When headed to a new travel destination wheelchair users will commonly be faced by challenges of the unknown like finding a hotel that suites their needs as well as accessible attractions and transportation. In the big older cities where a number of buildings have narrow doorways getting into some restaurants and restrooms may not be possible. Despite all such challenges there are ways of overcoming barriers through the kindness of strangers or adaptation to the environment. For one, packing accordingly for a destination with the proper helpful adaptive equipment will improve the quality of the traveling experience.
Packing Your Bags
When traveling on a long trip it can be challenging to plan packing if you have a limited mobility. For wheelchair travelers if may even seem almost impossible to consider carrying luggage but there are ways to solve this problem. Some wheelchair travelers have their baggage down packed. Backpacks and duffle bags are ideal as they can easily be slung over the back handlebars of your chair or balance on wheelchair luggage carriers. Read how one expert wheelchair packs luggage. One company that makes bags specifically for various wheelchairs is Wheelchair Gear. It’s best to keep important items like your passport, money, medications neatly tucked away in your carry-on baggage if flying. Always remember when flying that an airline cannot charged money for baggage that is medical equipment.
Tools for Your Chair
A major concern with wheelchair travel is what to do if your chair breaks down. Preempt any problems that may arise with your chair by bringing a toolkit for wheelchair maintenance, including a large wrench for the bolts and nuts in the axles of the chair, a small Allen wrench that fits the pipe sockets of the chair, a small wrench for the spokes and smaller bolts and nuts, a spare inner tube for pneumatic tires, and a thin, portable air pump. In addition, you should pack a multi-tool or utility knife as it may come in handy but of course this cannot be taken onto an aircraft. If using a power wheelchair or scooter, you should also pack voltage adapters and extension cords. Furthermore, whether using a manual or power wheelchair it is essential to stay hydrated at all times to ensure good health so if you don’t have one already, get one of the various drink holders designed specifically for wheelchair to carry a water bottle.
Accessible Travel Equipment
Not every place is accessible to those in wheelchairs; therefore, it’s important to bring products that can assist you in getting around with ease. Portable ramps are great because they can be used to access buildings where there are no permanent ramps. These ramps are easy to pack and usually have hinges and can be tucked away with minimal effort. For those needing usage of a shower chair or a commode there is a portable shower chair for travel that solves both these issues. Plus, it packs down into a roll-a-way suitcase that can fly free of charge. Manual wheelchairs can benefit from two similar types of equipment that basically turns a manual wheelchair into an off-roading machine with the ability to conquer cobblestones. The difference between the two is that one also has motor, giving a manual wheelchair traveler extra stamina to see more while exploring. One such version of this motorized travel adaption is called the Viper Power Cycle and one of the cheaper, non-motorized versions is called a FreeWheel Wheelchair Attachment.