Some people with mobility problems hate the idea of traveling because it can bring them a lot of discomfort. Traveling usually requires walking long distances, waiting in long lines, and sitting for long hours.
If you are suffering from knee pain caused by arthritis, prolonged sitting with your knees bent can aggravate your discomfort. If you are using a cane to support your weight, walking and waiting in line can make you exhausted. If you are using a wheelchair, you may find it difficult to move in narrow and crowded places.
Though traveling can be really challenging for people with mobility problems, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on traveling altogether. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your travels despite your mobility problems:
Research your destination and plan ahead
Most tourist destinations are becoming more accessible for people with mobility problems. They build wider paths for wheelchair users and create accessible routes. There are also elevators and ramps for easier transport. However, you need to do your research well.
Aside from calling the management directly, you can also browse some brochures or websites to find out more about the available amenities of the places you want to visit. If you have a service dog, research destinations and hotels that are dog-friendly with services like BringFido.com.
Plan your itinerary well and make sure that you don’t exhaust yourself. Space out your activities throughout the day to prevent your legs from acting up. When it comes to traveling, quality is more important.
Get your mobility aid ready
No matter how excited you are to travel and explore, do not forget to prepare your mobility aid as it will be your best friend during your trips.
If you are using a wheelchair, you can add some accessories to make traveling more comfortable such as a wheelchair bag, an umbrella clamp, and a seat cushion. If you are suffering from a knee pain caused by arthritis or a past injury, wear a knee support or a knee brace that provides stability without hindering movement.
Obesity can also make walking difficult for you as the excess weight puts too much pressure on your knees. People who find it hard to walk because of obesity can likewise wear larger braces to provide better support to the knees during your travels.
For a convenient travel experience, portability is the key. If you are going to use a cane or a walker, choose the folding ones as they are easier to carry around.
Have a travel buddy
Traveling alone is possible for people with mobility problems but it can be a less stressful experience if you have a companion. You can travel with a trusted friend or a family member who is kind enough to assist you whenever you need help.
For a safer travel experience, it is better to travel to places with a low crime rate as your mobility problem can make you vulnerable to thieves and snatchers.
Have a hotel room reservation
Everyone wants to have the best spot in a hotel but not all hotels have easily accessible rooms. Book a reservation early to avoid the hassle of looking for a room with a comfortable location and easy access. Some people even book a room as early as 5 to 6 months before their vacation.
Even the most well-planned vacation can encounter some problems but don’t let these unforeseen problems ruin your entire trip. Be flexible and have a backup plan.
If it rains and the ramps become slippery and dangerous, look for alternative activities that you can do while waiting for the rain to stop like exploring the hotel and its facilities. Many hotels offer amenities like a gym, swimming pool, spa, or restaurant. You can maximize your stay by getting a relaxing massage or by hitting the gym.
Ensure your safety
Since you are in a foreign place, find out where the nearest hospital and pharmacy are. You should also look up the emergency number of the ambulance service provider and the police station. Always have an identification card with you, your medicines, and a first aid kit.
Traveling can be a challenge for people with mobility problems but with proper research, meticulous planning, a kind travel buddy, and a positive outlook, there’s no reason why you can’t have a great travel experience.