Although disabled people represent the fastest growing and largest untapped tourism market in the world, spending more than $ 13.6 billion a year in the United States alone, there are still obstacles and obstacles to overcome. Disabled travel requires a great deal of preparation and speed on the part of the passenger in order to protect their rights, luggage, equipment and overall enjoyment of the journey. Here are some things to keep in mind when traveling with our wheelchair and service dog.
1. Allow plenty of time for everything.
& # 149; Allowing an hour extra is liberal, but may not be enough in many cases.
& # 149; Book longer layoffs. Regulation depends on the airport (30-60 minutes), but there are always longer options. Allow yourself at least 90 minutes if you use a walk-in chair or need a wheelchair between the gates.
2. Make sure all your medical needs are taken care of.
& # 149; Investigate suppliers of oxygen, medical supplies, medicines and equipment in the area where you travel in case your luggage gets lost, supplies run out, or accidents occur. National suppliers can help find regional distributors
& # 149; Have enough medical supplies for at least two additional days in case of delay.
3. Is your accommodation fully or appropriately accessible?
& # 149; Always book by phone to get immediate answers and support.
a. Microtel is the only hotel chain that guarantees 100% accessibility.
b. Larger hotel chains usually have several variants of accessible rooms.
C. Bed and breakfasts and smaller private lodging providers are not guaranteed to have affordable accommodations, although they may say that they are affordable. & # 148;
e. Always check again the most important details such as shower size, door size, additional steps (eg: rear porch) and dining facilities.
e. If they cannot answer your question, ask them to call back with an answer. You may need to contact a manager.
& # 149; Be sure to check that their shuttle is accessible if you plan to take it.
4. Make sure all your airline needs are taken care of.
& # 149; Wheelchair users are the first to get on board and the latter to descend and accordingly need extra time.
& # 149; Always give the tanker as much information as possible before you reach the airport; whether you need a wheelchair, trail chair or other support.
5. Know your rights! (see (http://www.faa.gov 🙂 print and bring with you)
& # 149; The airline is obliged to store one hand-foldable wheelchair in the passenger compartment on airplanes of 100 or more passengers.
& # 149; The crew is required to remove their bags from the closets to make room for your chair.
& # 149; If you come across non-cooperating crew members who refuse to accommodate you, ask your airport security guard or ADA or disabled travel representative that the FAA requires every airport to hire you.
6. Insert the necessity into your bag.
& # 149; Disabled travelers are allowed one additional bag of medical supplies and equipment (FAA rules).
& # 149; In case your luggage is lost, put your 2-day delivery on everything in this bag.
7. Ask for a barrier or upgrade order (air, bus, train).
& # 149; Declaring a place to block while traveling by air allows for easier embarkation and disembarkation, but also provides more space for equipment. Airlines will almost always move other passengers in this order for a disabled person.
& # 149; Buses and trains often have a seating area with a handicap, but if not, ask for a front or a row.
& # 149; Although bus availability is diverse, Greyhound is the largest bus company in the United States and prides itself on accessibility. With a minimum of 48 hours notice you can request a wheelchair accessible bus.
8. Make sure your cruise destinations are accessible (check before booking).
& # 149; Although among the most affordable options, always remember that the accessibility of cruise ships is regulated only by boat.
& # 149; Availability can vary greatly across countries. There are often options available, but they can be harder to find. Remember to do your homework before you leave for your trip.
9. Make a packing list of all your adaptive equipment / permissions / passes to avoid forgotten items, save this list to your computer.
& # 149; Do this ahead of time and make changes as you go.
& # 149; If you rent a car, do not forget the parking sign for the handicap.
10. Know Your Discounts.
& # 149; If you are traveling full-time or a Greyhound companion, your personal assistant may be able to travel for free.
& # 149; Amtrak, also known for access in recent years, offers 15% off for disabled travelers.
& # 149; Service animals always ride for free! Don't let anyone else tell you or charge you for it. Damage deposits also do not apply to service animals, only to pets.