Traveling can be an adventure regardless of your physical ability. If you are a traveler with disabilities, there are some special considerations that need to be taken into account before traveling. This blog post will provide 6 tips and advice for those who have disabilities in order to make their travel experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible!
1. What to pack
You wouldn’t want anything missed when you travel, so make sure to pack all of your medical supplies. This includes extra batteries, chargers and cords for any devices you use (i.e., hearing aids)
When packing a bag it’s important to think about what type of transportation will be used during the trip. If travelling by car, plane or train then smaller bags with wheels are a good option. If you’ll be travelling by bus or subway then it may make more sense to have larger bags with straps
Pack an extra pair of shoes and clothes as well, just in case something happens to what you’re wearing. Keep them separate from the bag that contains your medications so they won’t get mixed up
If you fly, it’s important to make sure that the airline knows about your disability and needs such as a wheelchair or special assistance getting on and off the plane. Contact them ahead of time so they have enough notice
Depending on what device you use for voice communication (i.e., phone), then bring an extra charger just in case.
Make a note of any allergies or dietary restrictions you have. This is also an excellent way to make sure that staff can accommodate your needs when you’re away from home and in unfamiliar territory.
Some disabilities will require extra time for the experience (i.e., people with autism) so it may be worth looking into accommodations in the area where you’re going to make sure there’s enough time.
2. The best way to get around
The best way to get around is to use the wheelchair. Wheelchairs are very helpful because they allow for mobility and can be used in different areas, such as on the street or sidewalks. If you don’t have a wheelchair, make sure to bring any devices that allow you to get around such as walkers or canes. Also if you can drive, you can contact vehicle adaptation companies like Independence Automotive to get the best and safe experience when driving.
3. Where to stay and eat
To get the best of your experience, plan where to stay and where to eat.
Plan ahead for accessible lodging: -Consider staying in a hotel that has an elevator or ramp, so you can stay close to the ground floor with ease.
Also consider whether there are enough rooms on one level for your needs; this is especially important if you need a wheelchair accessible room (or similar) that may be located in a far corner.
If you will need to eat, make sure the restaurant is wheelchair accessible before booking it or eating there; if not keep an eye out for dishes with less steps
Ask about bathroom accessibility and check reviews of the hotel for more tips on how well they’re set up.
4. Tips for traveling with disabilities in other countries
When traveling to other countries, you’ll need to make sure that you contact the consulate of the country to learn more about their accessibility laws.
Some countries may have different accessibility laws, so it’s best to contact the consulate before you travel.
In addition, make sure that your passport is accessible and won’t be too difficult for airport security to see when going through customs at international airports. If there are any difficulties with seeing the photo page of your passport or if they cannot easily verify the signature page, they might not let you fly to the country.
In addition, if you will be driving or taking public transportation in a new country and need to pay for parking or take a taxi, make sure that there is enough room on your credit card for international transactions. Some cards may have foreign transaction fees which can add up quickly.
You will also need to make sure that you have your medications and other medical devices with you, because some countries may not allow these items.
5. Helpful apps that help with travel planning and accommodations
There are a few apps that may be helpful. These include: -Fare Checker- Free app to check if there’s a cheaper flight that day or in the future
-The Wheelchair Traveler’s Companion App and Guidebook for Smartphones (iOS)- This is an interactive guide with information about where you can go and what you can do
-Accessible Destinations App -Look for places on the app that are accessible, depending on your needs.
-Airport Accessibility Guide Android iOS
6. How to stay connected while traveling abroad
One of the first things to do when traveling abroad is to set up a roaming plan. If you’re not sure about how much data you need, talk to your cell phone provider. You can also buy an international SIM card from places like Target or other convenience stores. It’s important to keep in touch with family and friends back home while you’re overseas so they know that you’re safe and having a good time.
Disabled people may find it hard to travel due to the difficulties they face such as restricted access, communication barriers and lack of mobility among others. However, there are always ways around these issues for disabled travelers with some resourcefulness on their part.
You can also buy an international SIM card from places like convenience stores. It’s important to keep in touch with family and friends back home while you’re overseas so they know that you’re safe and having a good time.