Many people believe that requiring a mobility aid is prohibitive to travel.
While it can make things more tricky, a bit of planning and extra communication can make all sorts of travel with lightweight wheelchairs possible. Getting the right mobility aid from a reputable firm, like Karma Mobility, can help with this.
Getting to the airport
When someone does not have a car, they can usually find a taxi firm that has vehicles with the room to take lightweight wheelchairs. Many will offer a set rate to get to the major airports. If they need to use public transport, it is worth checking the website of the travel provider before setting off, so that they know what provisions have been made for accessibility on the route they are taking.
Airlines and airports will usually have a detailed policy regarding assistance for people with mobility challenges. Passengers can often get some or all of the following assistance:
- Priority check-in – so that they do not have to stand in line and wait for long periods of time. If they do not have baggage, they may be able to check-in on line;
- Transport to the gate – airports often have a buggy available to transport disabled people and their families directly to the gate;
- Pre-arranged seating on the plane – when someone needs more space for their legs, they can arrange to be at the front of the plane or other areas where there is more space;
- Use of a wheelchair – many airlines will check-in wheelchairs at no extra cost and they are then stored in the hold. The passenger then uses the airline’s wheelchair to get around until they get their own back at their destination.
There are lots of travel websites that can advise on accessibility in different countries. They often have tips on areas where it is easier to use lightweight wheelchairs.
It is worth checking with the hotel before setting off to ensure that they can provide a ground floor room or that there are lifts to help wheelchair users access other floors. Many hotels have rooms that are disabled-adapted, so they have features like a step-free layout, assistance bars in the toilet and a shower-seat.