It’s been a long time coming, but the travel industry has finally opened its eyes and realized the needs of those traveling abroad with disabilities. In recent years, there have been changes made to how things are done when traveling abroad. The services offered to travelers with disabilities have become much better, and more attractions worldwide are now disability-friendly, allowing those who are disabled to have the same travel experience as everyone else.
Have a quick look at these 7 things to help make your next trip less of a challenge and more of an enjoyable experience.
1. Ask Your Airline for Help in Advance
When booking your flight, it’s important that you state your disability, so that the airline can meet your specific needs and prepare in advance for your arrival. You can usually do this over the phone or through the airline's website. Upon arrival at the airport, make sure that you alert staff that you have arrived, and again, of your disability. Doing this should mean that you receive the services that you require and in a timely manner.
2. Allow Yourself Extra Time
We all know how important it is for all travelers to arrive at the airport early so they don’t miss that all important flight. If you’re travelling with a disability, I would advise you to arrive even earlier, as the airline will want you to board the plane before other passengers, and the last thing you want is to be the reason the flight gets delayed.
Even though most airlines like to board passengers with a disability first, this does not mean that you will be the first to exit the plane. In fact, for health and safety reasons, the airline may ask you to remain on the aircraft until the rest of the passengers leave the plane. Being the last off the plane could mean it will take you longer than you first expected to get where you need to be. For this reason, you should allow yourself extra time when making plans and avoid making any bookings straight after your landing time.
3. Fly Directly to Your Destination
Unless you are unable to stay on a plane for a long period of time, I would advise you to book a direct flight to your destination. Having to make a connecting flight may be a little cheaper, but it will cause you a lot of unnecessary stress. Getting a direct flight means there’s less to worry about and you can try to enjoy your flight, without having to get off one plane and rush for another.
4. Consider Using an Accessible Travel Agent
An accessible travel agent is someone who specializes in planning trips abroad for disabled travelers, making traveling a much easier process for them. Planning everything by yourself is challenging and can cause a lot of unnecessary stress. These agents know everything there is to know about accessible travel, from flight details to the best places to stay and so much more. They ensure that your trip full of exciting and memorable experiences, regardless of your disability!
5. Know Your Medication
Take a minute and think about how well you know your medication. Knowing the shape and color of it is a good start, but that simply won’t be enough if end up in an emergency situation. You should really know the name of the medication you are on and exactly what it does for you. This is more than a travel tip, it’s a ‘must-do’!
If the worst imaginable does actually happen, you will need to communicate with the emergency workers and be able to tell them what you’re on. Making them aware of what medication you’re on will then ensure they don’t give you any medication that will disagree with what you are already taking.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Depending on your circumstances, you might need help with more than one thing when traveling abroad. Maybe you won’t be able to carry your own luggage, or maybe you need a little help to get up the stairs. You should never feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help when traveling. In fact, you'll probably find a lot of friendly people who will be more than happy to help you out. One thing to remember though is that if you need help, you will need to ask for it, especially if your disability is not physical.
7. Use a Luggage Shipping Company
A luggage shipping company can take a lot of stress away from traveling abroad. All you have to do is make a booking online, then your belongings will be collected from your home and delivered directly to your destination address. This is the easiest way to transport your luggage abroad and makes traveling much easier for passengers with a disability, especially for those who are unable to carry their own luggage.
We hope these tips + tricks help! Happy traveling.
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wheelchair_lift_on_New_Enterprise_Coaches_Caetano_Levante_FJ56_PDO_(8).jpg