Planning an Accessible Vacation
There are thousands of amazing accessible destinations around the globe that you can visit, despite your spinal cord injury. Many people with paralysis have great travel experiences after their injury. However, there are several important things to keep in mind while planning a vacation as a wheelchair-user. Here are some tips to ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible:
1. Research your destination wisely: Before you decide on a vacation locale, make sure it is fully accessible so you do not encounter any accessibility issues on your trip. This means researching location information ahead of time such as hotels, museums, restaurants, and shops to see if they are accessible. You’ll also want to research the frequency of sidewalks and curb cuts, along with the availability of wheelchair accessible taxis and public transportation.
2. Consider an accessible travel tour: Depending on where you’re going, there may be an accessible travel tour available. Today, there are more accessible tour groups than ever before. Accessible tour companies, however, can be expensive, so make sure to weigh the pros and cons before booking your tour.
3. Do not book your hotel room online: Instead, call your hotel to book your room. While there are many travel sites that offer easy ways to book online, you must always call the hotel directly to make sure that the room you are reserving is accessible to your needs.
4. Try to book direct flights only: When booking your flight, try to book a direct flight rather than a flight with a layover in another airport. When traveling with a wheelchair, it can be difficult for baggage handlers to quickly transfer your wheelchair from one plane to another. This often leads to damaged wheelchairs for travelers. If at all possible, try to minimize the chances of your wheelchair being damaged during transfer by booking a direct flight.
5. If traveling internationally, make sure to get travel insurance: If you have a spinal cord injury, you have medical needs that are different than the average traveler’s. You never know if you may become sick or injured while on vacation. Travel insurance will make sure you can receive proper medical care while out of the country.
6. Pack extra medicine and additional medical equipment, if you can:You never know if you may lose something while on vacation that you cannot buy out of the country.
7. Make a mobility equipment packing list: This will minimize your chances of forgetting a vital piece of medical equipment on your trip. Make sure to include wheelchair tools, an electrical strip, and a wheelchair charger.
Despite your best efforts, there are many obstacles that you may face while traveling with a wheelchair. But, do not let this reality stop you from traveling! The benefits of a great trip far outweigh any negative event that may occur.
– Watch: Travel for All: Around the World in a Wheelchair https://spinalpedia.com/video/n6ay8VolDJb
– Watch: Wheelchair Travel Tips -Boarding a Plane & Renting a Car https://spinalpedia.com/video/jO4lyJao1Jb