The Difficulties of Traveling With a Mobility Impairment
With new technology and affordable products, traveling with a mobility impairment is easier than ever before, no matter which corner of the globe your trip takes you to. While accessibility standards and regulations can vary widely between cities and countries, a little preparation on your part can ensure that you are always equipped with the right tools to overcome a variety of mobility challenges whether you are traveling at home or abroad.
If you are flying to your destination, inquire about boarding procedures before you book your flight. Some airlines force those with mobility impairments to wait to disembark until all others have left the plane, which can add significant time to your travel plan.
Cruises are a good option for those traveling with special needs. Accessibility will vary by cruise line, but there are also cruises that specially cater to the mobility impaired. These special lines may offer 24-hour emergency medical assistance, help moving around on board, larger rooms to accommodate equipment, and activities designed to fit your abilities. Specialty cruises offer a fantastic opportunity to see many ports in one trip and give you peace of mind knowing that your special needs have been taken into account
Hotels outside of the United States cannot always accommodate the needs of mobility impaired travelers. Thoroughly researching your area of travel and your lodging can ensure your needs are met abroad. Ask if the staff is prepared to help should you need assistance onsite and consider traveling with a lightweight suitcase ramp that is easy to transport and can easily be unfolded and put into place, allowing you to easily overcome smaller obstacles.
Carefully plan your itinerary to include impairment-friendly restaurants and sites. Like hotels, many dining establishments and tourist sites around the world are not accessible to those that are mobility impaired. Some sites are located far from parking, are surrounded by long entrance lines, and may not have ample seating when you need a rest.
Perhaps the best solution overcoming the difficulties of traveling with a mobility impairment is to invest in a power wheelchair or mobility scooter. There are a variety of lightweight and affordable models that are easy to store and transport and will provide you with a comfortable ride throughout an entire day of sightseeing. A durable model can easily withstand the rigors of travel and daily use and speeds of 4 mph mean you won't waste time getting to your destination.