Disability Travel Tips
Traveling is exciting but can be stressful for anyone. If you are living with a disability, your stress may be amplified when you travel due to worries about accommodations, fears about what could go wrong, and concerns about managing your health in an unfamiliar area. But travel doesn’t have to be anxiety-inducing. These tips will help you plan and enjoy a stress-free trip so you can focus on exploring the world.
Plan Your Trip with a Travel Agency Specializing in Disability Travel
Travel agents are experienced in planning trips to destinations all over the world. Many travelers work with a travel agent to take the stress out of planning, leaving the complex coordination of flights, rental cars, hotels, and more to the experts.
Some specialize in planning trips for people with disabilities. These travel agents are knowledgeable about accommodations people with a variety of different disabilities may require and the transportation options, hotels, and activities that are best-equipped to meet these needs. Working with a travel agent experienced in planning trips for people with disabilities can reduce much of the worry associated with traveling.
Smart Luggage Choices Make Navigating Airports a Breeze
The right luggage can make all the difference when it comes to getting from point A to point B in an airport. Choose luggage that meets airline requirements for size and has ample compartments to organize your clothing and other belongings.
You’ll want to take advantage of your ability to take a carry-on bag onboard the flight as well as a personal item – which can be a purse or tote bag that contains other essentials that you might need during the trip. is a good option for larger bags that you plan to check, as you can wheel these bags easily through the airport without struggling to carry heavy bags.
Depending on your disability, you may use special equipment or take medications to help manage your condition. Pack enough medications to last several days in your , as well as copies of documentation from your physician explaining your disability and the equipment, medications, or other supplies that you rely on to manage your disability.
In the event that you need to see a doctor during your trip, your healthcare provider will have some background knowledge that enables them to provide the most appropriate treatment – or, they can get in touch with your primary physician to discuss the best course of treatment for the circumstances.
Discuss Your Needs with Airlines and Other Transportation Providers in Advance
This is where planning ahead is a lifesaver: Call ahead (or have your travel agent call ahead) to discuss your with any transportation providers you’ll be using on your trip. Arranging for a wheelchair or an attendant to help you get from one gate to another for a connecting flight can save you hours of time explaining your situation to attendants and waiting for the airport to provide what you need on travel day.
Likewise, you may be able to get special permission to take on board the flight. You or your travel agent can call ahead to your hotel and discuss the travel accommodations you require to see if they can provide an accessible shuttle.
Traveling with a disability doesn’t have to be stressful nightmare. Planning ahead, advocating for yourself, and following some savvy travel strategies can help you get through travel days with minimal stress.
Rebecca Moore is currently studying health information science. She created with a friend with the ultimate goal of fostering community mechanisms for seamless acceptance and assistance for those coping with any measure of disability.