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Don’t Let Being "Mobility Challanged" Hold You Back!
It’s the middle of summer and time for a well-deserved vacation. Taking time away from your routine allows you to relax the mind, replenish your body and recharge your spirt. If you’re worried about traveling because of mobility issues, don’t let it hold you back! Whether you’re jet-setting on a European getaway or spending the weekend camping, by planning your trip in advance and following a few precautions, can prepare you for any challenges and allow you to fully enjoy your vacation.
If you’re bringing a wheelchair or walker, call the bus, train or airline ahead of time to discuss special accommodations that can be arranged, Find out whether it can be stowed onboard and if they can arrange for special transportation around the terminal. Some bus companies even provide a free ticket for a caregiver travelling companion.
Be sure to bring along documentation that supports your medical condition. If traveling by air, use the airline's "Family/Special Needs" security line where the officers are trained to offer additional assistance. Keep in mind that they may need to visually inspect your mobility device.
When traveling outside North America, some holtes that advertise themselves as "wheelchair-friendly" may not be what you expect . For example, washrooms in other parts of the world may not be what you’re used to. Call the hotel early-on to ensure that they have an accessible room available for your visit. Reach out again a few days before leaving to make sure that you have everything you need during your stay. If not, you’ll still have time to make other arrangements.
It’s happened to most of us -- you’re traveling down an unfamiliar road and you need to make a stop. Most stops have wheelchair accessibility, but if you can't find it you're still in trouble. If you’re planning a road trip, make sure to mark down accessible rest stops along your route. There are apps available for your smartphone, like Rest Stops Plus, that can provide a listing of rest stops with their amenities.
If you’re traveling overseas, some destinations are easier to navigate for those with physical disabilities. Major cities in Switzerland,Germany and Scandinavia may offer more amenities than destinations in Spain, France and Italy. If you’re traveling In the United Kingdom,wheelchair users can buy a RADAR (Royal Association for Disability Rights) NKS (National Key Scheme) key and access their network of 6,000 locked wheelchair-accessible toilets.
While traveling with mobility issues may have its challenges, you can still enjoy the vacation you deserve. The key is to plan ahead and take a few common sense precautions. Double-check all ngements and verify the specifics, especially if you’re travelling with a wheelchair or walker. There are many travel agents that provide specialized services to those with disabilities that will take care of all the details for you. Whether going away for a few days or a few weeks, the important part is for you relax and enjoy yourself.
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