Photo by Krzysztof Kowalik from Unsplash
A lot of people dream of travelling the world, not just to enjoy taking photographs but also to experience something new.
Although travelling presents so much opportunity to engage with the locals and learn more about history, culture and tradition, it also comes with so many challenges, most especially for physically disabled individuals.
Fortunately, nowadays, even if you use a mobility scooter or an electricity-powered wheelchair, you can still travel and relish in the beauty of the world.
Check out all the best tips to improve your travel experience even with physical limitations.
It’s all in the details of your preparation
Don’t allow your physical disability to hinder you from taking pleasure in travelling abroad. Many disabled individuals have been travelling across the globe to shatter stereotypes. It is indeed arduous, but it is totally possible to see the world even in your wheelchair or other types of mobility equipment.
To succeed, you must carefully plan the details of your travel. Think about every possible scenario wherein you will encounter difficulty because of your condition.
For example, you should check how much you need to pay to transport your mobility equipment. You can contact the airlines or check out their website for the rates.
If in case you need to carry medication with you, be sure to ask for certification from your doctor to avoid having issues with the customs office abroad.
The statement should explain your current condition, the number of pills you have to carry with you, and the purpose of the medication.
For your accommodation, we suggest checking the hotel amenities.
Do they have specialized amenities for disabled guests?
Do they have ramps or elevators?
Check the description of the rooms as well. If you can’t find the details, you must get in touch with the staff to clarify your concerns.
Make the travel arrangements
Photo by James William from Unsplash
You have two options – hire a professional agent to arrange everything on your behalf or go the extra mile and make the arrangements yourself.
Naturally, hiring a travel company is the best option if you want hassle-free travel. They can find suitable hotels that can accommodate your special needs.
If you want more freedom, go for DIY travel. Just bear in mind the following preparations:
- Determine your best and safest transportation option.
- If you will board a train, called them ahead of time to request for assistance in moving your equipment.
- Take note of the airline numbers that you can call in case your mobility equipment gets lost or damaged.
- Read the policy of your chosen airline regarding the transport of electricity-powered scooters or wheelchairs.
- Book transfers from the airport to the hotel early.
- Bring a voltage converter with you to prevent damaging your equipment due to an incompatible power source.
Know how to protect your mobility equipment
Although airline companies try their best not to damage luggage, they still end up doing so. The best way you can prevent damage is to pack your equipment the right way. You should also follow the tips below.
Ask if you can place your wheelchair in the cabin
Sometimes, airline companies permit disabled individuals to store their collapsible wheelchair in the airplane cabin. You should inform the staff of your intent to store your wheelchair in the cabin when you check in.
Store your wheelchair’s removable parts in a separate bag
Collapsible chairs often come with loose parts such as trays, cushions and oxygen attachments. Pack them separately so they don’t get damaged during the trip.
Help the staff understand how to handle your mobility equipment
You should include a written instruction on how to handle your equipment. Describe briefly and accurately how to switch on the equipment and how to lift it properly.
Travel with an insurance policy
Anything can happen while you’re abroad. To be protected from whatever comes your way, you should have a travel insurance coverage.
With a travel insurance policy on hand, you can be protected from unexpected costs due to cancellations or flight disruptions. Insurance coverage also protects you from medical costs incurred while you’re abroad.
Grab available promos and special discounts
Many companies offer amazing discount packages to physically disabled travelers plus their companion. To avail the discount, you may need to present proof of your condition.
You can present a medical certificate or a person with disability ID card.
You should also check out if you qualify for transportation discounts. In some countries, they provide up to 20 percent discount to people with physical disability.
Travelling with a disability is indeed possible
Photo by Suhyeon Choi from Unsplash
Never allow your physical disability define what you can or cannot do.
Plenty of disabled individuals from around the world bravely travel the world. They chronicle their journey and share it to fellow disabled individuals.
With the tips we generously shared above, we know for sure that you too can enjoy travelling abroad.