Travel Tips for People with Disabilities

two friends visiting foreign city one sitting in wheelchair

With Spring on the horizon, you may be thinking about getting out, enjoying the sunshine and doing some traveling.
As you plan your trip, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

Do Your Research

As you begin looking into destinations for your trip, consider checking out online communities and travel blogs such as:

As you search, look for destinations that offer accessible hotels or home rentals, accessible taxi or ride-sharing services and/or accessible car/van rentals.

And remember, MobilityWorks can help you with any accessible van rental needs. With over 90 consumer locations in 31 states, we offer rentals on a daily, weekly, or even longer-term basis. Plus, you’ll have the peace-of-mind of our 24-hour hotline to assist you in the event of an emergency.

Next Steps

Once you’ve decided on a destination; work with your travel, accommodation and transportation providers to ensure that they are aware of your specific needs. A follow-up confirmation call 24-48 hours before you depart/arrive etc. is also a good idea. In addition, prepare a “backup plan” for yourself- in the event of unforeseen situations that may cause you to need a different place to stay and/or a different form of transportation. Chances are you won’t need it—but it’s always better to be prepared.

Always be sure that friends, family members and trusted neighbors know the timeframes during which you will be away and “check in” with them when you arrive at your destination so they know you are safe and sound.

What Should You Bring?

If travelling by airplane, be sure to take photographs of your wheelchair or other adaptive equipment before you leave. By doing this, you will have proof that any potential damage that may be incurred, was not there previously.

You will also want to bring documented proof of ownership of your wheelchair. Most airlines will need this proof of ownership in order to return any lost wheelchairs or equipment. In addition, remember to bring along any tools and assembly/disassembly instructions for your wheelchair.

It is also recommended that you read and carry a copy of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). The ACAA requires airlines to provide many rights to people with disabilities.

Also, speak with your doctor/pharmacist and bring extra supplies of any medications you are taking with you and carry your medical alert/emergency contact information in an easy to access location.

Safety First

You will find that there are several safety apps available for easy download on your phone including:

  • Companion
  • bSafe
  • Watch Over Me
  • Kitestring
  • Scream

You may also want to consider carrying safety devices such as a whistle, a flashlight, wearable alarms or pepper spray with you.

After all the preparations are done and confirmed, and you’ve taken your safety into consideration, remember to relax and enjoy your trip!!

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