Traveling in a wheelchair isn’t without challenges, but with a little planning and preparation, you can avoid many of the hassles that would otherwise get in the way of the experience of a lifetime. Our wheelchair user’s guide will help you navigate some common travel scenarios so that you don’t end up inconvenienced or so stressed that you can’t enjoy your trip.
Do your homework
The most important thing you can do when making your travel plans is to thoroughly research both your destination and your means of getting there. Wheelchair accessibility varies widely from place to place, so it’s absolutely critical to find out what you’ll be dealing with ahead of time. No wheelchair user’s guide would be complete without recommending that you get the following questions addressed up front:
- Is the hotel/motel/resort wheelchair accessible? Are the rooms?
- Will your room have an en suite bath that can accommodate your chair?
- How will you reach your destination? Does the airline/cruise/taxi/bus have trained staff available to assist you?
- Will you have access to medical equipment on site, or should you plan to bring your own?
When in doubt — ask
Doing your research in advance doesn’t mean you’ll avoid every problem. Be prepared to ask — ask for help, ask for clarification, ask for the manager if necessary. Make sure that everyone, from the flight attendant to the hotel clerk, knows what you need and how they can assist you. This will help to ensure that things run smoothly.
Once your plans are in place, you still have some work to do. Have your wheelchair serviced before the trip to avoid breakdowns while you’re traveling. Put your name, address and cell number on the detachable parts of your chair. Consider packing a travel-sized repair kit to be used in case of a flat. Put your mind at ease by taking extra precautions.
Still have questions? At Power Mobility and Lifts, we’ve helped customers throughout Arizona prepare for travel across country and around the world. Let us help you prepare for your next trip. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Wheelchair travel image via Shutterstock