January 9, 2018 Jeff Conner
Enjoy time spent away from home with some tips for traveling with disabilities. Among recommendations are pre-planning, travel insurance, accessibility accommodations, and mobility aids when on-the-road.
Don’t let a physical disability or limitation curb your sense of adventure; just plan ahead for the mobility devices that you will need when you are away from home. Whether your trip is for business or pleasure, use strategies ahead-of-time to plan a seamless, smooth, and satisfying trip for all who are going.
Enjoy your time away with these tips for traveling with disabilities:
Physical limitations and disabilities should not impede travel and the perks of visiting new or far-away destinations. Taking time away from home doesn’t have to be hectic or harried, and there are many tips for traveling offered by experts that can help make the experience enjoyable and as easy as possible for both individuals with physical impairments and caregivers, alike:
Make time to plan your trip thoroughly
Try to plan ahead and prepare thoroughly before leaving home; putting the time in now will ensure a smoother journey later. Naturally, some travel may be more spontaneous or unexpected, and this is when it makes sense to use online resources and, perhaps, bring along additional assistance. Consider bringing along a friend, family member, or paid caregiver, to help the individual with physical limitations during the time away.
Spend a little more on travel insurance
Opt for travel insurances when possible that include medical coverage and assistance when you are out of your own provider network. These types of policies are typically not cost-prohibitive, and the benefits are well worth the added expense. Even if you have coverage through private or public entities, travel insurance can provide perks, advantages, and medical coverages that might surprise you- for a nominal fee.
Ask before you book
Remind yourself to ask about accessible accommodations, as well as any pertinent discounts or service provision that you could be eligible for. It helps to request assistance when booking flights for aid getting members of your traveling party that use mobility devices through busy terminals and across tarmacs, as needed. Talk with hotels and reservationists about rooms that provide access for wheelchairs, walkers, or whatever aids you may need during your journey.
Stick to a regular schedule
Try to stick to a schedule that mimics the routine at home to keep those with physical disabilities at ease and comfortable, knowing what each day will bring. Use tactile reminders- such as printing out a daily schedule for each member of your group- and update seniors of changes to prevent frustration, anxiety, or angst. Adhere to regular mealtimes, bedtimes, and rituals that can make everyone more comfortable and at ease, and that won’t exhaust or confuse anyone in your traveling group that has special needs or impairment.
Line-up mobility aids
When making your travel plants, look at renting or borrowing aids, like wheelchairs or walkers, to cut-down on what you need to bring from home. Some hotels and resorts offer rentals on-site to make traveling easier for their guests with physical limitations. If you must bring wheelchairs, transport chairs, or walkers, ask about any size restrictions for carry-on when flying to ensure you are not separated from this device when you arrive at your destination.
Take care of the caregivers
During the hectic pace of planning for a trip, don’t forget about the caregiver. Ask your concierge services about travel companion options to give the primary caregiver a break during time spent away from home. This may involve a qualified and credentialed individual coming to stay with your loved one or it may manifest in some sort of respite stay at an area assisted-living, depending on the needs, location, and length of your trip.
A little extra care before you leave home can ensure a smoother experience for all involved. Make sure that your needs will be accommodated when you arrive by making arrangements with hosts, hotels, reservationists, or other travel specialists, and to convey your needs specifically and assertively when making these plans, bookings, and reservations.
Predict what you need before you leave home
Do some homework before you go and touch base with mobility experts to ensure your needs will be met while away. Reputable mobility aid vendors may be able to provide information and insight into utilizing equipment on-the-road, without having to uninstall and transport items from home. Also, these are the right resource when looking for a current and up-to-date needs assessment to determine if new solutions, equipment, or devices may be most-prudent.
Don’t wait until the last minute to plan for mobility aids and accommodations for your- or your loved one’s- disability. Traveling always poses some inherent challenges for those with physical limitations, so try to prepare for situations and comfort before you ever leave home. Adopt an adventuresome attitude and humor to handle difficult experiences during your trip- which provide insight and information for your future travel plans!
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stair lifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
- 24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
- Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
- Licensed General Contractor since 1998
- Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
- Board Member for Home Access Professionals
- Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)