A physical limitation, mobility issue, or disability is no reason to stay home- travel! However, be prepared for complications that may arise when it comes to accessibility and convenience. Try these tips when traveling with any sort of disability, but most particularly when it comes to your mobility.
Planning a trip soon? Don’t let mobility issues or disabilities impede your travel plans; talk to the experts regarding simple solutions and mobility aids that can help make your trip smoother and easier overall.
Avoid problems when traveling; try these tips when traveling with a disability or mobility issue:
Take the time to plan ahead. Give yourself enough time to plan ahead and map your route carefully; this is key in a smooth trip when relying on accessibility and disability-friendly accommodations. Book early, too. Handicapped-accessible rooms are often booked a year ahead and make the most sense for anyone with physical limitations or mobility issues. These accommodations are more spacious and present fewer hazards than your run-of-the-mill room or rental.
Make sure the info you have is current. Double-check the dates and info that you find both online and from other travelers. Don’t assume that you will be able to gain access to sites, attractions, or events; do your research. Specifically search online for access issues in the town, resort, site, or spot that you are staying; other travelers often will provide detailed feedback.
Invest in an extra-charger. Money spent on an additional battery charger for your chair or scooter for an upcoming trip is never wasted; this is, in fact, a life-line in most instances. Talk to your mobility vendor to learn more and to find the perfect back-up charger for your device and your travels.
Research how wheelchair-friendly the community is. Some towns and communities are very wheelchair-friendly, while others are not. Do some snooping and try to glean as much as possible online from past visitors about the accessibility of the neighborhood. Are there adequate sidewalks? What is the condition of the roads? Is the community pedestrian friendly or will you need to arrange transport? These are pertinent questions regarding any potential vacation destination or locale- whether you have mobility issues or not.
Be prepared for repairs. If you rely on a chair or scooter, bring items that you may need for repairs on the road. Otherwise, jot down the number of your mobility vendor or support so that you can call if you run into trouble during vacation. These retailers may be able to provide information for places that can repair your devices while you are away.
Pay extra for travel insurance when possible. Go ahead and splurge on travel insurance coverage whenever possible. This will help in the event you need to cancel your trip, as well as if you have medical issues or complications during your time away. It is well worth the price.
Learn a few key phrases when traveling abroad. It doesn’t hurt to try to learn some of the language of the country you will be visiting, as it can help curb communication barriers if you get in trouble, such as needing help with a flight of stairs.
Reserve handicap-accessible vans for transport. Start your holiday or trip out right with an easy-to-transport van. These are much easier for transporting equipment, mobility aids, and people- which will prevent issues early on that might hamper or impact the joy of your trip.
When it comes to service and support animals, know before you go. Make sure that you know details and information if traveling with service animals. While your pet is protected by law, you may need to inquire when making reservations and provide documentation to secure accommodations for you and your service animal.
Let technology help. Let technology work for you; use your smartphone for a wide range of travel-related tasks, from keeping tabs on traveling companions and caregivers to capturing photos of your ID, passport, medical records, prescriptions, service animal agreements, or other pertinent documentation. Make sure that your phone plan will cover the area or region that you are visiting to ensure smooth service during your trip.
Remember to have fun. Don’t get so bogged down in the details that you forget to have fun! Traveling is an adventure and taking trips with physical disabilities can come with obstacles and hurdles; do your best to overcome these challenges, laugh it off, and enjoy your journey. Remember that you are making lifetime memories!
Don’t let the hurdles and challenges deter or impede your adventure. This is your life and you are entitled to accessibility when you travel; don’t ever accept what others tell you is not possible- get out there and do it!
Make your upcoming journey easier with a visit to Pacific Mobility; the mobility professionals will help you find what you need for your trip. From spare chargers to mobility aids for your vehicle, increase access and improve everyday life with simple solutions that will assist and support you while away from home. Bon Voyage!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)