Traveling With Disabilities

Thankfully, it’s becoming easier than it’s ever been for people with disabilities to travel. While many foreign countries still do not have the same standards as the United States regarding accessibility, that does not mean that people with mobility or other challenges need to stay home. Here are some tips from the U.S. State Department:

Do your homework.

Preparation is critical. If you don’t travel frequently, speak to someone with a similar disability who has traveled to your destination before. Consult your travel agent, hotel, airline and others to understand the services available for your trip. Consider contacting disability organizations overseas at your destination.

Travel smart.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

Identify your needs.

Consult with your physician prior to your travel overseas to identify your health care needs during your trip. Many countries have national health systems, but it is important to investigate availability and quality beforehand. Carry medical alert information and a letter from your health care provider describing your medical condition, medications, potential complications and other pertinent medical information. Note that environmental conditions at your overseas destination may contribute to specific health concerns, particularly if you are sensitive to altitude, air pollution, humidity or other conditions.

Bring enough meds.

Carry sufficient prescription medication to last your entire trip, including extra medicine in case you are delayed. Ask your pharmacy or physician for the generic or chemical name of your prescriptions in case you need to purchase additional medication abroad, since physicians and pharmacists abroad are more likely to be familiar with that name. Pack your medication in your carry-on bag, since checked baggage is occasionally lost. Always carry your prescriptions in their labeled containers, not in a pill pack. Take a copy of your immunizations records along in your hand-carry luggage.

For more information and tips from the State Department regarding traveling with disabilities, visit it here.