Whether travelling overseas or domestic, the challenges many physically disabled face may begin well before the journey starts. And travelling is a fast process; people have to be vigilant to ensure they have a stress-free trip. Naturally, a physically disabled may take more time to react quickly, and that may cause problems during the journey.
It is a must that you have answers to questions like - how am I getting to my destination? How will I travel from place to place once I arrive? Where will I be staying? What do I need in my room or on the property? Yes! These things matter. From finding an adequate travel destination to the right accommodation, it is crucial to be aware of some of the common issues in advance. In this way, you can avoid unpleasant surprises.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your next adventure.
1. Take Assistance From Travel Agents
Always consider taking assistance from a professional travel agent. Travel agencies have agents who have expertise in working with physically disabled. However, the requirements may vary from people to people, so it is important to hire or choose a qualified travel agent who knows the rope.
Moreover, in today's world, everywhere from the USA and the UK to Russia and India are accessible for both group and independent travellers with physical limitations. Once you have mentioned your travel requirements, travel agents craft an itinerary that is ideal for you. From booking flights, tours, cruises, accommodations, transportation and excursions, travel agencies have the right means to make your journey a pleasant one!
2. Avoid Connecting Flights
Flying is one of the biggest hurdles that physically disabled face while travelling. However, if you follow a few drills, you can have a safe and comfortable trip. First and foremost, ensure you choose shorter flights over long flights because the journey may get uncomfortable with longboarding hours. And if possible, avoid connecting flights. Getting off and getting on can cause a lot of stress. Moreover, direct flights can save unnecessary time and hassle. If you do prefer shorter trips, be sure to allow plenty of time between flights, at least 60 to 90 minutes.
Moving from one airport to another, carrying medical equipment and navigating security checks can be exhausting. You can avail extra assistance at the airport, when booking a reservation and upon arrival at the airport.
3. Be Aware Of The Rules At Security Checks
Security checks are mandatory at airports, and it is meant for all kinds of travellers. Be aware that even if you are in a wheelchair, you may need to go through a mundane pat-down security search. If you want to get advance information, you can contact the TSA - Transportation Security Administration.
However, here are a few straightforward rules that you can follow when carrying OTC (over-the-counter) medications.
- All the medication items you have purchased must be labelled.
- Each medication item must have proof of necessity, i.e., you should have a doctor's statement for each medication.
- Airports let you carry liquids only up to 100 ml.
Moreover, all the prescribed medication will go through extra additional screening. So, ensure you put all the medications in one bag to avoid unnecessary hassle. There are no limits to the amount of pills you can carry on a flight, provided you have proof of necessity in hand.
4. Book Accomodations In Advance
Comfort comes first when travelling! So, be sure to speak to someone at your hotel in advance to put across your needs. Many first-world countries have "wheelchair friendly" or pitch services for physically disabled. However, there are hundreds of countries that do not offer such facilities to handicaps. So, always ensure you choose the right destination.
In a few hotels, elevators may not reach all floors, and stairs may sometimes be the only option. The bathrooms designed to be accessible, may not be what you are used to. These small things may still present serious obstacles for physically disabled. Choose a hotel room that is similar to your home and consider the facilities you typically have at home. For example, if you have a roll-in shower with a shower bench, look for a hotel that can provide you with such options.
Try to check into a room that has visual-alert systems. For deaf or other physically challenged people, it would be hard to catch the signs of phones ringing, knock on the door or fire alarm. Not many countries have these features, so choose the tourist destinations accordingly.
Besides all the facilities and requirement, you must book hotel rooms in advance. You are competing with the rest of the people around the world who have disabilities too. The longer you wait, the more you may have to compromise on your needs.
5. Carry Extra Medications And Proof Of Necessity
As mentioned above, security checks are strict at the airports; ensure you take a doctor's statement and phone number. Preferably better to make a statement on letterhead with potential complications, medications, information on your condition and other pertinent information.
Besides that, you must always carry extra medication. If possible travel with two complete packages of essential medicines. And ensure you have suitable travel insurance plans that can cover financial loss and medicare. Do enough research to choose an insurance plan that includes medical evacuation, or medevac, in case of emergency.