When you are preparing for a trip, the goal is to travel well, arriving at your destination safely and on time. At Stellar Transportation, the premier non-emergency medical transportation professionals in South Florida, the team knows how to help you travel safely with your wheelchair. Planning every aspect of your journey can help save time and alleviate unwanted frustrations that can arise on any trip.
Helpful Wheelchair Travel Tips
These tips can help you have the smoothest, most enjoyable journey possible.
- Invite a Traveling Companion Along – Not only will a traveling companion be able to help you along the way – boarding planes, opening doors, helping with luggage – but he or she can also make the journey more enjoyable. After all traveling with a companion adds to the fun, reduces stress, and can make your journey easier.
- Plan Ahead – The first step is labeling your wheelchair with a card complete with name and contact information just in case your chair is lost in transit. Next, verify accessibility at all your stops and your final destination. You can call ahead regarding your accommodations and the attractions you will visit to ensure accessibility and wheelchair friendliness throughout your trip. It is also helpful to research taxis, buses, ferries, and other forms of transportation so there are no surprises. While international travel is still limited as a result of the ongoing global pandemic, when traveling outside the United States is important to verify eligibility, because some destinations will not be as wheelchair friendly as others. By knowing in advance, you can make your plans accordingly.
- Prepare for the Unexpected – Before embarking on your journey, have your wheelchair checked out to ensure it is in the best possible condition. If repairs are needed, schedule them to be completed at least a week before your departure, so you can verify the work has been complete satisfactorily before you leave. You should also bring the needed repair tools along on your trip so you make minor adjustments as needed should the need arise – for example, changing out a flat pneumatic tire.
Make Special Arrangements as Needed
When traveling with your wheelchair, it is important to make the necessary arrangements beforehand, particularly if your trip features traveling by sea or air.
Cruise ship travel delivers and outstanding experience for all travelers with many cruise lines well-equipped for passengers using wheelchairs. When ships dock at ports on the itinerary, passengers are transported via tenders to shore. Ask ahead to ensure your cruise line and its tenders are designed to transport electric or traditional wheelchair users, so you can enjoy all the fun of your cruise.
For air travel, it is important to note that U.S. airlines are not covered by the ADA (American with Disabilities Act) but by the Air Carriers Access Act giving you certain additional rights. If you experience issues – damages or injuries – during your air travel, you should contact the air carrier Complaint Resolution Officer (CRO) who specializes in resolving issues for passengers with disabilities.
It is important to book your air travel in advance, in order to reserve special accommodations, including an aisle seat to make your travel and transportation easier. If you will be required to change flights, request your wheelchair is returned to you between flights and notify flight attendants again of your needs prior to landing. Because your chair will be stored underneath the plan, labeling can help ensure its return should it be lost in transit or be involved in a mix-up with another passenger’s chair. Before your chair is stowed, you should remove cushions and other accessories which can be kept with you on the flight.
Stellar Transport Can Help You with U.S. Travel
Stellar Transportation can provide you with safe, comfortable travel, whether you need a ride to the airport or across the country. At Stellar, the caring focus in on wheelchair patients – of all ages, mobility, and health. Call today!