With the Holidays fast approaching, many people are planning vacations to visit family and friends. Whether you are going to be away from home for a few days or a few months, traveling in a wheelchair can be daunting. However, following these simple tips will help your trip go much smoother.
Make sure your wheelchair is in good working condition before you leave. Inspect your tires to ensure they have enough air.
Book your flight as early as possible to inform the airline that you will be flying in a wheelchair. You will also want to book a ticket that gives you plenty of time between flights. Wheelchairs are the first to board but they are also the last off the plane once it lands. If you have ample time to get to your next flight, you will be prepared for any delays you may encounter.
Try to use a gel cell or dry cell battery if possible. Wet cell batteries are discouraged because airlines have to disconnect them from the wheelchairs and transport them in a leak-proof container.
When checking in, always get a gate tag put on your wheelchair to ensure that it will make it to your destination.
Upon arriving at your gate, be sure to tell the attendant that you prefer to pre-board. This will allow you to get on the plane easily without having to fight the crowds.
If you plan on renting a car, you will need to place your reservation at least 48 hours in advance to let the rental company know that you will require hand controls.
It's also a good idea to take a simple wheelchair repair kit along with you. This can consist of a tire changing kit, screwdriver, adjustable wrench, and pliers. That way you will be prepared if you encounter any wheel problems, need to change a tire, or clean out your casters.