10 Tips for Traveling With Physical Disabilities
There's no reason for a family member with a permanent or temporary physical limitation to stay home during a trip. Accessible travel is more popular than ever and with proper planning.
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Plan in Advance
Other planning resources include Mobility International USA, which has helpful articles on charging wheelchair batteries and taking a service animal abroad. Curb Free with Cory Lee blogs about traveling the world in a wheelchair, and is a comprehensive guide to everything from the most accessible destinations to the pros and cons of bringing a wheelchair.
Try to Replicate the Home Routine
Make Sure Travel Insurance Includes Medical
Use a Specialized Travel Agent or Company
In addition to Flying Wheels Travel, other companies that run trips for those in wheelchairs include Accessible Journeys. The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality is another resource for finding agents and companies.
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
Arrange Accessible Accommodation
Arrange Assistance While Flying
If someone is traveling with their own wheelchair, Holtz says to remove and take everything from the wheelchair that could fall off and get lost during storage, including the foot rest, head rest, and any cushions. On board, every U.S. airline that seats more than 60 and is equipped with an accessible bathroom is required to have an aisle wheelchair. Holtz suggests always requesting an aisle seat close to the bathroom. Finally, he notes that those in wheelchairs are last off the plane, so factor in that time and allow help through customs, if applicable.
Decide Whether to Bring or Borrow a Wheelchair
Take Advantage of Discounts
The National Park Service Access Pass is free for U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities and grants access to any of the national parks, monuments, historic sites, and more. Museums, zoos, and theme parks are some other attractions that typically offer discounts.
Don’t Forget the Needs of the Caregiver
Flying Wheels Travel offers travel companions on both independent and group tours, which gives the caretaker or spouse a vacation as well.