Planning and Preparation Can Make Traveling with a Power Wheelchair a Bit Easier
Limited mobility should not stop anyone from seeking out their adventure dreams and it is now easier than ever to realize those dreams as airlines, hotels, public transportation and cruise ships have become much more diligent in regards to the accommodation the needs of the disabled traveler.
While this may be true, if you are traveling in a power chair, it is always advisable to plan ahead – well in advance. Remember why you have a power chair. It is to provide you with independence though you are disabled. This should remain true whether you are at home or you are traveling away from home.
The world has come to serve the needs of those that are disabled and find mobility in their power chair by wheelchair ramps and wheelchair lifts both of which will allow you to gain easy access to buildings and serve as an alternative to staircases.
Tips Prior to Travel
Prior to traveling, here are a few general tips to make sure your journey is a safe, comfortable and satisfying one.
• Make certain that your power chair is in tip-top shape to avoid a potential, unwanted predicament once you leave home.
• Although you have checked your power chair and it is in good condition to travel, it is recommended to bring along an emergency toolkit that will allow you to fix minor problems during travel.
\Here are a few tips for traveling by air:
• Make your reservation early in advance.
• Inform the travel agent that you will be traveling with a wheelchair and request their policies and procedures on such.
• Make certain to put your full name and mailing address on the power chair.
• About 48 hours prior to your flight’s departure, call the airline to confirm information – the fact that you will be flying with a power chair and may need assistance at the gate.
• Arrive at least two hours early to the airport to ensure there is sufficient time for boarding and finalizing arrangements.
In hopes of making the overall process a bit easier and less challenging, here are a few tips for finding a hotel that is wheelchair accessible:
• Call ahead to hotels in the vicinity in which you will be staying to determine whether or not they provide services for the disabled. Make the reservation ahead of time rather than on-site.
• If there are disability services, ask which floors of the hotel the wheelchair accessible rooms are located. In the event of an emergency, you would like to be on the ground floor or as close to the ground floor as possible.
• Request information on hotel shuttles and public transportation in regards to wheelchair accessibility. After all, you aren’t at the hotel to stay cooped up in the room the entire time – you want to get out, see the city and see the nearby attractions!
For anyone with limited mobility, the thought of travel can be frightening; however, by being fully prepared for the trip ahead of time, you can calm your fears and the above-mentioned tips will help.