Traveling can often be a necessary part of life, or just a chance to have some fun. However, those with disabilities may think it’s impossible or terrifying. With the right plan in place, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are our top tips for those traveling with a disability.
Plan Everything Ahead of Time
First things first, you will want to plan as much as possible before even starting to travel. Having a set schedule, knowing exactly where you are going to stay, and having set times for each stop will make a world of difference for your trip.
For those with a physical disability that requires a wheelchair, this is especially important. It’s vital to know where you can go that is easily accessible and has the best accommodations for you.
If you are flying or taking public transport, make sure that you call ahead and ensure that they are fully prepared for your disability. These services are happy to assist and required by law to make accommodations, however, they may need a day or two to be fully prepared.
For additional assistance, there are some great online resources to help you as well.
Consider Using a Travel Agent
Another tip for making your traveling with a disability easier is by using a travel agent.
Some agents are able to provide extremely niche services, meaning that some may be better to use for developmental disabilities, wheelchair accessibility, etc. Requirements for different disabilities vary quite a bit, so going with someone who knows the specifics is a much easier and efficient route.
To search for the best travel agent for you, Travelsense is a great resource.
Bring Additional Help
If bringing additional people to travel with you is an option, it may not be a bad idea. In fact, some circumstances allow family members to be a paid caregiver – if they meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus (also called CCC Plus), the Community Living Waiver (CL) or the Family and Individual Support Waiver (FIS).
Also, if the person in mind meets the income requirements for Virginia Medicaid or the personal care requirements for the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Services (EPSDT), they will qualify as well.
It is important to note, however, that this does not apply to the spouse of the person with the disability, parents of a disabled minor, or their employer.
Make Reservations and Book Hotels in Advance
Make sure to book hotels and make reservations as far in advance as possible. Not only is this far cheaper than waiting until you start traveling, but it is also ideal for allowing the facility to prepare for any accommodations your disability needs.
This should also apply to any tours, museums, and other stops you will be making along the way. Make sure that they are accessible to you and that they know you are coming.
Keep Medical Information on You
Depending on the disability in question, you may want to keep your medical information on you for emergencies. This could include:
- A doctor’s note
- A list of your condition, special needs, medications, and potential complications
- An emergency number for your doctor that can always be reached
Having this prepared in advance could make a huge difference in the case of an emergency or simply to make your trip more convenient.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Last but certainly not least, give yourself as much time as possible. Leaving room for additional stops, delays, and other potential traveling mishaps will ensure that you are less stressed and don’t miss out on anything.
While it may seem like traveling with a disability is extremely stressful, preparing with these tips in advance will make all of the difference and allow you to have a fun, safe time.
For more resources on disabilities, check out our searchable resource list to explore!