The world is gradually recognizing its responsibilities towards people with disabilities. Different industries all over the world are now focused on providing special accommodation for those who need them.
As one of the primary drivers of the economy, the travel industry has made sure it isn’t left behind. Now, people with disabilities can enjoy services specific to their needs, making travel a lot easier.
If you are among those who avail of such services, it is important that you put in mind some important considerations before your big trip.
1. When informing the airline of your disability, be clear as much as possible
Inform the airline clearly about your disability and your specific needs. Doing so allows the airline to prepare the necessary arrangements. To give them ample time to prepare, you need to contact them 24 to 48 hours before your flight.
Here are ways that airlines can help you:
- Assist you in boarding, deplaning, and getting you to your connecting flight
- Provide mobility devices such as wheelchairs and carts
- Provide movable armrests for ease and comfort when transferring to your seats
- Help you carry your luggage and other assistive health devices
If you have difficulties in describing your disability, you can ask your doctor to have a note ready containing information about it.
Remember that this is a two-way street; they can take good care of you if you give them the capacity to. Yes, it’s their duty to provide good service, but a little cooperation from you can really go a long way.
2. Secure a medical certificate if need be
There are special circumstances where the airline may ask you for a medical certificate. This happens if you need extra medical attention to be able to complete the flight safely, other than what they can offer.
Such circumstances include but are not limited to the following:
- If you’re over 28-weeks pregnant.
- If you have serious injuries.
- If you have a chronic illness.
- If you are in need of injectable medications, you must secure proper documentation before you can take it in-flight.
If you think the airline would categorize your disability as one of these, it’s better to consult your physician and secure a medical certificate.
3. When informing your doctor of your flight, be clear as well
A lot of people would downplay their condition so their doctor will issue a medical certificate without any fuss. For so many different reasons, this is such a bad idea.
Take note that the doctor will always allow you to go if the trip poses no threat to your disability. If you decide to hide something, that is already telling that there is something in the trip that could cause you harm.
We always think it’s okay until it’s not. Be truthful to your doctor. Always follow what they tell you because, as trite as it may seem, it is for your own good.
4. Have your emergency contacts ready
When you travel with family or friends, you should ensure that you carry a list of emergency contact persons in case something unexpected happens to you. This is a tip that’s not only useful to people with disability but to anyone in general.
Here are the numbers you should keep handy:
- Your physician’s contact number and information
- A local ambulance
- Your hotel
- Your airline’s reservation center
- Travel insurance and health insurance provider
- The embassy for your country
- Local emergency number
- Travel agency, if you have one
- Immediate family members
The last thing you want is to get into an emergency in a place you’re unfamiliar with and having no one to get help from.
5. Don’t forget your medication and, if possible, bring some extra
No one can stress enough the importance of not forgetting your medication during any trip, no matter how short it is.
Bring some extra medicine with you, preferably in a separate bag from the ones you’re already taking. This is to ensure that you have a backup in case you lose a bag or other instances where you can’t utilize that medication anymore. Things can go wrong, but they don’t always have to be dire.
Traveling with disabilities can be hard at times. For some people, it’s even impossible. But for those who can do it, make sure that you enjoy every second of it. Your preparation for your trip is what’s going to make it an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.