Physically Disabled Travel:
Now More Opportunities and Enjoyment

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Travel agencies, hotels, airlines, and cruise lines are more aware of the needs of physically disabled travel passengers than ever before – and have taken steps to provide greater access and amenities.

Even considering the positive momentum for accommodating travelers with disabilities, it is a good idea to work with a travel agent who specializes in making travel itineraries and arrangements for mobility challenged individuals. 

To make travel more fun and fulfilling, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Spend extra time in planning. It will pay off during your trip because you will have anticipated problems in advance. Also, when you make your travel reservations, ask whether the cost of any special assistance you’ll need is included in your fare.
  • Find out how to get medical assistance both while you’re traveling and at your destination. In addition take care of any immunizations you’ll need, and make sure you bring all necessary medications.
  • Be sure your hotel is equipped to fully meet your mobility needs. 
  • If it makes sense for you to travel with a healthcare professional, check into the various directories offered by travel agencies who specialize in serving people with disabilities. Look for companions who have professional credentials and good references.
  • Electric scooters solve the mobility problem for many travelers. Look for scooters that are easy to lift and disassemble.
  • If you’re in a wheelchair and you’re traveling by air, make sure the airports you’ll be using have ramps, pathways that accommodate the width of your chair, handicap-accessible restrooms, and reserved seating in check-in areas.
  • If you’re flying, arrive at the airport early.
  • If you don’t have much time between flights, make sure you inform the airline and the attendants so they can arrange to get you, your wheelchair, and your luggage to the connecting flight.
  • Make sure your wheelchair is in top shape.

If you are more interested in traveling on your own schedule, a recreational vehicle may be a viable option to consider. The Handicapped Travel Club, formed in 1973, is an excellent resource on RV traveling for people with a wide range of disabilities. For more information, check out the organization's web site

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