Disabled Travel by Jet, Train, or Boat
Travel can be challenging for anyone, but people with disabilities may encounter more obstacles. Although disabled travel often takes greater effort and planning, it is certainly possible. People with physical limitations can still get out there and see the world, but they usually need assistance to make this happen. Whether travel involves touring by jet, train, boat, bus, or car, learn as much as possible about the process to ensure a successful trip.
Planning a travel itinerary ahead of time can be an effective way to eliminate many problems. One of the first tasks of effective planning involves researching the mode of travel you intend to use to learn what types of challenges could occur. For example, wheelchair-bound air travelers often need special assistance in airports to manage luggage and with the process of boarding and disembarking from the aircraft. Notifying the airline of the need for this assistance in advance will ensure that representatives are ready to help. It is also helpful to research your destination to learn about specific rights granted. In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that people with disabilities have access to virtually any location. Many other countries have adopted similar legislation designed to protect the rights of the disabled. Disability-focused organizations may also be able to offer tips and suggestions for disabled travelers. Consult organizations or people you know personally to gain valuable travel advice.
Traveling Via Different Modes of Transportation
Traveling by air is a common means of transport for many people, including the disabled. Get disabled travel information from your specific airline prior to travel, including details such as allowances for mobility aids, assistance animals, medical equipment, security screening, and help with boarding and disembarking. Traveling by rail or bus is similar to air travel in many ways due to the security screening and special assistance you may need to board and disembark the train or bus. When planning a cruise, note that many cruise lines offer special accommodations for disabled travelers. Inquire about special cabins and ports of call that would be conducive to your unique needs.
Staying Safe While Traveling
Safety is of paramount importance for anyone traveling. People with disabilities often have specific concerns in this area, however. Schedule a medical exam prior to your trip to speak with your physician about your plans. Pack a bag with important medical supplies you may need, and keep it with you at all times. If you have a medical identification bracelet, wear it. Depending on the travel method, medication will need to be prepared accordingly. For air travel, security screening demands that all medication have clear labels to indicate the contents of the containers. Passengers must inform TSA officers of the presence of medication, and you must separate these items from other belongings. If medication needs to be chilled, ice packs must be completely frozen at check-in.
Have a Back-up Plan
Disabled tourists can experience a number of problems. A lack of accessibility to various destinations is one of the main issues that can occur. The inability to access a hotel room, a restaurant, or a public restroom are just a few examples of common challenges. Sometimes problems can occur without prior warning, despite the most comprehensive planning. For these situations, a back-up plan is crucial. A back-up plan can include alternatives for lodging, dining, touring, and more. A comprehensive back-up plan should also include bringing along extra medication as well as all insurance documentation you might need if you need to seek medical care while traveling.
- Traveling With a Disability
- Traveling With Disabilities
- Planning Your Trip
- Planning a Vacation With a Disability
- Accessible Air Travel (PDF)
- Disabilities and Medical Conditions
- Disabilities and Accessibility
- Using Personal Assistance Services Abroad
- Transportation Patterns and Problems of People With Disabilities
- Making Rail Accessible (PDF)
- Environmental Barriers to Train Travel for People With Physical Disabilities (PDF)
- Equity in Transportation for People With Disabilities (PDF)
- Airline Travel Tips for People Using a Wheelchair (PDF)
- Travel Tips for People With Disabilities (PDF)
- Prepare for Takeoff: Air Travel Tips for People With a Disability (PDF)
- A Transportation Guide for Persons Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision (PDF)
- So What About Independent Travel? (PDF)
- Cane Travel for Beginners (PDF)
- Orientation and Mobility Strategies for Low-Vision Wheelchair Users (PDF)
- Taking Your Wheelchair Abroad: Preparation (PDF)
- Top 14 Tips From Fellow Travelers (PDF)
- Disabled Travel Tips for Cruises
- The Ten Golden Rules of Autistic Travel