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Tips for a Hassle-Free Trip When Traveling with Disabilities

disabled travel tips
Written by Lauren Saccone

This blog post was updated on June 2, 2021.

Disabilities used to make traveling a lot harder for individuals. But times have changed, and so has the nature of travel; those with disabilities have far more resources at their disposal. If you’re traveling with a loved one who has a disability, there are ways you can help them to have the best vacation possible — with a minimum of hassle. And if you are disabled, these tips can cut down on stress the next time you head off for adventure. Who says travel has to be a headache?

Do Your Homework

Young woman in wheelchair looking at laptop computer

Investigate the location you’re traveling to. Does it provide accommodations for the differently abled? Contact your lodgings and inquire about the resources they have. Be explicit about what you need, and what would be a deal-breaker. Most hotels will be willing to accommodate your needs. If there are any issues to consider, now’s the time. Will you need special transportation? Food considerations? Remember, this is supposed to be your trip — don’t compromise on your comfort or safety.

Look for Groups

Tourists in electric wheelchairs on Parliament Hill. Ottawa, Ontario. Canada.

There are tons of tour groups and exciting activities that have been designed specifically for disabled travelers. Whether you want to tour a major city or explore some ancient ruins, there are expert guides that can lead the way — with your specific needs in mind. Reach out to disability groups and resources in the area. Even if they’re not what you’re looking for, they can most likely point you in the right direction.

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Use a Guide

guide takes man in wheelchair sightseeing

Want to see all the sights without having to stress about accessibility? Then you might be in the market for a tour guide. These guides have an intimate knowledge of the area you’re exploring and can show you amazing things you’d otherwise miss. More importantly, they know how to get around. If an area isn’t accessible, they can provide an alternative solution. For personalized assistance when it comes to getting around and seeing the sites, it’s hard to go wrong with a tour guide.

Fly Easy

disabled travel

Airports can be a hassle under the best of circumstances, so don’t leave anything to chance if you’re taking advantage of some cheap flights. Contact the airline and let them know about your requirements and needs. See what sort of assistance and consideration they offer. Determine how early you need to show up, and what security issues you might have to contend with. If the airline doesn’t look like it can provide you with what you need, seek out an alternative.

Have a Back-Up Plan

Nurse Helping Senior Man Exit A Van

Things go awry on vacation — even when you’ve planned for every possible contingency. So it’s important to have a back-up plan or two in case things go a bit haywire. Make sure you have a back-up mode of transportation, and extra medications if needed. You can’t prepare for every eventuality, but you can take steps to ensure that a minor crisis doesn’t turn into a major disaster.

Know of any other tips to share? Tell us in the comments. 

About the author

Lauren Saccone