Traveling with disabilities can be an issue when traveling to other countries
According to the US Census Bureau, an estimation of nearly one out of five people living in the country today has some type of disability. That equates to roughly 56.7 million people or about 19% of the total population. Traveling with a disability is not impossible and in truth, it doesn’t even have to be difficult. It does, however, require you to keep a few important things in mind.
Preparing For Your Trip
According to the State Department, people traveling with disabilities should always consult any applicable travel agents. Also with hotels or airlines prior to the start of their trip to make any arrangements necessary for their arrival. It’s important to understand that every country has its own unique set of standards concerning accessibility for people with disabilities. Prior to your trip, you should always visit the State Department’s website and research the situation that you’ll find yourself in when you get there. Then, you can call the appropriate people and make any necessary adjustments to enjoy a smooth trip.
Along the same lines, you should read the State Department’s Human Rights Report for your destination country to arm yourself with as much information as possible prior to your flight.
Before boarding a flight at an airport in the United States, you should call the “Travelers With Disabilities and Medical Conditions” Transportation Security Administration hotline at 855-787-2227. They can answer any questions about screening policies or security checkpoints that you may have.
Service Animals and Other Assistive Equipment
Though you can travel onto a plane in the U.S. with a service animal, the same might not be true for other countries. You should always contact the United States embassy or consulate in your destination country to find out about any restrictions on service animals and other cultural norms that are relevant. While on the call, you can also inquire about current quarantine, vaccination and documentation requirements for the animal.
The same is true of any assistive equipment that you may need to take with you. Always call ahead to find out about any specific policies. Policies concerning devices like wheelchairs, respirators, oxygen machines, and other portable equipment.
Consulting Airline Prior to Travel
As always, you should also consult with your physician before you travel to another country. This way you can gather as much information as possible about what care you may need while you’re gone. Check to make sure that your health insurance coverage actually provides coverage in the country you’re traveling to. If it doesn’t, you may want to purchase supplemental medical insurance. This insurance may give you a peace-of-mind that will allow you to enjoy your trip free from stress and worry.
You should also be sure that you have enough medication with you. Enough to cover your trip plus extra quantities in the event that you have delayed away from home.
If your big trip is right around the corner and you suddenly realize that you either need a new passport or need to renew an existing one, don’t worry. Expedited passport services can get your updated documentation to you in as little as 24 to 48 hours. They will come to your home. Collect all necessary forms and other pieces of information and submit them on your behalf. It will dramatically be cutting down on the normal six to eight weeks processing time that would usually necessary.