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Tips for Traveling:
Disabled Traveler Page:

PLAN AHEAD

Traveling with a disability whether it is a cane, walker or wheelchair, you do loose a certain amount of spontaneity. You don't have the ability to just get up and go, literally. So to make the trip enjoyable for yourself and those that you are traveling with you. Organization is the key, humor and good moods are the necessities.

Before you Leave: The organization and list-making starts before you leave. From selecting the right suitcase to selecting the airline, airplane, rental car and hotel. Do it and cut down your frustration level, as well as heightened the enjoyment of your trip.

Hints on Packing: Don't take the kitchen sink! Make a list of what you’re going to take. Lay it out then discard, discard, discard. Take first, is comfortable and then what you like to wear. Then consider the climate and itinerary. Pack smartly. Remember you don't want or need 2 heavy bags that others might have to cart for you....

Recommendation: take one small bag onto the plane, with any medication or medical apparatus that you might need, or that you would definitely need if your bag gets lost.

Reservations: Airlines, Hotels, Car Rentals:

Travel Agents are convenient and there are some excellent agents that specialize in disabled travel. I would rather though have more control over my actual arrangements, it somehow empowers me .So I do all my own reservations.

TIP: When making reservations, get the persons name, well as time and date. This is a great backup if there are problems.

HOTELS: Most hotel chains have 800 numbers but if you are going to stay in a hotel for a few days it is worth the cost to call the hotel directly to make your own reservations. It gives you an opportunity to ask heaps of questions about their facilities.

TIP: Even if you are not in a wheelchair but are a little unsteady or slow, request the ‘Handicap room’ Usually it is bigger and definitely more convenient.

CAR RENTALS

Traveling as I do, I need a car or van and have found http://www.hertz.com,Hertz to be exemplary in service and attitude. I recommend the use of a Mini Van. There are many good rental companies but I found Hertz to be excellent. The mini vans are seven-passenger and comfortable. Lots of room for luggage , wheelchair and great space for the kids. Hertz is in the forefront with no rental identification. Just makes the trip that much securer. The folks at Hertz have got it right...

Hertz services for the physically challenged travelers are available to both Hertz renters and any member of the traveling party. Hertz has over 900 locations with 185 locations in Canada including all major airports.

TIP: Remember your ISA permit for handicapped parking

AIRLINES Air Canada in Canada has many special programs for disabled traveler. From check-in, assistance getting to the gate, either by wheelchair or 6 seater motorized cart, to pre-boarding and special meals. They have a Special Service brochure that you can get by calling 1-800-4-Canada, ( 1-800-422-6232) In the States http://www.americanair.com,American Airlines provides a high quality of service , 1-800-433-7300. also American has a TDD number 1-800-543-1586.

TIPS ON AIRLINES:

1. Advance Reservations..cheaper and better

2 .Seating..always ask for bulkhead..first seat..a must to get..more leg room. Mobility impaired use isle seat, easier to get out. Try to get on a 767 ,bulkhead economy is close to bathrooms.

3. Tell them you needs. Remember they are available to assist but not to dictate, make your own decisions.

Travel increases experiences. It’s a glorious eye opener and a mind extender. It is just great to go out and experience life for ourselves.

If you are disabled ,travel can even do more for you. It can supply you with a reprieve from dependence. Traveling can replenish your confidence and set you free if not in body in spirit and soul. It can increase your imagination and open your heart.

What it boils down to is this: that big old world is out there, so go an experience it

Life is wonderful!! But you have to make an effort to realize it.