Travelers with disabilities need to plan and ensure that they have a safe and successful return home trip. While it can be challenging to travel with a disability, it does not mean that disabled individuals can’t enjoy a vacation.
By reading this guide, you’ll be better equipped to plan a trip for yourself or a loved one. Continue reading to understand more about traveling with a disability.
Plan in Advance
The challenges that people with disabilities face when traveling are the same regardless of whether they have a temporary or permanent disability. The U.S. Department of State has various resources to help you navigate the various accommodations required under the ADA. Even though cruise ships, hotels, and transportation in the U.S. must comply with ADA standards, foreign counterparts should still assume that they won’t be.
If a hotel, transportation, or cruise ship isn’t ADA-compliant, you should speak with the manager to find out what accommodations can be made. Mobility International USA has a variety of articles that can help you plan a trip and navigate the various accommodations required under the ADA.
Arrange Accessible Accommodation
Some of the other factors to consider when it comes to choosing a non-compliant hotel are whether or not the facility has enough room for wheelchairs and whether or not they can fit through the bathroom doors.
If you’re planning on traveling alone, consider what you’ll need to do at home, such as using a roll-in shower. If you stay in an ADA-compliant hotel, you should also find grab bars. Many people don’t understand what fully accessible means, such as not realizing that a step can be a barrier to a person in a wheelchair.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
The U.S. Department of State’s free service, known as STEP, allows you to share your trip information with the local consulate or embassy of the U.S. It can also notify you in the event of an emergency. Another great feature of this program is a section that allows you to enter information about physical limitations.
Specialty Travel Agencies
It can be challenging for disabled travelers to find appropriate accommodations and activities in foreign countries. A knowledgeable travel agent can help them plan their trip and find the best accommodations.
Some agencies that can help disabled individuals find accessible activities and accommodations include Easy Access Travel, Travel for All, and Wheel the World. European cities known for being accessible include Venice, Spain, and Barcelona. ETIAS will allow non-EU citizens to travel more easily as long as they meet certain requirements.