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What are the Best Tips for Travel for the Disabled?

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  • Written By: Elise Czajkowski
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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The best tips for travel for the disabled are to research a destination ahead of time and to ensure that the destinations, accommodations, and tourist attractions are accessible. The trip planner should make sure that all transportation has arrangements for disabled passengers as well. It is important to keep in mind the differences in cultures around the world, as this may affect a disabled person's experiences. Knowing as much about the destination before leaving is the best way to ensure smooth travel.

As always when booking travel, researching travel options, accommodations, and attractions is a key part of planning travel for the disabled. Most airlines or train services will discuss their accessibility on their website or in a promotional pamphlet. If it is not mentioned, calling the company before booking is important. The requirements of the disabled passenger should be made clear, to ensure that there are no complications on the day of the trip.

Transportation at the destination can be an important element in planning travel for the disabled. Many cities have accessible public transport, though the specific accessibility may vary. If renting a car, it is good idea to confirm that cars accessible to the disabled are available well before arriving at the destination. In some, older cities, sidewalks and other pathways may be narrower and less wheelchair accessible.

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Carefully choosing accessible accommodation is also necessary when planning travel for the disabled. Many hotels that claim to be accessible may not meet the requirements of certain disabled travelers. Contacting any potential hotels to explain any requirements, in detail, is the safest way to ensure a stress-free stay.

Visiting attractions can be a difficult for disabled travelers. Older, historical attractions may be unable to accommodate them, though some larger places have been adapted to allow easier access. Generally, museums and newer attractions will have been designed to allow disabled visitors to move about easily.

An important thing to consider when booking travel for the disabled is the need for a travel companion. Sometimes, tickets booked on transportation or attractions will allow a free or discounted companion ticket. If a companion will be traveling with the disabled traveler, plan as far ahead as possible to ensure that there will be room in both travel and accommodations for this person.

When booking travel for the disabled, planners should consider the language difficulties that might arise, especially for visually and hearing impaired visitors. Sign languages can vary greatly between countries, and audio announcements may not be made in the traveler's language. Obtaining as much information as possible before arriving will lessen a traveler's dependency on local signs and announcements.

There are several pre-planned options for travel for the disabled. Accessible cruises are available, which are designed specifically for disabled persons. Different ships have different levels of accessibility, allowing passengers to follow predetermined, accessible paths.

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