Planning your requirements before you leave and booking well in advance can alleviate some of the concerns you may have around adapted travelling.
It’s always a good idea to research your destination before you leave so you can plan for any challenges you may encounter on arrival.
Obviously individual needs will vary depending on your disability, but here are some general principles you may find useful.
- Give travel, flight, accommodation and car providers advanced notice of your adapted needs when you book (at least 3 days in advance is best). Even places that are advertised as accessible may need to make alterations for your specific needs, such as sourcing a shower chair.
- Know the approximate height, weight and length of you wheelchair/ mobility device or any other equipment you use. This can be useful when talking to airlines, car companies or accommodation.
- Find at least one possible place where you can repair or hire adapted equipment, either at your destination or the nearest main centre.
- Have on hand a repair kit for wheelchair tires.
- Assume the people you deal with know nothing about your condition. Be patient, but thoroughly educate them about yourself. Overlook nothing - everything is important. * How much physical ability do you have? * How much help will you need getting around? * How dependent are you on others?
- Find out if items or medications you need are available where you are planning to go – if not then make sure you take them with you.
- Don’t be afraid to shop around – you don’t need to go with the first offer.
- Weka is a website full of information for New Zealand’s disability community. They have a list of some of the options you have for planning travel.