Travel is something that everyone should get to experience, but unfortunately, the world does not always conform to our whims and desires. This means that while it is essential for travel to be accessible to everyone, we must ensure that these measures are provided, as nature rarely does.
For this reason, those who have additional accessibility requirements must make special concessions and perhaps travel to areas that have been curated for them. That doesn’t mean they should lose heart.
More travel experiences are becoming opened up to the point where you can see a good portion of the world and its associated wonders without feeling like you’re biting off more than you can chew.
You just have to know where to begin. Of course, not everyone has the same accessibility requirements. Even those who wish to visit Eyeglasses.com before a vacation so they can update their prescription and lenses will no doubt find their vacation more accessible, as being able to perceive your trip is important in itself.
What extra advice could we give? Let’s consider all this and more below:
Use Travel Resource Guides
Using travel resource guides can help you see, before you even set off, what accessibility options are available.
Do the landmarks you hope to visit offer wheelchair access? How close is this to the nearest medical clinic? If you lose all of your medication, how easily can you access more, and what international insurance do you have with your current provider?
Check the reviews – have people complained about staff treating them badly for their extra concessions, even if politely requested?
This sort of compulsory research can help you get to grips with what your experience may actually be like, instead of what you hope it will be like.
Furthermore, it could be that some experiences may be heavily diluted, even with accessibility. For instance, it might be that you really wish to see a landmark, but checking out guided accessibility tours on YouTube shows you that wheelchair access hardly gets you close to it at all.
Little efforts like this can help you avoid a nasty surprise in the long run, which ultimately you deserve to avoid.
Calling ahead is a valuable use of your time. It might be that your research fails to turn up much in the way of useful information, and so calling a venue or a management board and asking them what provisions have been made can be an important use of your time.
This is not perfect of course, because it might be that you cannot get deep answers to your questions, nor might the person on the other end be concerned with answering your questions, only selling tickets.
However, this can’t hurt to help inform your decision as to whether travel in a location is worth it or not. It might be that you find out during the rainy periods there is limited accessibility, while in other seasons this is more of a forefront offering.
At the very least, you will gain an impression of how seriously a company takes accessibility by how friendly and helpful they are on the phone. That can be a good, solid place to start.
Know Your Rights
It’s important to know your rights. For instance, in many places it is mandatory for some kind of wheelchair access to be available.
If this is not given then it could be you have the ability to take things further. It’s also important to note that accessibility means more than just wheelchair access.
Ensuring there are trained first aiders on site is important too, because having an extra pair of hands to help you in a crisis is also important.
Knowing your rights not only helps you understand what should be offered (so you can understand what isn’t), but it also helps you demand the correct help when you need it.
Don’t think that’s the same thing as being testy, or overly obnoxious. If you have needs, and a company has failed to provide them, you are in your rights to complain and potentially seek further action.
Plan Your Routes & Days Out
Of course, it’s important to plan your routes when traveling, and that’s doubly important if you have certain medical or mobility needs.
Planning your routes so that you know where your closest medical facilities are, or where and how you’re traveling, or just what concessions might need to be made can be important. For instance, calling ahead when booking a ticket to a place to help them get ready to care for you can be essential.
Planning routes and days out not only helps you prepare, it gives you peace of mind. This approach can help you become resilient, without having to avoid the safety nets you really want to ask for.
Furthermore, it can help you perhaps get a better experience, because some companies may set aside space or additional facilities for those who have extra needs. This might include parking, an easier means in which to order lunch from the facilities, or again, calling on help if you need it.
Consider The Context
Of course, this might sound obvious, but it’s important to note that when you travel, you meet many different cultures and many different viewpoints and priorities.
It might be that in your current continent or country, accessibility is prized and has been well-thought-out. However, it could be that in less industrious or well-off countries, this is not a priority of theirs.
That doesn’t mean they haven’t thought about you, it may just mean that accessibility for those who need it is a luxury, rather than a baseline right.
You’re able to judge that as you will of course, but it’s important to accept the reality of it so you can make alternate plans, or stay in countries or urbanized areas where you know you can enjoy a great trip. Thankfully, this should never prevent you from enjoying the best from the travels.
With this advice, we hope you can travel well no matter your accessibility needs. You really do deserve it.