Traveling itself is a tiring process, even for seasoned travelers. No matter the mode of travel you opt for, it can cause a great deal of apprehension, especially when traveling with a wheelchair. Navigating through crowded areas, taking care of your luggage, waiting in line for security checks, and traveling while sitting on a chair for long hours is indeed exhausting. To ensure safety and ease up your traveling routine, here are some proven steps you can follow to make your trip comfortable.
The first thing to do when traveling is to review the passenger policies set forth by the travel service. Shockingly, certain airlines have strict policies that affect individuals with disabilities. For example, intercity flights operated in many Asian countries allow limited baggage that can be troublesome for a wheelchair user. Therefore, always review the terms and contact the authorities beforehand for hassle-free and safe travels
Arriving at the Airport
After you have informed the airline about your flight, you should head over to the assistance counter for the security administration officers to facilitate you through the security checks. According to policies followed by most airlines, people with disabilities are pre-boarded on the aircraft before any other passenger and transferred to an aisle chair.
Plan Your Travelling Routine
When traveling with a wheelchair, it takes more time than usual to board the airplane. Consider booking plane tickets or bus rides that allow ample time for you to reach safely. Furthermore, if you have booked a transit flight, remember to keep a time difference of at least 90-120 minutes as you would be the last person to exit the aircraft. Lastly, contact the airline 48 hours earlier to inform you need special assistance when traveling.
Wheelchair Handling Essentials
You have to hand over your wheelchair before you board a flight. In several cases, wheelchair equipment is mostly mishandled, which results in damages. If you find any damage, immediately document it and contact the airline. To prevent these issues, mobility aid providers from https://mobilitymedicalsupply.com/ suggest mentioning the folding procedure of your wheelchair and removing any detachable parts like cushions, side guards, footrests, and wheels. If you have a motor-operated wheelchair, make sure you include the instructions for disassembly and operations to make it easier to transport.
Preparing Your Wheelchair
Preparing a manual wheelchair for travel is easy, as most share similar designs and functionality. However, if you are operating a power chair, it is necessary to prepare beforehand. Power chairs have a lot of small components that need to be in place for the chair to be operational. Furthermore, these chairs require adequate maintenance to be fully operational. The best way would be to contact a professional or the company you bought the chair from for assistance. They have the right tricks and tools that can help you take your power chair with you and re-assemble it when required,
Carry Medical Supplies
Several medical conditions need medical supplies like ostomy pouches, catheters, and urine bags. Pack medical supplies according to the trip and a few extras in case a product malfunction or an unexpected event delays the travel. Carrying medical supplies will also help you with your lavatory requirements, as many domestic flights don’t have an assistive lavatory. Contacting your doctor is essential before a trip if you are wheelchair-bound and have a medical condition that requires daily management. Tell them about the duration of the trip and ask for any specific precautions or medications that you could use if the symptoms worsen.
As mentioned earlier, try to label your wheelchair and attach instructions to operate the wheelchair so that it can be transported safely. However, if damages occur, it could take at least a few hours before you get things operational. Therefore, pack repair essentials for your wheelchair that include duct tape, replacement screws, and a wrench.
Enjoy Travelling Perks
There are several airlines, monuments, and places for tourists that offer special privileges for people traveling with a wheelchair. For example, if you book a flight or visit a museum, chances are that you will get an exclusive discount on service charges and receive premium services for a price that will not break the bank.
Traveling with a wheelchair is indeed tiring, but not something impossible to achieve. Your traveling routine can turn into an enjoyable trip if you give enough time to plan and find solutions to the issues that could arise. Besides following the tips mentioned above, learn from your travel experiences to devise similar strategies and use them for comfortable and safe travels.