When you are bound to a wheelchair, it is important to be way ahead of the game as you are planning your travel itinerary. A wheelchair user might experience more obstacles in their way when traveling than a normal traveller would, but that does not mean that they cannot come well prepared. Here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind when preparing for a vacation as a physically impaired person in a wheelchair.
1. Book Transport Before Leaving Home
Although you are sure to find wheelchair accessible transport of some kind in every city, it may not be available exactly at the time you need it. Therefore, book a taxi that will take you from the airport to your hotel room, and again from the hotel room to the airport way in advance. At the hotel you should be able to get help with accessible transportation through the concierge. However, do not just rely on that, and make as many arrangements ahead of time. You can always cancel the services you will not be able to use.
2. Make Sure of The Voltage of Your Destination Country
You do not want to be sitting with your hands in your hair over wheelchair chargers that have malfunctioned. Inconsistent charger voltages might blow up your charger, leaving you without the ability to travel around as much as you want. Whereas the US uses 110 volt some other countries use 240 volt of power. Buying a new charger might set you back a couple hundred dollars. As a precaution, do some research and see if there is anyone in the country you are going to who will rent you a charger while there.
3. Take Parts of Your Wheelchair as Carry-On
You would be surprised at how many people have lost parts of their wheelchair or have arrived at their destination only to find that parts of the wheelchair were damaged and could not be used again. Bring along an extra bag wherein to put the joystick, footrests or headrest. Another helpful and convenient thing is to use your wheelchair cushion as a cushion on the plane. It is much more comfortable but also safeguards it against getting lost.
4. Do Not Book Vacation Online
Do not trust the clicky bookings. That means just because you clicked it and it sent, does not mean it was received. You always want to speak to a live person on the other side, especially when it has to do with flights and hotels. While it can be a lot of fun surfing the web and reading about everything a hotel or flight has to offer, what they might consider wheelchair accessible might not be as convenient to you. When booking flights make sure to ask for bulkhead seating. This is the front row seats, and they are roomy with armrests that can flip up, ideal for wheelchair users.
So, next time you decide to travel around the world in your electric wheelchair be well prepared to do so comfortably.