Travelling abroad can be stressful in and of itself, but when it comes to travelling with a wheelchair, there is so much more to consider. That said, there is still plenty of freedom and adventure to be had, so long as you plan meticulously. In this guide, we’re talking through some of the most important things to consider when it comes to travelling abroad with a wheelchair. Everyone with a disability has different needs, so these are some general tips.
Do your research
It’s extremely important that you do thorough research before making any bookings. The two main factors to consider are location and mode of transport. Take the time to research accessible locations, with options for accessible accommodation, attractions, and more.
If you’re traveling by road, then you should ensure that the vehicle you’re taking for the journey is wheelchair accessible. In case it is not, then you could still use a wheelchair lift for vehicles that is portable and lightweight. This would not only give you greater accessibility wherever you go, but it could also be useful beyond just as a ramp for vehicles.
When it comes to booking your flights, your airline will need to know the weight and dimensions of your wheelchair, along with other details such as whether it is manual or electric. This step is crucial because not all Wheelchairs are made the same. Speak with your airline directly to discuss whether there will be a disabled toilet on board, and also to pre-arrange any other special requirements. If you are planning to hire a car upon arrival, there are speciality companies located all over the world for modified hire cars and vans. If you perhaps require a transfer bus, call ahead to ensure it is accessible.
When it comes to booking your accommodation, whether it is a hotel, hostel, rental apartment, Airbnb or otherwise, it is important that you double check all of the derails and ensure that your accommodation understands your requirements. Accessible rooms vary greatly in size, so don’t be afraid to even ask for measurements and photographs. Don’t be afraid to also enquire whether the room is on the ground floor, or if there is an elevator, etc.
Prepare for the worst case scenario
When travelling, it’s always a wise idea to expect the unexpected. Being prepared for the worst case scenario is always the sensible option. Even if nothing ever goes wrong, at least you can say you adequately prepared. With that in mind, bring a travel sized repair kit for your wheelchair, just in case you or your travel companion needs to do some quick maintenance. Take note of any wheelchair repair shops in the vicinity at your destination.
A travel companion can go a long way in making your trip that little bit easier, and can eliminate the stress in more ways than one. They can be there to lend a helping hand.
Ship your luggage
Travelling abroad with a wheelchair can be a challenge in itself, nevermind the added stress of having to travel with heavy suitcases and bags in tow, also. It doesn’t have to be difficult though. Luggage shipping companies can save you the stress and hassle of carrying your own luggage, and instead, you can get your belongings delivered directly to your destination without any stress. Doing so means you can travel luggage free, and at a fantastic low cost.