Don’t let the logistics of traveling on wheels slow you down. Our best tip for travelling with a wheelchair? Decide where you want to go, then learn how to make it work. If your travel plans are affected by accessibility, though – whether you use a walker, cane or wheelchair – take a look at our top tips for making mobility a reality when travelling with a wheelchair.
Discount websites and aggregators usually include a disclaimer saying they cannot guarantee specific room types or amenities. If accessibility is a concern, don’t settle for maybe. To know exactly what room options are available (such as roll-in showers), call the hotel directly. Hotel staff are usually helpful and have the best information regarding the specifics of their property.
The same tips apply no matter where you go – airlines, cruises, safaris, tour groups: call all of them directly for detailed information on facilities. Once you make arrangements, double check confirmations and call back if accessible amenities are not written.
No matter what services you need, there’s probably an app for that. Many cities have created apps outlining places you can find public transportation locations with elevators (such as Chicago’s Roll with Me app). Do your research beforehand on the specific apps relevant to getting around in your destination city for a smooth ride. Did you know the Coliseum in Rome has an elevator? Yeah, we found that on an app.
Many people don’t think of boats as particularly accessible. In fact, modern cruise ships are relatively equipped to handle wheelchairs, though. Book on established cruise lines to experience spacious cabins and large hallways. Larger cruise lines also usually offer wheelchair lifts or ramps to make getting on and off the ship easier when at port.
Did you know, once a city has hosted the Olympic Games they have also hosted the Paralympic Games? That’s right – every Olympic city is completely accessible (or, at least it was at the time it hosted). Before the Olympic Games, cities get a complete accessibility overhaul and experts provide training to local businesses, which often has a lasting effect on service staff. Many wheelchair travellers have reported improved experiences after a city has hosted the Olympics.
Remember to consider travel insurance before leaving home. When dealing with specific travel concerns, special equipment or existing medical conditions, travel insurance can be a help.
As a member of a special community, we hope you feel a need to share information with others. Accessibility is an issue that affects everyone, not just those of us in wheelchairs. Share your experiences with others and provide feedback to businesses, be it positive or negative. In the journey to creating a more accessible world, your voice matters, and the voices of others will improve your trip in the future.
Image courtesy of Flickr user SOZIALHELDEN; cropped from original