Brian loves to travel. He recently took a trip from Brisbane, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand, and he’s got some great tips for travelers with disabilities.
1. Check In With Airline Prior to Booking –
Brian is happy to report that his flight from Brisbane to Auckland was “nothing but a pure joy.” He found the staff at check-in and the crew on the airplane to all be extremely accommodating. In order to have a pleasant experience like Brian’s, he recommends contacting the airline ahead of time to discuss your individual needs. This will ensure that both you and the airline are on the same page when it comes to expectations.
2. Expect to Go Through Border Security Upon Arrival –
Any time you travel abroad, you’ll have to go through border security or customs. Like the flight, Brian says this process was pleasant as well. “The ground staff were there to meet me and to ensure that my wheelchair was ready for me to transfer into,” he shares. He also notes that there was a special clearance area for wheelchair users to go through making the process that much easier.
3. Plan Ahead for Renting a Car –
Brian says he booked a rental car before he headed to his destination. This way, he could arrange for the rental company to pick him up at the airport. “We then went to their depot and the manager assisted with putting my control on the vehicle,” Brian shares. Calling the rental company in advance and explaining what controls you require will make the process go much easier.
4. Be Specific on Hotel Accommodations –
“There are many interpretations of what constitutes an accessible room,” says Brian, so it is important to communicate your specific needs with the hotel before you arrive. Brian once encountered a hotel room with items out of reach for a wheelchair user, and a plastic garden chair in a shower. He has since learned to be specific with his accommodation requirements.
“There is nothing embarrassing about requesting your specific needs. If the hotel does not know, they cannot make your stay an enjoyable one.”
Be sure to share this post with someone planning to travel abroad soon!