May 23, 2017 at 5:00 PM
Gone are the days when people with disabilities could hardly enjoy a road trip and long distance travels. With reputable companies like Premier Mobility Cars providing vehicles that are customised to facilitate smooth 'disabled travel,' it is now easier for people with physical limitations to go sightseeing and globe-trot.
However, having a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) is not enough. There are many forms of disability, with each requiring special attention. From the airline seats to hotel rooms and the kind of cars to rent, here are lifesaving pointers that disabled travellers can apply to make their adventure, road trip or tour as pleasant as possible!
1. Research and plan in advance
Do extensive research on all the places you will visit, how to get there and around. Get correct information on the laws, accessibility of hotels, roads, medical facilities, and sites. Then based on the research, make a specific plan on where you will go and how to get there and around.
2. Book everything ahead
While most hotels and tourist destinations have facilities for people with disabilities, they might need some time to prepare the rooms, install ramps and make things a little extra comfortable for you. Call ahead and describe your disability in details. Make sure that they understand your limitations and what they can do to make your visit comfortable.
3. Consult your doctor about the trip
Your doctor can tell if the road trip is good for you or not and give you a medical prescription for coping with the travel. The doctor will tell you how to take care of yourself depending on the distance, nature of your destinations and medications as well as what to do in case something happens.
4. Stay in the most accessible parts of the towns you are visiting
In addition to your hotel being accessible, ensure that other necessities like restaurants, shopping malls and streets are disabilities-friendly. Google Maps' Street View is a good way to get the layout of all the places you will be visiting. You should also make calls or send emails to confirm.
5. Take your doctor's contact information and carry all medications just in case.
Doctors recommend that you carry two complete packages of your meds, to be on the safe side. It is important that you can get medical assistance from your doctor, no matter the location.
6. Consider an 'accessibility travel company'
Ensure that the agent you employ is qualified and fits your specifications. Ask them as many questions as possible for a smooth and pleasant road trip.
7. Have a plan B for everything.
Have a backup plan for accommodation, routes, hangouts, medication, wheelchair spare parts and contact information of doctors and relations.
Enjoy your road trip! Now that you have adequately planned your road tour, you can get in your WAV and start your adventures! Make most of it and explore cities, art, history and nature!