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Disabled travel

Traveling with a Disability is Doable


Traveling by plane with a disability isn't difficult if you plan ahead. Here are a few tips to make traveling easier for you if you have certain special needs.

Start with Scheduling- Instead of booking your tickets online make sure you speak to a real person when you make flight reservations. Find out how the airline can accommodate you with boarding, and specially equipped flights. Find out the procedures to initiate these services and make sure you get the name and number of someone to contact if things should not go as planned. Making sure the airline is ready and able to accommodate your needs will make the rest of the trip far more enjoyable.

Request Assistance- Make sure you describe all your limitations and needs. Most airlines will allow you to obtain tickets and boarding passes ahead of time so waiting in line isn't necessary. It never hurts to ask so don't be shy. The airline can't accommodate you if they don't know what you need. Make sure you cover issues such as seating arrangements and restroom accommodations. Go over the types of devices you may use for personal assistance and what would be the best method for storing such devices on the plane.

 Preparation is the Key! - Your bags could be lost or stolen. Make sure you carry medications and other items on you in clearly marked containers. You should also carry a list of medications and doctors names and addresses as well as insurance information. This will ensure that if anything happens to you pertinent medical information will be readily available.

Contact Hotels Directly -Different organizations have different ideas about what "handicapped accessible" means. It's best to find out what sorts of amenities they offer travelers with disabilities straight from the horse's mouth. Get complete descriptions about walk-in showers, grab bars, lowered sinks, and raised toilet seats. Find out if the hotel has widened hallways, wheelchair height peepholes and emergency procedures for guests in special rooms should something like a fire occur. In case of a fire will you need assistance? Who will provide such assistance? Finding out these things ahead of time of time is vital.

Know Your Limitations- What are your limitations? Have you ever shared these requirements with others before? You can't effectively communicate your needs if you have evaluated them for yourself. Do you know other individuals with similar disabilities? Question them for ideas on types of assistance you might need while you are traveling. Find out where they go and what hotels they use. You'll need to keep all this in mind as well as be capable of describing the devices you use such as a scooter and wheelchair in detail. You'll need to know measurements and other things in order to let others know how best to help you. It's best to figure out all this first before you initiate any conversations otherwise you'll be frustrated and staff won't know how to help you properly.

People with disabilities travel independently every day. With a little extra time and preparation traveling with a disability won't be a problem and as you grow more accustomed to preparing for your journey ahead of time it will be like second nature. It really isn't any different than being prepared for travel in any other situation, or it shouldn't be. Being prepared is something everyone should be prepared before traveling.


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