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Traveling by wheelchair can be challenging if you don’t plan before hand, or take into account possible delays or setbacks due to handicap restrictions. For example, not all hotels are wheelchair accessible, which can be difficult if you are traveling solo. Always ask about wheelchair accessibility when booking a hotel room to avoid potential problems.
People with mobility problems rely on their wheelchair when traveling, therefore it is important to confirm with airlines, boats or cruises, taxis, shuttles, buses and amusement park rides that you can use your wheelchair.
Leaving your Town and Checking your Chair
Ask these services about ramps, elevators or air assistance. Also ask about any restrictions on medical or special equipment like oxygen tanks or areas specifically for defibrillators. Getting this info before traveling will save you time and money.
If you are traveling solo, be sure to have your wheelchair serviced before leaving. Having it in good working order will avoid setbacks or time wasted with repairs on your trip. Place your contact info on all parts that are detachable prior to leaving on your trip.
Travel Size Repair Kit for Wheelchairs
Taking a travel size repair kit complete with all the tools necessary to change a pneumatic tire is a good idea. You can get these kits in the bike department of most major retails stores. Keep in mind that all repair shops at your destination might not be like the one you are use to, so being prepared if a problem arises is a great thing.
Taking a Cruise as a Wheelchair User
Cruise operators often use ferry services to take passengers to and from shore from an anchored ship. Not all ferry services have the correct equipment to load and off load wheelchairs on the cruise ship.
Confirm with the cruise operator that you will be able to get ashore if needed. Weather, sea or tide conditions might prevent wheelchair passengers from leaving the ship. Usually a creepy crawler is used to “walk” your wheelchair down the stairs so wheelchair passengers can get to shore.
The handicapped person using a scooter or electric wheelchair might need to temporarily transfer to a lightweight or manual wheelchair so they can be moved to shore easier. Notify the crew of any special or medical equipment that you might need with your scooter or wheelchair.
Most people think that all airlines accommodate wheelchair, but some airlines don’t have the capacity or did not have the proper services in place to make traveling for those in wheelchair a comfortable experience. So always confirm with the airlines if they are wheelchair accessible or not.
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