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14 ways to make traveling with a disability easier

If you are traveling with a disability, handicap, physical limitation, mobility limitation or developmental disability, have special needs, or use an electric wheelchair or scooter for the disabled, it is a good idea to learn as much as you can to make traveling with disabilities easier .

Or if you are a mature traveler or an older person who walks slowly or just wants a slower pace, learning more about disability travel services and disability travel resources will lessen the anxiety that often accompanies disabled travelers.

The following travel tips, resources, and information for the disabled will help make trips, excursions, holidays, and vacations much easier for you or a child with a disability, whether short-term or long-term.

1. Plan your trip well in advance! Do you need to order additional supplements, medications or refill prescriptions, fix glasses or change prescriptions, have a physical exam, have dental work, fix or tune your wheelchair, etc.?

2. If possible, always book your trip through an agency that specializes in helping people with disabilities. This is important because specialized travel agents and tour operators for the disabled are experienced and can save you some headaches.

They offer a lot of good advice and a wide range of services for the disabled traveler. Among other things, they can make arrangements for: airport wheelchair, wheelchair accessible hotel room, wheelchair rental, elevator equipped accessible van, full van, minivan, RV, handicap scooter or any other vehicle for the disabled.

Disability travel agents can help arrange accessible transportation, help plan the best accessible cruise, provide cruise and cruise advice, purchase travel insurance, and take care of special needs.

Agents can check with hotels: interior and exterior door widths to accommodate your wheelchair, ADA approved handicap tubs, grab bars, or wheelchair accessible showers. Just tell them your needs.

Travel agents can help you find cheap airfare, cheap tickets, cheap flights, cheap travel car insurance, cheap hotels, cheap car rentals, cheap cruises, cheap vacations, and cheap travel of all kinds.

3. In addition to carrying the phone number of your travel agent, you will also want to carry the phone numbers of travel agencies that specialize in travel for the disabled at your destination, in case you cannot reach your own agent.

These travel agents can know how to solve problems that arise regarding your hotel, car or van rental, etc., even if you did not request your tickets through them.

4. When traveling to another city, check with local health and medical associations before you go. For example, get the phone numbers for your local MS chapter if you have MS. These organizations can be great resources.

They generally know which museums, restaurants, theaters, and other local facilities are wheelchair accessible and where you can get oxygen, emergency supplies, or medical assistance. They may be able to help you with any issues that arise.

5. If you plan to rent a handicap scooter, wheelchair, power wheelchair, handicap van, full van, minivan, RV, or other vehicle in another city, don’t wait until you get there. Make all the arrangements before you go on your trip.

Be sure to ask for any specific information, such as if there are tie downs, ramps or forklifts, etc. Check what truck, RV, car or automobile insurance you will need before you leave.

6. Don’t leave anything to chance. If you can, double-check all the arrangements your travel agent makes. Call the airlines, hotels, scooters, wheelchairs, cars, RVs or vans, medical equipment rental companies, etc., and check the details, especially if you are traveling in a wheelchair or have other special needs such as oxygen .

This is important if you have not used the agent before.

7. If you need oxygen or any other special medical equipment, call the airlines and suppliers well in advance of your trip. Don’t wait until the last minute. Start calling them as soon as you know you are going to travel or take a trip.

Then check with your travel agent and the airline at least three to four days before your flight.

8. Get to the airport early. Better to wait there than to miss the plane. This will eliminate some of the anxiety you might feel before the trip and make the trip more enjoyable. This seems like common knowledge, but many people still get to the door just in time.

With everything that is happening in the world today, there are many reasons why you want to have more time at the airport.

9. In your carry-on baggage on the plane, keep copies of prescriptions for your medications and glasses, extra glasses, sunglasses, all your medications and supplements, and a list of your doctor, dentist, and other health professionals with their addresses and phone numbers. .

Include your doctor’s prescription fax number in case you lose your medications. Keep duplicate copies of these in your luggage and at home by the phone. Know where your medical records are kept.

10. When traveling, and also at any other time, if you take medications, learn their names and what exactly they are for if you don’t know. People come to the emergency room all the time and do not know what medications they are taking. You might be surprised to find that most people say ‘a little yellow pill’ or ‘a white capsule’ etc.

Emergency workers need to know what you are taking so as not to give you medications that adversely interact with, overdose, or interfere in any way with your treatment and recovery.

11. If you are traveling by plane, please inform the flight attendants when you address any medical problems you may encounter on your flight. Write down the location of the nearest bathroom before sitting down. Let the flight attendant know if you think you will need help reaching him during the flight.

You may need or want an aisle seat for easy access to restrooms. Discuss seating with your travel agent.

12. If you need someone to travel with you, ask your travel agent for ideas or suggestions. Call local chapters of medical associations and ask if they can recommend a travel assistant or travel companion to help or accompany you.

There are national companies that offer travel nurses, companions or travel assistants to accompany disabled travelers or people with serious medical problems.

13. Make sure you carry with you: any medical cards, Medicare cards, discount cards, discount car or car rental cards, auto insurance policy numbers and agent phone number, passport, airline tickets, tickets electronic, American Express traveler’s checks, debit cards, credit cards and driver’s license. Photocopy everything.

Keep photocopies in your luggage and at home by the phone or somewhere where someone has access to them in case they need them.

14. Read all you can about traveling with a disability. Read travel books for the disabled, access guides, accessible guides, travel articles for the disabled, and travel publications for disabled travelers. Read the personal travel experiences of wheelchair users and others who have traveled with disabilities. To be informed.

These travel tips, information, resources, and services for the disabled should help you, or anyone with a disability, disability, physical limitation, or who uses a wheelchair, to have an easier, more enjoyable, anxiety-free, and free ride. problems. tour, vacation or vacation.

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