Traveling with a disability can be challenging, but the truth is that the more research you do, the more accessible your trip will be. In fact, many major vacation destinations have made advances toward accommodating travelers with limited mobility.
It’s important to make sure you put a lot of thought in choosing which attractions to visit, which hotels to sleep in, which routes to take and which things you might want to be prepared for when the unexpected occurs.
Always plan ahead, with or without a disability. There will be many ways to get to all of the tourist attractions that you’ve had your eye on for months. Some routes will have wheelchair accessible ramps, smooth pavement, and flat terrain; while others may have steep hills, dangerous cobblestone, and flights of stairs.
Avoiding hills or bridges in certain areas is possible. By researching the accessibility of sidewalks, bus routes, subway stations and the location of accessible building entrances before your trip you will eliminate any challenges you may face upon arrival.
Book Hotels in Advance
Many hotels have a limited selection of accessible rooms and roll in showers and the best ones get booked very early. By booking your hotel in advance, you will find it much cheaper than waiting until the last minute. You should also be sure to speak with someone at your hotel to discuss exactly what you will need during your stay.
Have a Backup Plan
Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, something can go wrong. Traveling with someone who can help during your trip if you face any possible issues or unexpected events is important when it comes to your safety and personal enjoyment.
What if part of your wheelchair breaks on the way to your favorite attraction? What if the accessible area is closed or the train breaks down? Make sure to pack spare parts for your wheelchair and have a back up plan in case of an emergency.
Enjoy Your Stay
You’ve done all the research and planning you can, and now its time to sit back, relax and enjoy your trip. There isn’t a challenge you aren’t already prepared for, so no need to stress.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our Quality Assurance Program mobility equipment dealers.