Travel Tip Sheet: Things to Remember When You Go on Trips!
In today’s world, a lot of people enjoy traveling and visiting other places. Sometimes a good trip is right down the road, and sometimes people travel halfway across the world! Part of traveling is having an adventure, but you do not want to get caught in a bad or dangerous situation. Traveling may seem difficult because there is a lot of planning involved, especially as a young person with a disability, but if you follow some of these tips, you can have a great vacation!
- Research ahead of time to find out what kind of public transportation is available where you are going. Most major cities have subways or buses. Unfortunately not every station is likely to be accessible to people with disabilities, so doing your research before you leave is helpful.
- Know what kinds of accommodations you’ll need. If you are a chair user, planes have “aisle chairs” that you transfer to at the door of the plane and are rolled down the aisle to your seat. You’ll also need to request a row of seats where the handle at the end of the row folds up so you can transfer easier. Planes also have safety cards in Braille. If traveling by train, make sure you have an accessible route (elevator, etc.) to reach the train platform. You may need to request a certain train car if using a wheelchair. Calling ahead and talking to someone about what you will need is important and helpful. They may know of other accommodations or helpful tips you may not be aware of.
- When you are getting your tickets for the plane if you are traveling far, if you can get a seat on the aisle that is the best! It is really important for your health to move around as much as you can if the flight is long.
- Some rental car agencies provide vehicles modifications, like lifts or pedal extensions. Call around ahead of time to see if this is available where you are.
- When you are picking out a hotel, make sure you get all the accommodations you need. Most hotels in the United States have at least one accessible room, however in other countries, this does not always happen. Call the hotel before you book it to make sure they have what you need. Be sure to ask for exactly what you might need, like a shower chair, roll-in shower, or a “shake awake” alarm clock. Being specific when talking to the hotel staff helps to make sure you’ll have access to all the items you need.
- A lot of the time, places you will want to visit will be accessible, but sometimes, especially if they are older, they may not be easy to get around. Call these places before you visit them. Ask detailed questions to see how accessible they really are. If traveling with someone else, have a back up plan with ideas of how you can help each other so it can be as accessible as possible. Sometimes just knowing that the other person is flexible if you need to leave or, if they are willing to read or describe to you what signs say or views look like, can make going some place that is not as accessible still fun.
- Make sure you pack more than enough medical supplies for your trip. That way if you get delayed you will have enough. Be sure to keep your medical supplies with you on the plane or train (not in checked luggage). Keeping as much as you can with you on the flight, if that is how you are traveling, is important in case your luggage gets lost.
If you have any other questions or worries about traveling, you can contact a local travel agent in your area.
Good website to look at are:
Tip sheet written by Lyndsi Holmes with review and edits by national KASA’s Board and Task Force.