14 Ways to Make Traveling with a Disability Easier

If you travel with a disability, handicap, physical limitation, mobility limitation, or developmental disability, have special needs, or use an electric wheelchair or handicap scooter, it’s a good idea to learn as much as you can to make disabled travel easier.

Or if you’re a mature traveler or senior who is a slow walker or just wants a slower pace, becoming more informed about disabled travel services and disability travel resources, will lessen the anxiety that often accompanies disabled travelers.

The following travel tips, resources and information for the disabled will help make trips, tours, holidays and vacations a lot easier for you, or for a child with a disability, whether short-term or long-term.

1. Plan your trip well in advance! Do you need to order extra supplements, medications or renew prescriptions, fix eyeglasses or change prescriptions, get a physical, have dental work done, have your wheelchair fixed or tuned up, etc.?

2. If possible, always book your travel through an agency that specializes in helping people with disabilities. This is important because specialized travel agents and tour operators for the disabled are experienced and can save you some awful headaches.

They offer a lot of good tips and a wide range of services for the handicapped traveler. Among other things, they can arrange for a: wheelchair at the airport, wheelchair accessible hotel room, wheelchair rental, lift-equipped accessible van, full van, minivan, RV, handicap scooter, or any other handicap vehicle.

Travel agents for the disabled can help arrange accessible transportation, help plan the best accessible cruise, give cruise line and cruising tips, arrange travel insurance and take care of special needs.

Agents can check with hotels for: inner and outer door widths to accommodate your wheelchair, ADA-approved handicap bath tubs, grab bars, or for roll-in showers. Just tell them your needs.

Travel agents can help you find cheap airfare, cheap tickets, cheap flights, cheap travel auto insurance, cheap hotels, cheap car rentals, cheap cruises, cheap vacations and cheap travel of all kinds.

3. Besides taking along your travel agent’s phone number, you’ll also want to take with you the phone numbers for the travel agencies that specialize in disabled travel at your destination, in the event you can’t reach your own agent.

These travel agents may know how to solve problems that come up regarding your hotel, car or van rentals, etc., even if you didn’t order your tickets through them.

4. When traveling to another city, check out the local health and medical associations before you go. For example, get the phone numbers for the local MS chapter if you have MS. These organizations can be great resources.

They usually know what museums, restaurants, theaters & other local facilities are wheelchair accessible and where you can get oxygen, emergency supplies or medical assistance. They may be able to help you with any problems that arise.

5. If you plan to rent a handicap scooter, wheelchair, electric wheelchair, handicap van, full van, mini-van, RV or other vehicle in another city, don’t wait until you get there. Make all the arrangements before you leave on your trip.

Make sure you ask any specifics like, are there tie-downs, ramps, or hoists, etc. Check on what van, RV, car or auto insurance you’ll need before you go.

6. Don’t leave anything to chance. If you can, double-check all the arrangements your travel agent makes. Call the airlines, hotels, scooter, wheelchair, car, RV or van rental companies, medical equipment rental companies, etc., and verify the specifics, especially if you’re traveling in a wheelchair or have any other special needs like oxygen.

This is important if you haven’t used the agent before.

7. If you need oxygen or any other special medical equipment, call airlines and suppliers well in advance of your trip. Don’t wait until the last minute. Start calling them as soon as you know you’re going to be traveling or taking a trip.

Then double-check with your travel agent and the airline at least three to four days before your flight.

8. Arrive early at the airport. It’s better to wait around there than miss your plane. This will eliminate some of the pre-trip anxiety you might feel and make for more leisurely travel. This seems like common knowledge but many people still arrive at the gate just in the nick of time.

With all that’s going on in the world today there are many reasons why you want to allow for more time at the airport.

9. In your airplane carry-on bag keep copies of the prescriptions for your medications and eyeglasses, extra eyeglasses, sunglasses, all your medications and supplements, and a list of your doctor, dentist and other health professionals with their addresses, and phone numbers.

Include your doctor’s fax number for prescriptions in case you lose your medications. Keep duplicate copies of these in your luggage and at home by the telephone. Know where your medical records are kept.

10. When you travel, and for any other time too, if you take medications, learn their names and exactly what they’re for if you don’t know. People come into the emergency room all the time and don’t know what medications they’re taking. You might be surprised to find out that most people say ‘a little yellow pill’ or ‘a white capsule’, etc.

Emergency workers need to know what you’re taking so they don’t give you medication that would interact adversely with it, overdose you or somehow interfere with their treatment and your recovery.

11. If you’re traveling by air, tell the flight attendants when you board, of any medical problem you might encounter on your flight. Note the location of the closest restroom before getting seated. Tell the flight attendant if you think you’ll need assistance getting to it during the flight.

You may need or want an aisle seat for easy access to the restrooms. Discuss seating with your travel agent.

12. If you need someone to travel with you, ask your travel agent for ideas or suggestions. Call the local chapters of medical associations and ask if they can recommend a travel assistant or travel companion to help or accompany you.

There are national companies who offer traveling nurses, traveling companions or travel assistants to accompany disabled travelers or people with serious medical issues.

13. Make sure to take with you: any medical cards, Medicare cards, discount cards, car or auto rental discount cards, auto insurance policy numbers and agent’s phone number, passport, airline tickets, etickets, American Express Travelers Cheques, debit cards, credit cards, and drivers license. Photocopy everything.

Keep photocopies in your luggage and at home by the telephone or someplace where someone has access to it in case you need it.

14. Read everything you can about traveling with a disability. Read disabled travel books, access guides, accessible guidebooks, disability travel articles and travel publications for the disabled traveler. Read the personal travel experiences of wheelchair users and others who have traveled with disabilities. Be informed.

These travel tips, information, resources, and services for the disabled should help you, or anyone with a disability, handicap, physical limitation, or who uses a wheelchair, have an easier, more pleasant, anxiety-free, trouble-free trip, tour, holiday or vacation.

Find The Best Trip Cancellation Insurance For You – 5 Tips

Traveling is always safer and more fun when you are backed by travel insurance. Insurance is and always has been mostly about buying peace of mind before engaging in certain activities, like driving or traveling.

Typical insurance policies cover all of the expected things that can happen… well… unexpectedly while you are away, including: trip cancellations (by the carrier or tour agency), lost baggage, and medical expenses.

However, there is another type of coverage that is less commonly-purchased than all of these, and yet that some types of travelers prefer to buy: trip cancellation insurance that allows the traveler (rather than the carrier/agency) to cancel the trip for any reason before they embark.

If you are looking for the best trip cancellation insurance for you, here are 5 tips for landing yourself the best policy:

1. Determine what type of standard insurance coverage you will need:

Before buying your cancel-for-any-reason insurance policy, decide what other types of standard coverage you will need. For example, if you are going by plane, consider lost luggage insurance. If you are going to be in risky situations, think about medical coverage or even death-and-dismemberment coverage.

2. Figure out how often you will be traveling over the next year:

Next, determine how often you will be traveling in the coming year. Why? Because, you may want to consider buying annual travel insurance (ask your insurance agent or tour operator for more details).

3. Get a quote from the first travel insurance company – but do not buy yet:

Next, go ahead and request a trip cancellation insurance policy quote from your travel agent or insurance company. But, do not buy yet. Rather, use this opportunity to talk with the agent on the line (or via online chat) about the types of coverage options they have. Once you have a final list of desired coverage options and coverage limits, you are ready for the next step.

4. Request 4 more quotes from other companies:

Now you are in a position to request an apples-to-apples quote from multiple insurance companies. Be sure to insist upon identical coverage and coverage limit options to what you got from the first company. That way, you can easily compare quotes.

5. Before purchasing, search online discussion groups for positive or negative comments about the companies on your list:

Hold off on making your final purchase until you have had the chance to search online discussion groups. Find out what people are saying about the 1-2 lowest-quote insurance companies you found. Make sure you like what you read before buying the policy.

Take action on these 5 tips in order to find the best trip cancellation travel insurance.

How to Choose a Travel Insurance Company

Travel insurance companies carry a wide and diverse portfolio of travel insurance policies. You name a feature of traveling and there is a company out there that will insure you. Did you know you can even insure a “non-refundable ticket”? There are insurance companies that cover medical costs for backpackers, skiers, divers, and parachutists. There are other companies that will insure baggage, medical insurance, and evacuations from foreign lands. Did you know there is even travel insurance to cover you if the touring company goes bankrupt while you are on your trip?

As you can see, if you need protection for your travel, there is a company out there that will cover you. Now you are probably asking yourself, “With all those choices how do I choose a travel insurance company?” This article should help!

My first suggestion would be to ask around your sphere of influence. Do you know anybody that has traveled overseas or taken an extreme vacation? How about your boss…family members…friends…pastor? Referrals are the best way to choose any company when you are deciding to give them business.

Suggestion number two(2)…call, talk, and ask questions to the following two individuals. If a travel agent helped you make your arrangements, ask them about travel insurance and who they would recommend. The next individual…your family insurance agent. That’s right…your family insurance agent. Tell them that you are going on a trip and that you wanted to make sure that your travel and medical needs would all be taken care of while you are gone. They may have just sold you a life insurance policy, but I bet they are concerned about your welfare and even if they don’t handle this type of insurance, they’ll find somebody for you!

If the above two do not produce any results, I’d then try suggestion number three(3)…the Internet. But I would not just type “cheap travel insurance”. You’ll get a flood of results. Then you’ll be saying, “OH NO! How do I pick from this assortment?” I would narrow it down and try typing “travel insurance (then your city name)”. For example, I live in Round Rock, Texas. I typed “travel insurance Round Rock” in my search engine and got back results of local companies that handle this type of insurance.

In summary, buying travel insurance should give you piece of mind. I believe that by using referrals from your sphere of influence, suggestions from travel agents and/or personal insurance agents, and trying to find a local agency, will give you that piece of mind. Not only will it help you relax more, it will give you a chance to ask the questions you want answered. What questions to ask? That’s the subject of another article. Stay tuned.

Compare Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a necessity, much more so that the normal insurance coverage you take usually. This is because any misfortune that strikes you while you are travelling is usually 5 to ten times more potent when compared to the similar misfortune at home ground. When you are travelling in Bali and injure your knee, the best medical facilities will need your evacuation, which can cost a pretty penny. Keeping the cost benefit analysis of such risks in mind, in this article we note some factors you should consider while comparing travel insurance from multiple providers.

Providers

Insurers that provide this type of insurance providers can be broadly classified into two groups: one is the companies which specialize in insurance, and the second is the tour operators, travel agents and travel suppliers which specialize in travel but give you the option of buying insurance with their product. It is seen that insurance offered by the latter group is less inclusive than the one offered by insurance companies. So if you need more coverages, you are advised to approach the companies and inquire about their policies.

Travel Insurance Comparison Tips

The cost of insurance while traveling depends on a number of factors. These include the age of the insured, the type of cover, the destination and pre-existing medical conditions. The last are usually excluded from medical coverage. All things being equal, the following tips should be borne in mind when comparing insurance offered by different insurers:

  • Read the product disclosure statement fully, and carefully note the differences between two or more policies. Some policies may look similar on surface, but in reality there may be some caveats in one policy that might not be present in another.
  • Check the type of pre-existing conditions different policies rule out of medical coverage
  • Check the stance of the policies viz-a-viz what are called dangerous activities. These may include activities such as surf-boarding, mountain climbing, bungee jumping etc.
  • Talk to the insurers about their policies to clarify any doubts before deciding the policy you will use

Taking all these factors into consideration will help you decide the most suitable insurance plan for your trip. Travel safe, and travel insured.