8 Tips for Traveling with Disabilities
Since being diagnosed with Early Onset Parkinson’s, I’ve had to make certain adjustments. We obviously love to travel, and I was adamant that this disorder would not keep us from exploring. But like everything, you have to find what works for you. Here are my 8 best tips for traveling with disabilities:
Take your medication in your carry-on luggage. I know, I know. It can be so tempting to put in your checked bags. Especially if there are lot of bottles involved. But don’t. You never know what will happen and the quickest way to ruin a vacation is not to have your necessary meds.
Get a pill organizer, if you don’t already have one, so everything you need is easily accessible and laid out. Make sure you have phone numbers handy for your doctor and pharmacy, and above all, don’t forget your insurance card.
If you’re traveling internationally, you may have to declare your medication. We discovered this on a recent trip to Jamaica where the entry form specifically asked if we were bringing pharmaceuticals. We were waved right through after explaining that they were prescribed.
Call your hotel ahead of time if you have special requests such as a refrigerator. Ask for a lower floor if you need one.
Research your destination so you know what to expect and can make a plan. If you’re going to a theme park, look into the disability services provided. Going to a remote resort? It might be a good idea to look up the closest medical facility.
Know your body’s limitations. You might not be able to do what you did five years ago or what the lady in the hotel room next to you is doing and that’s okay.
Before you start your day, have a plan as to where and when you can rest or at what location you’ll be able to take your medication.
If you’re going to have to take medication, take water with you if possible. You never know what could happen. For example on our way home from Jamaica, we flew into the Baltimore airport during a thunderstorm. It was at least 45 minutes before I had to take my medication, and I didn’t think anything of the “ONCE YOU ENTER BAGGAGE CLAIM YOU CAN’T LEAVE UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR BAGS. THERE IS NO BATHROOM.” sign. Thanks to the rain, it took almost two hours for our luggage to show up, which was well past when I needed to take my meds. If I’d had a bottle of water, I’d have been better off.
There’s no reason to let your disability keep your from traveling, you just need to do a little planning!
You may also enjoy:
- 6 Tips for Traveling with Diabetes
- How the Disney Disability Access Service Works
- Preparing a Child on the Autism Spectrum to Travel
- Tips For Traveling With Allergies & Dietary Limitations
- Special Needs Travel – Why Partnering With Your Destination Is Important
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Christy lives in North Carolina where she worked in the Pharmaceutical Industry for fifteen years before Early Onset Parkinson’s brought her career to a halt. Undeterred, she…