6 tips for travelling with a wheelchair
To make travelling easier for wheelchair users, we’d recommend a lightweight wheelchair or folding wheelchair. Read our other travel tips here.
It can seem daunting travelling with a wheelchair. However, with proper planning and preparation, wheelchair users can enjoy a hassle-free travel experience.
To make travelling even easier for wheelchair users, we’d recommend a lightweight wheelchair, or even better, a lightweight folding wheelchair. With no compromise on comfort, lightweight wheelchairs are designed to weigh around 10kg less than a traditional wheelchair. This makes them much easier to transport when travelling.
For more travelling guidance for wheelchair users, here are our 6 top tips for travelling with a wheelchair.
1. Research your destination
Stick to wheelchair-friendly holiday destinations. When choosing a destination, find out about the accessibility of places you’ll be visiting, such as restaurants, museums and hotels. You’ll also need to consider how accessible transport is at the destination and is the terrain easy to navigate in a wheelchair.
2. Choose the right transportation
If you’re planning to fly read the airlines' mobility assistance guidelines and wheelchair policies to ensure that your wheelchair meets the size and weight requirements. If your wheelchair has to go in the hold of the aeroplane, label it with your name and phone number. This means if it gets lost, it has more of a chance of making its way back to you.
Alternatively, if you’re thinking of travelling by train, find out if the trains to your destination have accessible seating and if the stations have accessible entrances and exits.
3. Arrive early
Whatever transportation you choose, we’d recommend arriving earlier than you need. This allows for any accessibility issues you may encounter and gives you extra time to figure out where you need to be and at what time.
4. Look into where you'll be staying
When booking accommodation confirm that the hotel's accessible rooms are suitable for you and your wheelchair, also check they have accessible entrances, lifts and toilets. You can also ask about their accessibility policies or additional services they offer to guests with disabilities.
5. Plan an itinerary
Plan where you’re going and when carefully, ensuring to leave yourself enough time to rest and relax. If possible, make reservations for attractions or restaurants in advance to make your trip as smooth as possible.
You may also want to allow extra time in between activities in case you encounter any accessibility issues, for example having to navigate uneven terrain or wait for accessible transportation.
6. Stay connected
Make sure your phone is charged at all times, you could even bring an extra portable charger. Also, make sure you have your emergency contacts and medical information on you at all times.