Traveling with disabilities is a challenging affair, but one that can be made significantly easier with the right amount of preparation and foresight. If you or your loved one is living with a physical or medical impairment of any kind that may make traveling a challenge, there are several things you can do to make the trip more manageable.
No matter the location or activities you or your loved one will be experiencing, having a good understanding of the location and the available transportation options and routes will go a long way to ensuring the best possible experience. With that in mind, here are 7 tips for traveling with disabilities that will help you or your loved one throughout your trip.
Look for Discounts
Before you begin making travel arrangements and bookings, the first thing you should do is find any available disability discounts you or your loved one can take advantage of. For instance, access to National Parks is free for U.S. citizens with permanent disabilities, while many museums, zoos, and theme parks offer discounts. Whatever your plans, you should check to see what discounts may be available to you.
Scout the Locations
Once you have decided where to visit and spend your time, the next thing to do is scout the location as you make your arrangements. It can mean looking for wheelchair access points, urgent care, ambulance availability, and easily accessible hotels. The key to a safe travel experience is to have a strong grasp of the area you are traveling to beforehand.
Consider Transportation Options
Another element to plan around is transportation. Whatever needs you or your loved one have, you must find suitable means of transportation that can accommodate them. Many cities in the U.S. offer paratransit for patients and elders who need medical accommodation for travel.
Additionally, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) exists in many places if you or your loved one need special care or equipment to travel in comfort. Whatever your needs may be, consider seeing what medical transportation options are available first.
Rent a Mobility Device
Walking long distances is extremely challenging and tiring for those living with physical disabilities. One way to circumvent this is by renting a mobility device, like a wheelchair or a scooter, at your destination that will make covering vast walking distances much more manageable and less demanding. Rental services are readily available in most locations, so consider renting a device at your destination to make things easier.
Medical Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may cover financial losses, while Medicare will not cover overseas travel. With that in mind, you should check the U.S. Department of State for recommended medical travel insurance providers, as an accident or emergency can occur at any point in time. Consider using a service that offers medical evacuation, as those services can be extremely costly if your insurance will not cover it.
Book with a Specialized Agent or Company
If you are dealing with anxiety and uncertainty when it comes to making your travel arrangements, one way to alleviate the stress is by booking with a travel agent or company that specializes in those services. They will have a better grasp than other options of what your needs may be and can help you arrange for travel safely and comfortably.
Enroll in STEP
Finally, another precaution you can take is to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Offered by the U.S. Department of State, this program will alert local U.S. Embassies or Consulates at your destination in the event of an emergency. If you want an extra layer of security for you or your loved one, consider enrolling before you depart.
Book a Ride with Stellar Transport
If you or your loved one needs non-medical transportation, Stellar Transport provides NEMT services for a variety of patient and elderly needs. If you are looking for safe, reliable, and high-quality transportation services, book a ride with Stellar Transport today!