Looking for tips for disabled travelers? When you are a disabled traveler, or traveling with someone who is, you might think that your options for exploring the world are quite limited. While this will be true in some situations, you should never put off traveling but rather explore ways to make sure you have a great time and get to see some amazing sights. There are so many tips for disabled travelers available that with just a bit of research migth find you can go just about anywhere you like. Here are my 7 top travel tips for disabled travelers.
1. Travel Insurance
Everyone should have travel insurance before they set off on their trip. When you have a disability there are a few extra questions you should ask. Is any expensive equipment you need to travel with included? Think motorized wheel chairs. Are pre-existing conditions covered by your policy? Will you need a special health certificate to ensure you can travel with insurance cover? Don’t leave this until the last minute, as you might need some time to meet all the requirements. This is probably the most important of all tips for disabled travelers as it provides a good deal of security and peace of mind.
Being sure there is suitable accommodation at your destination is some of the best advice for disabled travelers. If you are visiting developing nations you may discover a large amount of the cheaper accommodation requires walking up several flights of stairs. Some websites will state they are wheelchair friendly but you could discover narrow doorways or ramps where you are unable to turn to get to the top. Always request the size of any entranceways before making your booking. And have a contingency plan should you arrive and find the facilities unsuitable for your particular situation.
Getting around your travel destination needs to be as low maintenance as possible for you to relax and have a great time. Check what types of roads and walkways you can expect by reading guidebooks and researching online. You can generally find loads of information on transport options in various countries, but this might take a little bit of digging so you can be sure of what to expect. Trains and buses can be great in some cities but totally inaccessible in others. Great advice for disabled travelers is to remember some trains stop for a limited time at each stop and you might not be able to get on and off quickly enough to use this service.
When you’ve checked that you can be covered by insurance, have accessible accommodation and suitable transport options, then you can think about booking flights. Almost all companies require you to book your flights over the phone or in person rather than booking online. This is so they can be sure they can accommodate you onboard an aircraft. Remember to ask about toilet facilities on board. You don’t want to find yourself on a 15 hour flight without any easy access to the bathroom! Always confirm with the airline a day or two ahead to make sure they have the correct information.
Making sure you’ve done extra planning for your trip will help you avoid unforeseen upsets. Apply for any visas you might need well ahead of time – allow also for any medical certificates that might be required. Be certain of your transport arrangements before you arrive and source any special travel luggage well ahead of your departure date. Don’t pack too heavy since you have to carry everything you take. Don’t leave any special equipment at home – if you travel to a country that doesn’t speak much of your language you may have trouble replacing a missing piece of equipment.
6. Be Daring!
Those with a disability might think they can’t have exciting travel experiences. How far you are prepared to go really depends on you but people with disabilities can bungee jump, mountain climb, white water raft and any number of other activities. The secret is to ask the question! If you need some type of extra facility to allow you to do an activity you have been dreaming about then ask if it can be provided. Or even if you can provide it yourself. You’ll be surprised what arrangements can be made if you just make a request with enough time for it to be fulfilled.
Dozens of websites offer tips for disabled travelers that you might not even know you need. Bookmark a few and read everything you can about your chosen destination. globalaccessnews.com is a site for disabled travelers to share their own experiences. It can be great to hear from others who’ve been exactly where you want to go. flying-with-disability.org will help you with all kinds of information when planning a flight. It breaks everything down step by step from booking right up to taking the flight on the day.
Having a disability is absolutely no reason to put your travel dreams on hold. Taking the time to plan your trip means you can just about go anywhere you put your mind to. So where will you go next?