Times are changing; people with disabilities in Australia have more travel options. It is an exciting day when you travel to explore new sights and sounds.
So to help you get your adventure started, here are seven useful travel tips for people with disabilities.
Research your destination
Research is the key to making all your travel plans run as smoothly as possible. It would help if you learned as much as you can about your intended destination.
Some of the questions to ask include:
- · What kind of accessible activities are available in the area?
- · How would you get around? Is public transport accessible-friendly or would you need to arrange your private transport?
- · Do the public spaces have accessibility features built-in?
- · In case of an emergency, does your insurance cover you in a foreign country?
- · Can you quickly access medical care if and when you need it while travelling?
The insights from this early research will help you decide whether a particular destination is worth visiting or not.
Once you have earmarked a destination put together a realistic schedule of sights you want to visit and activities you want to undertake.
If embarking on tours, book these in advance to avoid disappointment. Ensure some downtime is included, so you can rest and make the most of your holiday time amongst all the sightseeing.
Australian airlines are mandated under the law to make provisions for people with disabilities. So you can be sure your needs will be taken into consideration by airlines when flying.
You will inform the airline when reserving your seat about your needs. Explain in clear terms to the booking agents what your needs are and the help you require.
If you can, avoid stopovers. A straight flight to your destination is ideal as it eliminates navigating through large airports. If, however, a straight trip is not possible, be sure to allow at least 90 minutes between flights to give yourself ample time to get from one gate to another.
What equipment do you need to get through a day as comfortably as possible? Also, would you need special equipment to access some sites during your trip?
Think through every part of your trip and pack accordingly. Be sure to check what you can bring on the trip. You may be able to access equipment abroad. Also, talk to the airline to see what they allow onboard.
Bring along spare parts for your equipment like lifting slings and tools for emergency repairs. Be sure you or your travelling companion can dismantle the wheelchair if need be to board a flight or enter individual facilities.
While it is reasonable to hope you would not have any medical emergency on your trip; it is just common sense to bring additional medications, only in case.
Before travelling, have an idea of the medical system in the country you are travelling to. Keep the contacts of any healthcare providers there handy.
Also, be sure to bring along your doctor’s note that describes your condition, potential complications, and other relevant information.
It is easier today to find accommodations that have provisions for individuals with limited mobility. However, on booking, confirm that the facilities listed on their website and booking brochure are in place.
Be upfront about any other needs you might have and ask if the accommodation provider can meet these needs.
Travel insurance is essential, especially if going overseas. Again this might require some research and detailed reading of the fine print to ensure that the policy adequately covers your needs, especially medically, when travelling.
There are lots of different options in terms of insurance, so get one that best meets your needs. This will give you peace of mind to enjoy that well deserved holiday and enjoy the travel experience.
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