October 7, 2015 | 12:25 pm | By Pants Up Easy
Needing to use a wheelchair to get around is a major lifestyle change, which I’m sure I don’t need to tell you. But sometimes, the most difficult changes are the ones we don’t expect.
If you’ve spent some time on our site, you’ve seen that our products address one of those unexpected challenges: pulling your pants up. Many folks never imagined such a mundane task would become so difficult, but that’s one of the unique challenges of this lifestyle.
Another unique problem? Making special travel arrangements. If you’re a wheelchair user and you’re planning on taking a vacation sometime soon, here are three travel concerns you should keep in mind:
Boarding an airplane
Airports are among the most accessible places in the country, but you still need to make some accommodations beforehand. If there wasn’t an opportunity to do so during the booking process, be sure to call ahead and explain that you’ll need to pre-board. This is fairly routine in the flight industry, and you shouldn’t experience any problems – as long as you give the crew advance notice.
Accessing your hotel
If you’re traveling for business or staying at a major resort in the US, this probably won’t be an issue. However, if you’re staying in a rural area or going abroad, there’s no guarantee of appropriate accommodations. Your best bet is to do some research beforehand, either online or by calling ahead. In the US, businesses are required by law to make reasonable accommodations for you – but such laws don’t exist in every other country.
Transportation is always a big deal for wheelchair users, because many of them can’t drive or need special assistance. In foreign towns where taxis or public transportation are the best way to get around, you’ll need some quick transferring skills to get by. If you have difficulty transferring from the wheelchair to vehicles, you’ll need to make special arrangements. Discuss your travel concerns with the hotel – they may be able to provide guidance or assistance. Otherwise, you’ll want to consider traveling with a companion who can help you. If the hotel can’t assist you, it will be difficult to arrange reasonable transportation.