Traveling with mobility difficulties becomes an overwhelming task, especially when not planned properly. While most transportation services, hotels, and tourist spots have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) act to facilitate paraplegics, traveling abroad or to a remote location within the U.S always comes with stressful challenges. Whether it’s a permanent disability or a temporary one, problems with accessibility remain the same. This comprehensive guide takes you through some tested tips that travelers with mobility issues can follow for a pleasant traveling experience.
Plan Ahead of Time
When planning your trip, make sure you research the area you will be traveling to. Be specific on the tourist spots you want to visit and the hotels you stay at. Contact the relevant authorities beforehand to ensure easy access with a mobility aid. Booking your hotel room before your visit also cuts down costs spent on accommodation during the peak season.
Rest Before Traveling
While you plan to travel to your next vacation spot or have to take long connecting flights to reach a business meeting, it is mandatory to rest every day till you start your journey. If you are planning for a long trip, traveling on alternate days with a rest day in between helps rejuvenate the body and keeps your journey stress-free.
Plan Your Route
Knowing about the route you plan on taking makes the trip much easier. Spend some time researching the accessibility of building entrances, tourist spots, and any other place you will most likely visit. For example, if you are taking a bus or a train, inform the person that you have mobility issues and will require assistance when boarding. When planning on visiting sightseeing spots like theme parks, museums, and monuments, taking folding mobility scooters will help you navigate areas with relative ease, making your spent time more enjoyable. Most sightseeing places have visitor guides that should always be consulted to get accessibility information. However, when retrieving information is not possible, analyzing the terrain on the internet can help in deciding the safest route to take. It’s pretty easy nowadays to find accessible hotels anywhere, although the area surrounding the hotel should be checked for any obstacle that could cause problems with mobility.
Visit Your Doctor
Always talk to your doctor before going on a trip and discuss the possible problems you could face while traveling. If you are on prescription medication, inform them about the trip and the period of stay to receive medicine accordingly. The doctor can also provide you with an official medical statement that explains your disability requirements. When flying out of the United States, make sure the medicine you carry is clearly labeled and in its original packaging to avoid unnecessary security checks.
Workout a Backup Plan
Even if everything is planned out perfectly, there are still chances that things might not work out as planned. It’s possible to encounter a flight cancellation, bus detours due to road maintenance, or in the worst-case scenario, your wheelchair running out of battery. To avoid these trip-ruining problems, always be prepared with alternate plans. In particular, a plethora of services available can be utilized to reschedule the flight at a moment’s notice, or you can carry an extra battery if you have to use your wheelchair for longer periods than usual.
Accessibility Service Providers
If you don’t have the time to plan your trip or just want to relax while traveling, getting accessibility services might be the right choice to make. These companies provide assistance in your trip, making it a relaxing experience for people with mobility issues. To make sure you sign up for the right services, try to get answers for the questions like:
- The years of training and hands-on experience in providing these services.
- Certifications that ascertain that the services being provided are authentic.
- The type of terrain you will encounter on the decided routes.
- Availability of wheel-chair accessible bathrooms during the trip.
It might take a bit of extra effort to plan, but using public transport services over private services is a better option as most public transport services are handicap-accessible. When exploring public transport options, note down the payment process and the route you will be taking to reach your destination.
By following the above-mentioned tips, individuals with mobility problems can cope up with several traveling issues. Still, the smartest way to plan your travel is by understanding your personal needs. Spending a bit of time thinking about your physical requirements can lead you to make a perfect plan with ideal ways to keep the trip comfy and enjoyable.