seeing Europe by wheelchair, Phoenix, ArizonaSo you want to see Europe, but you’re wondering how hard that will be in a wheelchair. Well, like other tourists, you’ll need some flexibility, humor and willingness to deal with frustrations. But you may be surprised at how easy it is. By planning your trip, you can help to ensure that your travels go smoothly, and you’re able to deal with unexpected contingencies.

Getting around

  • Nearly every airport in Europe has porters and wheelchairs. As for the airlines, you might want to avoid the no-frills carriers, as some do not have their own porters. Remember to tip those who help you.
  • If you change terminals at Heathrow, there will be a bus. Buses don’t typically have hydraulic lifts, though, so the airport will provide a van with a hydraulic lift.  The van will also take your luggage and your companion.
  • Most railroads in Europe provide wheelchairs and porters. In Italy, though, you will need to notify the railroad 24 hours in advance if you need assistance.
  • You may want to think about hiring a wheelchair or power scooter.

Accommodations and sightseeing

  • Call or email ahead to ensure that your accommodations are truly accessible.
  • If you prefer to stay in a vacation home independentliving.org can help you find accessible vacation options.
  • Keep in mind that some cities, including Venice, are not wheelchair friendly, because of steep inclines and stairs.
  • Have your concierge call the museums you want to visit to find out if they’re wheelchair accessible. Sometimes these are hidden, and the taxi driver will not know about them.
  • If you are more comfortable hiring your own car, you can use your usual handicap tag. There’s an abundance of parking spaces for handicapped people in European cities, and police have been known to help.

These organizations can make seeing Europe by wheelchair easier.

  • Mobility International USA
  • The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange
  • Access-Able Travel Source

At Power Mobility & Lifts, we understand the importance of having the right equipment, whether you’re going to the mall or traveling to a faraway place. Whatever your mobility needs, get in touch with us. Headquartered in Phoenix, we’re happy to help.

Image via Shutterstock.com

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