Traveling around the world is a truly life-changing experience, which should be available to everyone. Those with limited mobility or access, and certainly those who care for them, often struggle to navigate in a world contains a lot of barriers, either by way of understanding or infrastructure.
There are a lot of moving parts (sometimes literally) to consider before taking off on an adventure. Fortunately, we’ve put together some easy tips and tricks to remember and hopefully make your experience the best it can be!
Planning is the first step in a long process of getting ready for a big trip. So be sure to give yourself extra time getting around.
Traveling is stressful enough without worrying about any extra help you or a friend might need. Take your time. The world can wait!
It’s always a good idea to take a statement from your doctor, preferably on an official letterhead, that explains your condition, any medications you need, any potential health complications, and other pertinent information. Be sure you know which phone number to call your doctor (or another medical professional) at, in case of an emergency situation at any time of the day.
Have your medical alert information on you at all times. Keep it in a place that a responder will find easily. These places could be in a wallet card, around your neck, close to your identification, like your passport. If you are going to a non-English speaking country, it’s also helpful to have these documents translated into the native languages.
Before leaving, be sure to practice and spend time with crowds, even if it’s just 15 minutes at a time. It’s important for those with noise sensitivity to slowly become more exposed to unfamiliar noises. This makes being in a new, alien place that much easier to process.
How Can You Get There?
If planning is the first step, it’s also probably the most important. Long before you actually land in your dream vacation, take the time to schedule your hotel plans, any tours, and definitely any needed transportation. It might seem a little tricky handling plans a month in advance, but when the time comes to see Big Ben, you’ll be grateful for the guided tour specifically for those with special needs.
- Train companies request that you call 24 hours to let them know you need extra assistance. However, if you’re in a bind, we’ve heard it being done as quick as 5 minutes before departure.
- There are tons of resources and travel agents (yes, those still exist!) that understand your condition and aim to give you the best traveling experience possible.
- Understand your public transportation options. Does your city have a rail system? Do the rideshare drivers also offer space for wheelchair users? At certain attractions, what accessible options are there? If walking is a problem for you, don’t be discouraged: you can still get to the top of the Eiffel Tower!
Read the rest of the article here at The Zebra
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