Traveling with disabilities just requires a little more advance planning. Be sure to mention your disability and ask if there will be easy access when making your reservation. This is important whether you are traveling by plane, train or boat. If you will require assistance, research to make sure that it is available when you require it. Make advance reservations whenever possible and insist that your special requirements be noted. It's usually best to have your medical information on you at all times. You can ask your doctor for a Medical Certificate which is a statement of your health and says that it is safe for you to travel. Have him list all of your prescribed medications and have copies of your prescriptions. If you require medical equipment, bring along spare parts that you might need and have the information for simple repairs. Travel insurance can be a particularly good idea. There are also health insurance policies for travelers. Some plans may not cover other countries or even other states, so be sure to check before you travel. The quality of health care in the area you are visiting can easily be ascertained before travel.
Be sure to check on your hotel or living accommodations prior to making your reservations. They should also be told about your disability so they can make recommendations. Any restaurants or museums or other public places you are planning to visit can also be telephoned ahead. It will save time and energy to know the ease of accessibility beforehand. Many places will be very accommodating to your requirements, as long as they can make advance preparations. Travel agencies can be particularly helpful in these instances. There may even be tours especially available to you that are designed for others with disabilities or handicaps. Be honest about your needs with everyone you speak to. Find out if your dietary needs will be sufficiently met at any hotels or restaurants that you're planning to visit. Remember to also ask about restrooms.
It's also a good idea to have addresses and phone numbers of nearby hospitals or doctors that can see you in an emergency. Your doctor may be able to make some recommendations. Be sure to tell him where and when you are traveling, as he may have some necessary suggestions. Advanced preparation can save many hours of important time if you should need any medical assistance. It will certainly be imperative to have done your homework prior to the trip if you are visiting a country where there will be language barriers.
Find about any security screenings and know your rights prior to making your plans. There's more to traveling with a disability then just using the required TSA locks on your luggage. If this first time traveling with a disability, plan a short trip and one not too far from home. There are many books and articles written today that can assist you in planning a pleasurable trip. The Internet is a wealth of knowledge and allows you to research every scenario. The travel industry is more aware today, and glad to accommodate any and all travelers. Talk to other travelers who would have prior knowledge of the area you are researching.
Now that you've done the necessary research you can grab your luggage and start packing! Begin by making a list so you will not forget anything that is necessary or that will make your trip more comfortable.
Maxine Greco has been in the luggage and travel business for over 35 years. She currently works at Village Luggage and Gifts.