As we approach the holiday season, we are expanding on our Visitability blog with some quick tips for those who have mobility issues who will be traveling over the holidays. We all enjoy getting away for a much needed vacation or visit to our loved ones, but when you have special requirements, planning ahead is essential.
Airports and Airplanes
Before the visit begins, you have to travel to get there. Most people will be flying during the holiday season and while there are things to think about before getting to the airport, a simple call to the airline can help you get the services you need from the time you arrive for your flight to the time you get your checked baggage at your final destination.
Allow plenty of time when you arrive at the airport. You may ask about having an unticketed family member or friend assist you through security to your boarding gate at the airline’s check-in desk. This is also the time to request a wheelchair at your layover and final destination airports.
A concern that many mobility challenged travelers have is the TSA screening process. You will find it helpful to consult a TSA agent if you have concerns about the screening process. You may always request a private screening. It might be necessary for TSA to swab down your mobility device or medical device to test for explosive residue. Remember, if you have TSA PreCheck you do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, or light jackets for screening. The TSA has created a resource page for travelers who need some extra help. If you have a specific seat that you would like, request this well in advance.
Talk To Your Hosts
Be open with your hosts about your needs, whether you will need furniture rearranged to accommodate mobility devices or a ramp rental to help you get into the home, there are options that can help you visit comfortably. Whether you need a chair with arms, increased lighting to safely navigate the house, or you need rugs or other floor clutter removed, discuss your needs. If you are easily overwhelmed from too much talking and social stimulation, ask that there be a quiet space to retreat to and take a break.
Considerations At Hotels
If you are not staying with family, but in a hotel, there are things to know before you go.It is important to discuss your needs with the hotel, simply call ahead to ask your questions and make requests. Whether you need a room that can accomodate wheelchairs, a roll in shower, visual alert systems if you are hearing impaired or a refrigerator for medications, be sure to check that the hotel you choose will be able to accomodate you.
Thankfully there are folding walkers, canes, and devices that can help you stand up that are easy to take with you when traveling. At Oakley Home Access we can discuss what your needs might be and recommend products that help you travel easily (not just during the holidays, but all year!) Call our showroom at 401-429-3882 or visit our website www.oakleyhomeaccess.com for more information.