Travelers with disabilities such as needing a wheelchair or other personal devices to aid in mobility is no reason not to get out and see the country or the world for that matter. Accessible travel expert Alvaro Silberstein, co-founder of Wheel the World, gives his personal firsthand experience in making any journey predictable and enjoyable.
In the summer edition of MMGY Travel Intelligence’s Portrait of American Travelers study, in the remaining months of the year, 65% of Americans have plans to travel for pleasure.
Let’s see what Silberstein’s travel tips are for those traveling with disabilities.
Find Resources You Can Trust
One of the biggest obstacles for people with disabilities when traveling is finding reliable accessibility information for places to stay, transportation, attractions and tours. Services that provide specialized customer support for people with disabilities are paramount for travelers looking for comprehensive and verified accessibility details to ensure a worry-free trip.
Manage Your Time
From travel days to in-destination experiences, a lot more than enough time for arrival, bathroom breaks and flexibility for unexpected occurrences. If a travel layover is required, leave at least three hours between plane or train changes. If traveling by car, plan to stop at least every three hours to stretch, use the restroom and hydrate. When it comes to planning an itinerary, don’t cram too much into each day.
Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More
To avoid uncertainty, make reservations weeks in advance for activities, museums or dinner reservations. Arrive for reservations or activities at least 15 minutes early to choose good seats and speak to on-site staff so they better understand travelers’ needs.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
When booking travel, it is okay to request assistance, from asking an airline to provide a wheelchair to requesting support for the train or plane boarding process.
Know What Resources Are Available
Get acquainted with destinations’ accessible infrastructure ahead of arrival. For example, consider wheelchair-accessible public transportation, navigation comfort level and even minutia like paved streets versus cobblestone roads and how that may impact the experience.
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