Key Tips On Traveling With A Disability: How To Get The Most Fun Out Of Life

Traveling can either be stressful or a great experience. However, when you have a disability, it can be frustrating to get from point A to B. Most airlines or public services are aware of this and do their responsibility in making your travel smooth and comfortable. Meanwhile, before traveling, you may want to check the policies of your airline concerning travelers with disabilities.

13 Tips On Traveling With A Disability

If you are traveling with a disability such as limitations on your developmental or mobility disability, or you have special needs like using a wheelchair or scooter, then it may be wise to learn as much about traveling easier when you have a disability. 

Likewise, if you are a senior who walks slower than a normal pace or just prefers a slower pace, then becoming knowledgeable on disability traveling resources and services will make your anxiety levels decrease. This also works for people who are traveling with a handicapped person. 

The following are thirteen tips and information to make traveling and holidays easier for people with disabilities whether short-term or long-term. 

1. Plan your trip ahead

Planning ahead includes purchasing extra medications, supplements, renew or change prescriptions, fix eyeglasses, acquire dental or medical work, and have your wheelchair or scooter maintained or fixed. 

2. Book your vacation through a travel agency that specializes in assisting disabled individuals

Travel agencies and tour operators that have experience in assisting the disabled can save you and your family from stressful situations. 

These agencies can ensure you get good services for the disabled traveler. These special services include:

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    Wheelchair at the airport
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    An accessible hotel room and a wheelchair ready for you
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    Wheelchair rental
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    Automobile rental which could be a minivan, full van, or lift-equipped convenient van
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    Rental on handicap scooter
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    Rental on other handicap vehicle depending on your needs

Moreover, the agency can help you arrange the best accessible cruise, transportation, and travel insurance. They can also ensure the hotels you check in are accommodating and can attend to your special needs. 

3. Book everything you need with your travel agent

Do not wait to settle on your rentals when you get to your location. Make all the necessary arrangements with your travel agent.

  • Handicap rentals: This is regarding rentals for a handicap vehicle, wheelchair, scooter, and other specifics such as ramps, hoists, etc. Also, make sure the van comes with insurance. 
  • Double-check all arrangements: This is very important because it ensures that when you get to your destination, everything is ready for your convenience. Double-check with your agent all arrangements including airlines, hotels, wheelchair, van rental, scooter, medical equipment rental, and more. Verify all the specifics, especially if you have other needs like oxygen.

4. Remember your travel agent’s number

In case something happens or there is a problem with your travel, reservation, or transportation, call your travel agent. For sure, they can help you in solving problems regarding your travel even if you did not purchase your tickets from them.

5. Know the local health and medical organizations before you proceed to another location

It is important to know what are the accessible restaurants, theaters, museums, and other local establishments. Likewise, be informed where you can acquire medical assistance, oxygen, and other emergency supplies. These can help you in case of problems occur during your travel. 

6. Be early at the airport

It is much better to wait at the airport instead of missing your plane. This further eliminates pre-travel anxieties you may feel. Also, it makes your travel easier and leisurely. This is a golden rule, but some people still arrive at the airport just in time. 

7. Your carry-on bag must have everything you need

It is crucial that your airplane carry-on bag has all of your medications, prescriptions, sunglasses, eyeglasses, and supplements. Also, always carry with you a list of your doctors with their phone numbers and addresses. 

In the event you lose your medications or prescriptions, acquire the fax number of your health professional. It is important to also keep duplicate copies of your prescriptions in your luggage. Moreover, make sure you know where you kept all your medical records. 

8. Know the names of your prescription drugs

It is crucial to know the medications you are taking, especially when emergencies happen when you are traveling. You cannot just tell the pharmacist what you need is simply taking a ‘pink capsule’ or whatever. 

Emergency medical professionals need to know what your medications are to ensure they do not give you medications that may react harmfully, impede your treatment and recovery, or overdose. 

9. Inform flight attendants

When traveling by air, make sure to inform the flight attendants of your medical situation and let them know in case you experience any medical issues during your flight. 

Likewise, you must be informed of the nearest restroom and let them know if you will need assistance upon getting to the restroom during your flight. 

Moreover, discuss your seating arrangement with your travel agent. Most likely, you will need the aisle seat to give you easier access to the restrooms. 

10. Ask for suggestions

Ask your travel agent for suggestions or ideas in case you need a travel assistant with you. Your agent can contact local medical associations and ask if they can provide you with a travel companion or assistant to accompany you during your travel. 

There are various companies who offer traveling companions, traveling nurses, or traveling assistants. They can accompany people with disabilities or medical issues during their travel. 

11. Take these with you

Most importantly, make a checklist and include the following on the list to bring on your travel:

  • Medicare cards
  • Medical cards
  • Discount cards
  • Van rental discount cards 
  • Agent’s phone number
  • Airline tickets
  • E-tickets
  • Passport
  • Auto insurance policy number
  • Debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • Driver’s license
  • American Express Travelers Checks

Photocopy everything and keep the photocopies in your luggage. Likewise, keep a copy in your home by the telephone or somewhere a person can easily access it in case you need it. 

12. Read everything about traveling for disabled persons

There are travel books for the disabled such as access guides, disability travel publications and articles, guidebooks, and other written materials for the disabled traveler. Likewise, read personal experiences of disabled persons who have traveled. It is important to be informed so you would know what to expect when you are traveling. Also, it gives you an idea of what to do in case any problem arises during your travel. 


All the information, tips, and resources we have given you can help anyone with a disability who wishes to travel easier and enhance their life. Moreover, these tips can give you a pleasant, easier, trouble-free, anxiety-free travel or vacation. To have a satisfying mobility experience, there are several mobility products like St. Louis Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles that you can take advantage when traveling with a disability. 

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