If you are traveling with a wheelchair for the first time, there are a few things to consider.
Make a checklist.
- Start planning a longer trip well in advance.
- Organize a reliable companion for your trip.
- If you want to be sure that everything works out, do a "test run" with a short trip.
- Take your companion with you for the longer trip. So you can test also immediately how it works with you on journeys. On the short trip you may notice things that you may not have thought of before and that you need to consider on a longer trip.
Plan the amount so that it would last beyond the vacation (if there are z.B. If there are complications on the return flight, such as strikes and the like.).
Determine the type of trip
- What do you want to experience on vacation?
- Do you want to go to the beach?
- Or do you want to make a city tour? Explore a country?
- Or an adventure trip?
- Or hiking?
Depending on what you have in mind, you can plan the next steps.
Yes also hiking is possible. In South Tyrol in the mountains I have e.g.B. meet a boy in a wheelchair pushed by three adults through the beautiful landscape.
Determine your vacation destination
- Where to go?
- What is the location like? Do you think it can be explored wheelchair accessible? Where to z.B. Difficulties would see is Venice. The city consists almost only of small paths and bridges, which are accessible almost exclusively by stairs. But maybe even here there are selected routes that are wheelchair accessible.
- Find out about this in advance.
Book a trip
There are package providers of trips with wheelchairs. Find a suitable one and book.
Remember, if you need peace of mind, take out trip cancellation insurance.
Book your transportation
Book your flight
- Is it a direct flight?
- Or a flight with transfer? Is the time in between enough for you to change planes?
- Note appropriate buffer times.
Check with the airline about your seat on the plane (are there accessible transportation options until then?)?).
You are usually the first to board the plane.
You can drive your wheelchair right up to the door of the plane. Then you will be transferred to a special wheelchair designed for the plane.
Find out in advance what the airplane toilets are like. These are very small. A person without a wheelchair can hardly turn around in it. There are also special wheelchairs for this that will take you from your seat to the restroom. With which you can. you have to reckon with: that the door of the toilet can not be closed.
Book a train ticket
The mobility service center of the railroad will help you. It takes care of boarding, transferring and disembarking z.B. ask for a lift (because most train cars are only accessible with steps).
The service can also be booked online by filling out a form.
Functioning lifts to the platform are a basic requirement for you to reach the train.
Book a rental car
In this case, your companion should have a driver's license (unless it is a vehicle that can be driven by a wheelchair user).
Book a cab
Can you get to your destination by wheelchair accessible cab? Price is probably the most expensive alternative. Such a cab offers z.B. the red cross.
Or drive with your own car
Maybe you have a wheelchair accessible vehicle?
IF you are traveling by car in Germany and happen to be an ADAC member (z.B. your companion) then you can order the road map of Germany for free from ADAC. In it you will find u.a. Accessible rest stops.
Book your hotel
Search for a handicapped accessible hotel. Inform hotel.
Clarify accessible transportation from the airport to the hotel. Take a cab in case of emergency.
- How long does it take to transport?
- Do you need water, medicines or other during this transport?
- If so pack a "special bag for the road.
- To be on the safe side, call the hotel again to confirm that everything is as they advertised in their ads, so you don't have any nasty surprises on the spot.
What do you absolutely need on/in your luggage for your trip with a wheelchair??
And how much of it.
- Disability card (maybe there are discounts for you and your companion in the vacation country)
- European emergency pass
- first-aid kit u.a. With medication
- Care aids
- Tools to maintain your wheelchair?
- Which bags do you have to take with you?
- If you are traveling in Europe, use the Euro WC key
Plan carefully for the places/sights you want to visit
- How do you get there in each case?
- How wheelchair accessible are they?? Check on internet portals.
- What awaits you there? Can you cope with this?
- Are there disabled toilets that you can go to?
- Is the handicapped toilet barrier-free accessible for you? z.B. with your Euro WC key?
- Do buildings have an elevator that you can use to get to the higher floors.
- Are there any circumstances that force you to reschedule??
- What do you need to have with you when you visit these places? Your special bag, special aids?
At the end of the day, it's your vacation. You want to have fun and relax. Check the places you want to go if they can meet these criteria.
But of course you can also say to yourself, never mind. I'm going anyway, because I want to see this or that by all means. Since the hardships are irrelevant there. It is your decision!