Accessible travel has come a long way over the past few decades. There are now plenty of opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities to fulfill their wanderlust and explore many different corners of the world.
While the travel industry has made strides in becoming more accessible, conditions are far from perfect. But if you are traveling with a disability, there are preparations you can (and should) make in advance to ensure all of your needs are met. Use these tips below to plan your trip, so that it is as accessible and enjoyable as possible!
1) Plan with as much advance as possible.
Although specific restrictions will vary between countries, service providers cannot deny you access to their services because of your disability. They do, however, need time to prepare accommodations. When you’re working out the details of your trip, you should contact these providers as early as possible to discuss and request the arrangements you’ll need.
This includes calls to hotels and lodging, transportation companies (airlines, bus companies, car or shuttle services), and representatives for any tours or activities you’re planning. You may also want to call these providers again 24-48 hours before your arrival to confirm the discussed accommodations have been made.
2) Be specific when describing your needs.
Keep in mind that, although it may be second nature to you and the individuals in your life, the people you contact to arrange the various accommodations for your trip may not fully understand what accessibility means for your circumstances. To assure all of your needs are met, it’s important to be as clear and specific as possible when describing them.
Give the representatives you speak with as much information as necessary to explain your limitations. The more they know, they better they will be able to accommodate you. It is best to give this information over the phone to avoid any miscommunications or misunderstandings that become issues later on.
3) Make medical preparations.
Before you travel, you must ensure you will have all of the medications, equipment/supplies, and care access necessary for both your day-to-day life and in case of emergency. Discuss any travel plans with your doctor in detail, so they can provide recommendations to make the process easier. Acquire enough of your prescriptions for the duration of your trip, plus extra (if possible) for backup. Be sure to keep medications in original packaging with original labels, especially if you will be flying to your destination.
It is also a good idea to ask your doctor to write a medical statement outlining your needs, to better communicate them to service providers and provide in the event that you need medical care during your travels. You may want to consider purchasing traveler’s health insurance and researching physicians in the area where you’ll be staying, just in case.
4) Research transportation methods at your destination.
For the best travel experience, you’ll want to figure out what will be the best way for you to get around your destination ahead of time. Arranging an accessible shuttle or car service is one option, or researching if any of these services are available for free.
Public transportation is also usually a reliable option for travelers with disabilities in many locations, as most buses are handicap accessible. Using public transit during your travels can save you time waiting (and money) on a specialized vehicle. Plus, you’ll get a more authentic sightseeing experience of the city you’re visiting when you use the same transportation methods as the locals.
5) Consider booking through a specialized travel agent or company.
If you’re worried about forgetting or not knowing about some of the details of planning for accessible travel, you might want to enlist a travel agent or agency that specializes in it. These agents will be able to create an itinerary customized to your travel goals as well as your accessibility needs. They can arrange accessible accommodations, transportation, tours, dining, and other experiences for you, so you don’t have to stress. Travel agencies can probably also find you better deals and will know of companies and services that offer accessibility discounts for you to take advantage of.
At Las Vegas Bus Sales, our inventory includes a wide selection of buses and shuttles that are ADA-compliant and have additional accessibility features. With one of our vehicles, you can make your private or public transportation fleet more accommodating to individuals with disabilities to help them have the best travel experience possible in your city.
Contact our team today for assistance in choosing a new or used bus to suit your needs!