Traveling with Disabilities

If you are a slow walker, use a walker or a wheelchair or have some other form of a disability, do not think that you cannot travel. Millions of travelers have some sort of disability and the hospitality industry works hard at making their destinations accessible. Here are 7 things you should know about traveling with a disability:

1.       According to the U.S. Passports & International Travel, each country has its own standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities. Before you travel, you should visit the website and put in the country you are traveling to. Here you will get important information you should know before you go.

2.       Know your rights: The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees that travelers with disabilities receive equal treatment under the law.

3.       For information and answers to any travel questions you may have, call the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) helpline for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions, 855-787-2227 or check TSA’s website, TSA Cares.

4.       Ask: Find out from your travel agent, cruise ship, hotel, airline, etc. all of the accommodations that will be available to you so there aren’t any surprises.

5.       Service animals: If you travel with a service animal and are traveling internationally, some countries require that your service animal have certain vaccinations before entering the country. In Europe, your dog must be vaccinated against rabies and you must bring documentation. Speaking of documentation, you may to bring a Service Animal sash, ID, and a note from a doctor/psychiatrist work for identifying and confirming why your animal is traveling with you.

6.       Accessories: If your oxygen tank, wheelchair or other life-saving machine needs any batteries or parts, make sure you can access them while you are away or bring enough on the trip with you. Make sure that you can also charge your wheelchair where you are. When it comes to prescriptions, make sure to carry enough on you in the original prescription bottles. Some medications are illegal in other countries, so be sure to check before you go.

7.       Medical insurance: Regardless of where you are traveling to, check with your physician to make sure that you have coverage in case something happens while you are away. Also, make sure that you can access medical health care in the country or area you are visiting.

8.       Finally, make sure you are enrolled in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier for the U.S. embassy or consulate to help in an emergency. 

Travel Makers MD