Traveling with an Injury/Disability – What You Need to Know

Traveling with an injury can turn any simple trip into a hassle. Long lines are miserable for everyone, finding an elevator if you are in a wheelchair can seem impossible, and having trying to find a top lip cover or ramp can leave you extremely frustrated. When traveling with an injury or disability doesn’t go according to plan, it can be a complete nightmare. To avoid having your trip turn into a stressful one, you can plan ahead so you are prepared. Here are a few tips for flying when you are injured or disabled.

First and foremost, check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to travel and that you won’t be putting yourself into a dangerous situation. Once they have given you the approval to fly, be sure you have all of your medications and that you won’t need any refills during your trip. If you need to have anything refilled, ask your doctor. You should also research any doctors or hospitals in the area you will be traveling to, just in case of an emergency. It is also a good idea to put together an information card for anyone traveling with you or to keep on you if you are traveling alone. This should contain a list of any medications you are currently on, allergies, emergency contact information, and your doctor’s number. Now that you have your personal requirements settled, it is time to get ready to go to the airport.

  • Pack all necessary medications in a carryon bag. We recommend packing your prescription bottles in case of a delay or lost baggage so you are not left without your medications.
  • Pack some snacks in your carry on, again in case of delays. No one likes being uncomfortable and hungry.
  • Arrive at the airport early. This can help alleviate any stress from running late and gives you ample time to find assistance to get through security and to your boarding gate.
  • Once at the airport reach out to your airline to get a wheelchair if needed. You can also ask your airline to set up a wheelchair at any connection locations and the final destination as well.
  • If you brought your own wheelchair, scooter, or walker, it will need to be checked, but you can request it be brought back to you at the arriving gate. Be sure to put a tag with your personal information on the equipment as well to avoid any mix-ups if there are multiple items like yours checked on your flight.
  • Once at your departure gate, speak with the gate agent to let them know you are traveling with an injured or disabled person. If you are not currently in an early boarding group, chances are they will be able to put you into one so getting on the plane is less stressful.
  • Be sure that your lodging accommodations are handicap accessible. When you check in, you can also kindly remind the front desk of your needs – perhaps you need extra pillows or an ice pack. They should be able to accommodate most general comfort needs and should have placed you in a handicap accessible room to make moving around in the room and bath area easier.

We hope these tips help make traveling with an injury or disability a little bit easier. To learn more about other travel tips for both domestic and international trips, read our blogs about traveling! For any travel document needs, visit us online to learn more about ordering your vital records.

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