Handicap Travel has become friendlier for disabled individuals. But, you
will still have to perform your due diligence to ensure the trip is
enjoyable and memorable. Here are a few tips to follow when you are
planning a trip with or for a disabled person.
- Will you need a car? If you will be renting a vehicle at your destination, ask your travel agent about accessible van rentals
has a page where you can look up accessible van rental companies by
state. If you are planning handicap travel on your own, this is a great
resource to review.
- Where will you stop along the way?
Ahead of time, plan out places to stop along your route that you know
will be handicap accessible. State-run highway rest stops are usually
great places to stop, stretch and get fresh air, plus you’ll be able to
use the bathroom facilities with little difficulty.
- Where will you stay?
Most accommodations in the U.S. have wheelchair accessible units, but
they don’t always think to tell you if the hotel itself or the
surrounding area is under construction. Be sure to call ahead and ask
whether there is anything going on in the area that may make wheelchair
travel difficult, especially broken sidewalks or roads or out-of-service
elevators. Ask what's included in accessible rooms – such as roll-in
showers, bath fixtures, and door hardware. Also ask about the height of
the beds to ensure you will be able to easily access the bed from a
- Attractions? Going on vacation
is not only about the journey, but the destination. Wherever you decide
to go, check ahead to be sure activities and amenities will be
accessible. If you are going to a large attraction, like an amusement
park, check into the availability of motorized wheelchair or scooter
rentals. You will be covering a lot of ground, so you don’t want to get
tired. At smaller museums and parks, check ahead to be sure that all
walkways will accommodate a wheelchair and that ramps are available when
Getting ready for your trip
What will you take with you? Pack for a great trip by outfitting your
wheelchair and your suitcase with everything you need for a great time.
- Wheelchair accessories
– Wheelchair bags, removable arm rests, umbrellas, comfortable chair
pads and water bottle holders should all be considered if you will be in
your chair for many hours a day or outside in the elements. If you will
be adventure travelling, consider all-terrain tires for your wheelchair
and don’t forget a fishing pole holder.
- Handicap accessories – You may need other devices besides your wheelchair. Portable transfer boards or slings, like the
can be used to easily transport you in and out of the car, onto
amusement park rides, in and out of a boat or into a chair if you need a
break from your wheelchair.
- Talk to a travel agent
– If you are going on a cruise or traveling abroad, travel agents
familiar with handicapped travelers can suggest itineraries that include
lodging and attractions with handicapped access.
travel requires a little extra planning. Create a checklist of what you
need to bring with you, and then map out your trip to be sure you have a
fun and safe vacation.
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