Having a disability shouldn’t prevent anyone from seeing the world. You can always plan an accessible trip if you do your prep work. If you or your trip companion are travelling with a disability, consider the following tips.
1. Take Appropriate Precautions When Traveling with a Service Dog
If you have a service dog, plan your trip in a way that’s comfortable for both you and the dog. If you are flying, read up on the different airline policies regarding service animals.
The American Airlines service dog policies may differ from Delta or Southwest’s policies for example. Before boarding, make sure your dog is exercised. It’s also a good idea to limit their food and water intake directly before a flight.
2. Consider Using a Specialized Travel Agent
Travel agents are a fantastic resource for all travellers. But they can be especially useful if you’re travelling with a disability. Look for experienced agents and companies that specialize in accessible trips. Knowledgeable agents will help you find the most accessible hotels, plan your itinerary, arrange private transportation, and more.
3. Stick to a Routine
On your next trip, try to incorporate elements of your home routine. If you can establish some sense of normalcy while you’re away from home, this will help your mind and body adjust to additional stress. This is especially useful when it comes to rest. If you know what parts of the day you’re most active, try to plan your outings for those times.
4. Decide if Connecting Flights are Right for You
If you’re flying, you should decide early on if a connecting or direct flight is best for you. If you think you’ll have trouble staying on a plane for an extended period, opt for connecting flights. They’ll allow you to take short breaks. If you’re worried about boarding multiple planes during your trip, you may fare better with a direct flight.
5. Pack Extra Medication
When you’re packing for your trip, remember to bring all the medication you’ll need while you’re away. It is also a good idea to pack more than you need. If you can, travel with twice the amount you would normally pack. Pack both sets in your carry-on bag. This way, they’re with you at all times.
6. Bring Medical Documents
When you travel abroad, we suggest you bring important medical documents with you. Call your doctor and ask them for a travel note. This note should contain the following:
- Your doctor’s phone number
- Your pertinent conditions
- Medications you’re taking
- Other relevant information
If you have a medical alert bracelet or ID card, these are helpful to have on hand as well.
6. Call Ahead of Time
It’s always a good idea to call your airline, hotel, and travel company ahead of time to inform them of your needs. They’ll have enough time to arrange accommodations, communicate with staff, and make sure everything is ready for you when you arrive.
7. Research Physicians in Your Destination Area
Hopefully, you won’t need to see a physician during your trip. But just in case, compile a list of potential doctors in your destination area. Gather phone numbers, names, insurance policies, and anything else you might need for an emergency visit.
8. Allow Enough Time for Travel
This piece of advice is true for all travellers. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready before you depart, especially if you’re flying. If you’re travelling with a disability, you may need a little extra prep time. Plan to arrive early so you don’t have to rush.
These are just a few travel tips for those with disabilities. You may have your own methods in addition to those mentioned here. Stay prepared and a good trip will follow.