accommodations. Developed countries often do, but others may not have wheelchair-accessible ramps, elevators, or vehicles that can carry both an individual and their wheelchair.
Do some research beforehand and find out whether any international location has the accommodations you need. If it doesn’t, you may want to reconsider your trip.
You should also try learning the language of anywhere you’re visiting since communication can help you when you arrive.