Air travel has its set of challenges for people with disabilities (PWD), despite industry efforts to make air travel easy for them. Sure, there’s the American Disabilities Act that requires facilities in the U.S. to be accessible for everyone, but it’s a different story when you’re going to another country. This is why you need to make the necessary preparations to ensure a smooth flight — and vacation.
Here are a few tips for PWDs who want to explore the world.
Following Air Travel Guidelines
Let’s face it, getting a fabulous air travel experience is rare unless you’re in first class. It’s important to call the airline you’re planning to book for your trip. U.S. airlines like United have a disability desk you can call to assist you with any special needs, like a therapy animal or a mobility scooter for seniors. Every airline in the U.S. has a disability policy on its website, as well. Read them, fill out the necessary forms, and notify your airline for any special requests you may have.
Choosing an Accessible Destination
As much as you want to experience all the world has to offer, not every country is completely accessible. Wheelchair user and avid traveler Cory Lee, in his website “Curb Free with Cory Lee,” recommended wheelchair-accessible places to visit. South Korea was number one on his list because of his recent visit there during the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. He reported that its capital, Seoul, and the Olympic host city Pyeongchang are ideal for wheelchair users.
Accessible travel guide WheelchairTravel.org also stated that the capital has the world’s best public transportation when it comes to accommodating wheelchair users and other PWDs. Planning a Euro-trip? Make Vienna your first stop. Most of its tourist destinations are accessible to wheelchair users. Its Albertina museum provides full access for those using wheelchairs. It even offers guided tours for people who are deaf, blind or have slight to moderate dementia. If you’re looking for a regal experience, the city’s Forchtenstein Castle has wheelchair-accessible restrooms and restaurants. They offer a 50% discount on the admission price.
Hitting the Road Instead
If airline travel is just too much of a hassle for you, you can always have a nice road trip with family and friends. Lee suggested going to the sunny city of Orlando, Florida. He credited the place for having “flawlessly flat” roads and great entertainment destinations like Walt Disney World, Seaworld, and Universal Studios. What’s great is that all these theme parks are accessible!
The U.S.’ capital, Washington, D.C., is also a prime choice for wheelchair users, according to WheelChairTravel.org. It’s filled with historical monuments. It has magnificent architecture and public transportation. The city’s Natural Gallery of Art offers beautiful paintings from renowned authors like Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt. If you’re looking to learn a thing or two about science and history, the Smithsonian Museums (Air & Space, American History, and Natural History) provide full access for those using wheelchairs and other persons with disability.
Traveling with a physical disability might be difficult, but the rewards are worth it. All it takes is preparation and resourcefulness. With the increasing number of countries and American cities making their public transportation systems and buildings accessible, you’ll be checking off all your travel goals in no time.
Get the Right Mobility Scooter for Your Travels
When it comes to traveling, you want your mobility scooter to be light and durable. Here at 1800wheelchair.com, we offer sturdy but portable power scooters like the award-winning eFoldi, which has a battery designed for air travel. We also provide walkers, patient lifts, and wheelchairs for all ages. Explore the world with us.
Contact us today to know more about our mobility products.