When you are planning a big trip, whether it is a trip across the country or an international excursion, there are many factors to consider. However, when you are also planning a trip with a family member who is in a wheelchair, you may find yourself facing an unfamiliar situation and additional factors that you will need to keep in mind. Get to know some of the considerations to keep in mind when you are traveling with a loved one who is in a wheelchair so that you and your loved one can have an enjoyable trip together.
Make Sure the Airline Is Aware of Their Wheelchair Needs
Air travel can be challenging if you are traveling with a loved one in a wheelchair, but if you take the right steps, it does not have to be. The first thing you will need to do when you are purchasing tickets is talk to the airline so they are aware of your loved one's wheelchair needs.
Your loved one's wheelchair will need to be checked along with baggage to be transported in the cargo area of the airplane. This is a safety issue for airlines and cannot be helped. However, they will provide your loved one with a wheelchair for transportation services throughout the airport and onto the plane. Getting these services in place before your arrival at the airport will help you and your loved one to have a smooth journey from your arrival at the airport through reaching your destination.
Plan for a Transportation Service To and From the Airport
Another important consideration to keep in mind is how you and your loved one are going to get to and from the airport on the way to your destination and then coming home. Traveling in unfamiliar cities and countries with a wheelchair can be made easier if you diligently plan your transportation service options ahead of time.
Van rentals are often one of the best ways to go if you plan on a great deal of sightseeing while traveling. Handicap accessible vans are readily available through most car rental companies. However, they often do not keep many on-site at once, so planning your rental well in advance is key.
Bring Repair Supplies For Their Wheelchair Just In Case
Whether your loved one is using a basic manual wheelchair or a powered one, it is important to keep maintenance and repairs in mind when you are traveling. Despite every effort to avoid damage, travel can take its toll on your loved one's wheelchair and cause issues such as loose or damaged screws or even flat tires.
Make sure that, when you and your loved one are packing up, you bring a repair kit with you for their wheelchair. Bike shops carry repair kits that will have most of what you would need for your loved one's wheelchair and can give you both peace of mind that even if an issue arises, your loved one will be able to fully enjoy your vacation together.
With these factors and considerations in mind, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to make your trip with your loved one in a wheelchair as enjoyable and problem-free as possible.