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Tips for Accessible Travel

Before I began traveling with my 93-year-old father, I didn't give much thought to the challenges of accessible travel.  Now I have become keenly aware of things like steps, handrails, wheelchair access, showers, and long distances. Although it takes some extra work and asking the right questions, accessible travel is possible.

 

Maybe you haven’t traveled in a while or this is your first time traveling. The fear of the unknown may be causing you to be wary about your trip. Don’t worry! I want to help you have the best, safest, accessible journey possible. Exploring new places is a lot of fun. Being prepared takes some of the guesswork and anxiety out of going. Here are some tips and tricks to help you choose your accessible adventure.  

 

By Air  


Did you know wide-body aircraft are required to have an accessible bathroom on board? We did! When booking your flight, look for planes such as the Airbus A350 or a Boeing 747. These planes will have an accessible bathroom, larger cabin seating, and wider aisles. If you need a mobility aid, you can rent or bring your own. We suggest attaching a GPS tag to mobility aids stored in the plane. You may contact the airline to request boarding before the rest of the passengers. This will give you the time you need to board the plane without overwhelm. If you would like to use a wheelchair to board, an airline associate can offer a wheelchair designed for the plane’s aisle. This can also be used when needing the restroom.


 By Land 


There are many things to consider when staying somewhere that isn’t your home. Vacation rentals are a good option when you need to consider allergens. You can often contact the rental owner and make sure the cleaning supplies, bedding, etc., aren’t going to go to battle with your mast cells. Rental homes offer the use of a kitchen, which can alleviate fear of cross-contamination and hidden food allergens.

 

Looking to explore? Many museums, historical architecture, and national parks are free to the disability community and a companion. There are even companies willing to offer scholarships to help people travel. (This is the perk we love!) Living with a disability or chronic illness is expensive; travel doesn't have to be.  

 

By Sea  


Cruise ships have the benefit of being a newer travel option. Many cruise ships offer lowered desks, automatic doors, elevators, pool, and hot tub lifts, lowered tables, and can even offer a wheelchair to board the ship. Many stops along the way have been updated for accessible travel.  

 

If you are looking for a more grounded beach vacation, all-inclusive resorts are a great option. Vacationers can stay at resorts with lifts into the ocean, smooth walkways, and even paths down to the sand. Resorts set up umbrellas, so if you are sun-sensitive, this has already been taken care of for you. Be sure you don’t forget your SPF and electrolytes!  


Pack your bags – and your Foley and colostomy bags! The world is waiting for you to explore it. Travel is for everyone. The world is for everyone. Contact me to begin your adventure.

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