Traveling can be hard, stressful and come with its fair share of unforeseen issues. If you are disabled or traveling with someone who is disabled, you understand the additional considerations that must be taken when planning a trip. Will there be handicap accessibility? What are the different standards of accessibility for disabled people? What will TSA screenings involve? Are wheelchairs or other mobility solutions available at each destination? What are policies for respirators, oxygen concentrators, wheelchairs, etc?
The team at LifeCare Advantage knows that no one likes to be stressed while on vacation, so we’ve come up with a list of tips and tricks that we hope will make preparing your travel plans a little bit easier. Plus think about how relaxed and happy you will feel when you’ve arrived at your final destination! Time to enjoy the fruits of your efforts!
Discuss Your Trip With Your Doctor
When it comes to your accessibility and planning a trip, one of the first people you should consult with is your doctor. Your doctor will be able to advise you and makes suggestions when regarding your travel accommodations. Perhaps you are traveling somewhere that has limited medical facilities or does not provide a specific prescription medication that you need. With your doctor, you can plan ahead so that you won’t be caught off guard or unprepared when you arrive at your destination. Also remember to pack your doctor’s contact information with a detailed list of your condition, medications, emergency contacts and any other important notes your doctor wants to include.
Reaching out to your hotel, cruise ship, airline or travel agent is always advisable. In the United States, law requires that accommodations be made for anyone with special needs. So while you know you, for sure, that you will have access, the unknown factor is how long it will take to arrange the proper accommodations. It is also important to research the accessibility standards in other countries. In the United States, handicap accessibility is required by law, but that is not the case in all other countries. Make sure you do your research!
If Possible, Avoid Connecting Flights
Wheelchairs are the last items that are checked into luggage compartments, which means they are the first items that can be pulled out of the compartments. That being said, maneuvering on and off airplanes can be a hassle and take a bit of time. Of course it’s not always possible to fly direct, so if you do have a connecting flight, make sure you allow yourself extra time to get on and off planes. The last thing you want it to miss a connection and be stuck in the airport.
Pack Extra Medication
Like we said before, traveling has the strangest way of attracting unforeseen issues. Sometimes these issues are minor, like a flight that is delayed by a half hour or a wrong turn that takes you in the opposite direction of your hotel. Other times, these issues are major, like cancelled flights that result in you having to extend your stay in your departing city. If you are caught in a situation like this and have only packed the exact amount of medication to accommodate the trip you planned on, you will find yourself panicked when you run out of meds. The key, again, is in planning ahead.
When it comes to describing your disability, be as concise as you possibly can. Explain, in layman’s terms, the specifics of your handicap and what accommodations you require. Miscommunication or lack of communication could cause major problems when it comes to traveling with disabilities. Sometimes, you may use medical jargon or terms that another person is unfamiliar with. Avoid misunderstanding by being specific and concise.
At LifeCare Advantage, your happiness and comfort are our priority. We want you to enjoy your vacation without having to stress about the unknown. If you plan ahead, do your research and keep lines of communication open, you will be at your destination in no time, laying in a hammock, sipping a tasty drink out of a coconut with a tiny umbrella in it.
If you have more questions about Medicaid assistance or want to learn more about LifeCare Advantage, please feel free to contact us today!