When those who are wheelchair bound travel, they must take special care to ensure that the things they need to make them comfortable will be available. This means planning before you travel to your vacation destination.
Here are a few tips of key things to find out so that you can have the trip of your life:
Choose Where you Want to Travel
When you are concerned about how you get around a location you need to make sure that what you need is there and available. This means planning in advance that the place you go does in fact meet your needs. Traveling in the US is you are mobility impaired is easy because there are federal laws outlining that hotels, restaurants and attractions must meet guidelines to accommodate these citizens. If a business or public attraction is found lacking, there is legal recourse. With this as a threat the vast majority of businesses and certainly all of the reputable ones will comply. So a wheelchair bound person can be sure when they travel in the US that they will be well cared for.
When traveling overseas things can be vastly different depending on where you travel. Many countries including all of the major countries in Europe have the same or similar laws in the US in their major cities. If however you plan to visit smaller cities, chances are that they will not have laws demanding accommodations for wheelchairs. And in other countries even in their major cities, there is the likelihood that they will not have laws for businesses and even government controlled attractions regarding those in wheelchairs. This means there will be a good chance that there are no ramps, elevators, lifts, wider access doors, and safety features on many of their most desirable places to stay, eat and visit. For this reason, you need to call ahead to the city and ask specifically if they have implemented any wheelchair accessible guidelines in their city. You can also use the internet which is a great resource for this endeavour.
Type in the city you want to visit and the type “is it wheelchair accessible”. Do the same for any places you want to visit in the city and you will have a good idea of whether you have made a good choice of destinations.
Choose a Wheelchair Accessible Hotel
Because it is where you will spend most of your time while on vacation,choosing from the list of wheelchair accessible hotels is critically important. When traveling in the US this is less of a concern because of the guidelines the US places on hotels regarding accommodating wheelchair bound guests. Hotels must provide ramps, wide elevators, and rooms that cater to the mobility challenged. Hotels also know that this is in their business interest because these guests tend to travel in groups and spend more money at the hotel. For both of these reasons when traveling in the US wheelchair bound guests can expect to be pampered.
When traveling abroad however things can be quite different. So of the most desirable vacation destinations are not at all set up to accommodate the mobility challenged. This includes some of the most desirable hotels and resorts. The only way to know for sure if the hotel you want to book can accommodate you is to call. Do not try and ascertain what they are prepared to do by their website although this is a good place to start. You want to know specifically that they have the amenities for you and that they will be available when you visit. These will include, access ramps that get you in out of and around every area of the hotel, rooms with roll-in showers and wide areas so you can turn in the wheelchair, elevators to all of the hotel amenities you might want to use, and staff that can assist if there are any issues relating to your health or mobility needs. If you have any doubts as to the hotel’s capabilities, book a different hotel. Remember you might be in a place that has a different language and culture, you do not want to be stuck trying to explain that your room cannot accommodate you under these circumstances.
Take the time to plan properly and you can have a great vacation that caters to your mobility challenges.