By Josephine Wawira
Persons with disabilities are often left out on most experiences, not to mention in the travel industry. As a strong crusader for people with disability, I cannot underrate the words of Scott Hamilton that “The only disability in life is a bad attitude”.
Take my favorite accessible traveller Nick Vujicic for instance. While living a life without limits rather than one without limbs, he is an exemplary example of the fact that all it takes to enjoy travel is an adventurous soul and a positive mind. However, it is also true that a lot of travel enthusiasts with disabilities are mired by the sheer challenges of disabled travel, since not many accommodation facilities meet their distinct needs.
It’s my delight to see everyone leave the comfort of their environs and see the rest of the exciting world. With some of these travel tips, persons with disabilities should confidently put a mark on their calendar for their next or even first itinerary.
Plan, plan, plan!
Sounds like cliché right? But if you want to have stress free travel, be it for business or leisure, planning is always key. Know your destination of choice. Visit or contact your travel agent to inform you of hotels, houses, apartments or cottages providing facilities that aid your stay. Adequate information will not only ensure a seamless trip, but will also provide exigencies in case of unexpected miscarriage of plans.
Seek your doctor’s counsel
Be kind enough to yourself to inform your medic of your travel plans. Being as specific as possible with her/him will enable your doctor to advise and give possible prescriptions to make your travel as comfy as you would be anticipating. Before leaving their office, make sure to take their contact details plus any other emergency information, which will come in handy in case you encounter any difficulties during your trip.
Have your first aid kit in place
Accidents are unsolicited, yet it’s always prudent to be prepared for the unforeseen events. A doctor may take a while before coming to your assistance, thus your first aid kit is always a contingency plan. Besides the usual contents of the kit, the innards of your mobility aids may require repair once in a while during your itinerary, therefore some spanners are absolutely necessary.
Information is liberating and this is exactly what you need for your travel. With the growth of smartphones and easy accessibility of internet globally, all information is at your fingertips. If personalized gen is needed, contact organizations that support persons with disabilities such as the United Cultural Empowerment and Social Community Organization (UCESCO), Handicap International, Cheshire Disability Services etc. for further assistance.
Try not to travel alone
You have all logistics ready and are clued-up; it’s now time to go. However, it would be nice if you gave it a thought to travel with company, be it a friend or a family member. It’s not only going to make your trip more pleasurable; sharing all those mind-blowing moments with a loved one, but will also go a long way in ensuring you have a helping hand at any given time.
If it previously seemed so insurmountable to travel in your condition, I hope by now there’s no doubt left that all you need is a positive mind; and with these travel tips, all am left to say is bon voyage.