Travelling with a disability can be confusing. Not every transport mode has allowances for mobility aids. In addition, various terminuses may have a designated disabled persons area but they aren’t located. Accessibility is a concern for most destinations. When you’re planning to travel with a person with disabilities you need to consider the following things.
1. Travel insurance
The insurance you get as a person with a disability can be more expensive. However, it needs to be comprehensive. You need to list all chronic illnesses, and medical conditions to ensure you aren’t left stranded when you travel and encounter issues. You may also need to pay more to cover mobility devices. Getting a travel insurance provider that covers your needs is important to make your trip problem-free.
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Some countries have restrictions on the medications that you can carry. To be safe, always have your doctor’s note with you. Separate your medications and pack some in your hand luggage and others in your suitcase, to reduce the risk of losing them all. Ensure to check travel advisories for the amount of medication you’re allowed to bring in. Some countries have limits on how many strong painkillers you can carry. You will need to carry your medical documents. disability certificate, and doctor’s notes to make it easier to buy them from pharmacies in the country you’re visiting.
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3. Get vaccinated
Various destinations have mandatory vaccinations. For instance, Kenya has a mandatory yellow fever vaccine. Talk with your doctor to find out which vaccinations you would need depending on where you’re travelling to. For example, to travel to the USA you may need a COVID-19 booster, flu vaccine, and Hepatitis A, among others. Family Travel Tips To The United States
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4. Safeguard your equipment
When your doctor clears you to travel, ensure you carry all your aids. If you have chronic pain, you may need compression socks, elbow bands, etc. If you don’t need to wear them before boarding a plane, keep them in your carry-on. Try to find stores that also sell them in your destination in case you need to replace them.
5. Mobility aids
Airlines have different allowances for travelling with wheelchairs. For instance, some charge extra, depending on its weight, for you to bring your wheelchair while others let you travel for free. The airline may also provide discounts if you need to travel with an assistant. If you are travelling and have support needs, many airlines will require you to inform them in advance of your disability in the event additional staff is necessary.
Find out the procedure for checking in your mobility aids. Some airlines have special compartments where you can store it while others fold it and keep it next to your chair. If the wheelchair needs careful storage, ensure the attendants are aware beforehand. Choosing an airline, bus, or train service that is friendlier to people with disabilities will make your travel smoother. User reviews and travel guides can help you choose which services to use. Different countries have listed resources that disabled people can use. Kenya has Accessible Travel and the UK has Access Able.
Ensure you use Google Street View to see the terrain where you will be travelling. If you’re ambulatory, there may be areas where you can’t use a wheelchair but can use crutches. Using Street View rather than a travel brochure shows you the situation in real time. Travel: 6 Flight Hacks To Help You Get The Most Legroom
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6. Create an itinerary
Depending on your destination, getting to explore may be difficult if you use a wheelchair. Certain conditions like Crohn’s can also make it difficult to walk through cities if you can’t find access to clean toilets and if there aren’t restaurants that make exceptions for people with allergies. To ensure you don’t have mishaps on your journey, create an itinerary that will cover everything. You can use a travel agent who specialises in creating tours for people with a disability. They can help organise transport from the airport, choose a hotel that’s accessible, safaris that take support needs into account, restaurants that accommodate various conditions, etc. Having a schedule that covers everything ensures that you know where all the resources are beforehand.
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7. Permits and bookings
Some countries accept universal parking permits for disabled people while others require you to apply anew. Others also have public transport that accommodates wheelchairs while others need you to find special buses. Others don’t have buses that take in wheelchairs and this may mean paying for taxis. Finding out what happens beforehand can help you with planning your itinerary.
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