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Traveling to a new place is truly exciting. But it also comes with its share of troubles. You can’t have a happy trip if you don’t sweat it out! For a person with a disability, traveling to a new place can be even more harrowing. You can never be too sure if the new place will have all that’s needed to feel comfortable. But if you do things the right way, you’re sure to have all the fun you dream of. Here are a few traveling tips that will help people with a disability make the most of their vacation.
Finalize a Budget
If you’re traveling solely for business purposes, you might not have to worry about this part. But if you’re planning to take a vacation, you’ll need to set a budget first.
It’s important to decide how much money you’re willing to spend on your trip. You’ll have to take into consideration lots of things apart from just the tickets and hotel room fares. You’ll be going to a new place and you need to have extra money for emergencies, medications, wheelchair or scooter hire, etc.
Plan the Trip in Advance
Any trip needs to be planned well in advance so that things run smooth and as intended. Again, if you’re going on a business trip, you might not need to plan much. But if you’re going on a leisure trip and intend to see all that the new place has to offer, you’ll need to do your homework.
Make a list of all that you want to see or do. Prepare your itinerary and don’t let anything prevent you from going and doing whatever you want. Look for ways you can enjoy what you’ve wanted to do or consider alternatives instead of dwelling on one thing.
Remember that having to adjust in a new place will be taxing in itself, so don’t cram several things together. Give yourself enough time to adjust and don’t push yourself too much. After all, you’re going on a vacation to have fun! Have a back-up plan in place so that there’s nothing to be disappointed about if your original plan doesn’t work out.
Don’t forget the basics- getting to the airport, handling luggage, getting on and off flights, getting to your hotel, etc. These important things need to be planned too.
Research the Place Well
If you have special needs and this makes it essentially important for you to know where you’re going. You need to have all important phone numbers with you before you leave from home. It is also advisable to check out if your destination has a local organization for people with a disability.
Take a note of local health and medical associations too. Ensure that the hotel you’ll be staying at is near a good medical center so that emergencies can be dealt with easily.
Do research the crime rate in the city where you’re going to. Keep important things like your passport, credit or debit cards, visa, etc. with you at all times. Seniors and people with disabilities are easy targets for thieves and criminals. You could also become a victim of identity theft if your credentials and cards are stolen.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that traveling is always dangerous; just do the right things to travel safe and you won’t face trouble.
Know Your Rights
As a person with a disability, you should know all your rights. Keep in mind that you cannot be discriminated against because of your disability. If you do feel discriminated against because of your medical condition, get in touch with concerned authorities.
Also, if you need to have a service animal with you at all times, be aware of rules and regulations related to service animals. Obtaining required documents may take weeks or months at times so be prepared for the wait.
Book with the Best
It is important to book tickets and tours with the best operators; you don’t want added stress when you already have so much to think of.
If it’s possible, book your tour through a travel agent that specializes in organizing trips for people with disabilities. Such an agent or agency will be able to understand your needs well and will certainly meet your expectations.
Make Yourself As Comfortable As Possible
This is important if you want to have a happy trip. Only you know what’s best for you. If you can’t handle a really long flight, choose an inter-connecting one. If you don’t want to go through the hassles of an inter-connecting flight, choose a direct flight to your destination.
Additionally, if you need special medical equipment while traveling, speak to the airlines or your supplier beforehand.
Don’t Forget to Pack the Essentials
Pack all your medicines; you can’t expect to find them everywhere. And do pack extra so you don’t run out of medicines. Pack the extras in another bag so in case you happen to misplace a bag, you’ll always have your medicines in the other.
Always carry copies of your prescription and medical records. This will be of great help in emergencies. Do carry all your medical cards and Medicare cards too.
If need be, do pay your physician a visit before your trip. Your physician will be able to identify if you have any health issues. If you don’t have information related to your condition on paper, the physician will be able to provide the required documents to you. He will also be able to give you necessary advice to keep in mind while you’re spending time away from home.
Furthermore, take whatever you can with you. Don’t assume that you’ll get to rent a walker or a scooter just about anywhere. And if you are taking your scooter or wheelchair with you, do make sure that it is working properly. Get it serviced before you take off on your vacation.
Armed with these tips, you’re sure to have fun!
Author Bio: Tracy Vides works as a Community Manager at Credit Report Problems, a comprehensive Law Resource that helps you deal with Identity Theft, False Employment Reports, and Unfair Debt Collections. You can find her @TracyVides on Twitter.