Being a wheelchair user doesn’t have to hold you back from traveling the globe. But you will have to do some extra planning to help make your trip go smoothly.
5 great travel tips from veteran traveler and power wheelchair user Cory Lee:
Reserve the Bulkhead Row – “Bulkhead is the front row of economy class and these seats are usually more spacious than average economy class seats, which makes it easier to maneuver around during the boarding process,” shares Cory. But, sometimes the armrests do not lift on bulkhead rows, so consider this when requesting this row when you call ahead.
Be an Early Bird – Cory says to add at least one hour to the suggested arrival times given by airports. Security takes longer to get through when you’re in a wheelchair, and the last thing you want is to be rushing to your gate – or worse, to miss your flight.
Check Voltage – You’ll want to be familiar with the voltage at your destination to avoid any problems, especially if you have a power chair that will need to be charged. “In America, it’s 110 volts, but most other countries in the world are 220+ volts,” says Cory. He says he hasn’t had much luck with a converter and adapter for his chair. He recommends purchasing a 220-240 volt wheelchair charger prior to leaving for your destination.
Get Familiar with Wheelchair Repair Shops – You don’t want to waste precious vacation time frantically searching for a wheelchair repair shop should you need one in a pinch. Having this information handy when you arrive at your destination will give you peace of mind so that you can focus on exploring your new surroundings.
Book Transportation Ahead – If you will need accessible transportation during your trip, consider booking ahead of time. While some popular destinations like Sydney, Australia and London, England have a variety of options for accessible transport, many other cities do not. “If you can’t book all of it in advance, at least book your accessible transportation from and to the airport,” advises Cory. “You’ll be able to lay your head on that comfy hotel pillow that much quicker.”
Share this story with someone new to traveling, as it could help make their trip even better!