Solo traveling as a wheelchair user is not an easy task to accomplish, but the outcome is a rather amazing one. As a matter of fact, solo travelling is not that easy to begin with, as it will take some time to figure and plan everything out.
However, there is no feeling you can compare it with, and solo travelling can be one of the best, life-changing experiences that a person can go through in a lifetime.
Tips and tricks for solo traveling as a wheelchair users:
Prepare in advance
As a solo traveler, you are often tempted to do as little planning as possible, so that you have a better taste of the adventure that awaits. In these situations, being impulsive and deciding on the spot can come with a big adrenaline rush, and that can be addictive.
However, just like in the case of travelling with children, when solo travelling in a wheelchair, it is always better and recommended that you plan everything in advance.
That is because, in order to properly enjoy the trip, you want to make sure that you don’t run into any issues and that everything goes smoothly.
When it comes to transportation, you should plan everything starting from your way to the destination (which is probably going to be by plane), to the ways to get around while you’ve arrived at each location.
When you book flight tickets, things are pretty easy, as you will be able to reserve a wheelchair spot. But when it’s time to start moving from one place to the other, to visit them, you will have to take into consideration that it is probably better to announce the train/bus companies that you will need a special spot on the ride, that will fit and accommodate your wheelchair.
This shouldn’t be an issue anywhere, but it’s always better to be safe, especially when you’re travelling solo and you don’t know if there will be anyone there to help you hop on the ride.
The same goes for booking accommodation. Solo travelling with a wheelchair will make it a bit difficult for you to be that type of traveler that has no idea where they’re spending the night.
As a person with a disability, if you are not sure in which places you’re going to be and when, there’s a good chance that frustration will overwhelm you.
You’ll be surprised to know that, especially in underdeveloped countries (economically speaking), it is not that easy to find a place to stay in that is wheelchair-friendly.
Therefore, the best approach here would be to plan your entire trip ahead, so that you’ll have enough time to talk to each hotel/resort host (if you want to visit multiple places) and let them know about your needs.
Because getting a quick bite while travelling can be a bit difficult when you’re using a wheelchair, you can also make a few reservations to restaurants/food places that you’ve wanted to try, prior to your visit.
This way, the restaurants can have enough time to prepare a special seat for you, in case they do not have one prepared.
Make sure you communicate your needs
This piece of advice should be available anywhere you go, and not just when travelling abroad, and that is to make sure that you properly communicate your needs. When seeing or meeting a wheelchair user, most people don’t really know how to behave.
In most cases, people will want to help, but they are not sure how to approach you, or they are afraid to say or do something wrong or offensive. For this reason, the best thing that you can do as a person with a disability that needs help or guidance, is to clearly communicate what you need.
You should not feel in any way afraid or ashamed that you need help, but instead just ask for exactly what you need. This way, the persons around you will gladly help, without them feeling weird or like they are offending you in any way.
When in doubt, look for chain restaurants
Chain restaurants can be life savers, as they are all built in the same ways and you always know exactly what to expect from them.
If, while travelling, you get hungry or you need to use a restroom, but you are not really sure where to go, as you’re in a new place and have no idea if the restaurants around you are wheelchair-friendly, you can always look for the nearest chain restaurant.
There are plenty of articles written by the writers at college paper writing services in which you can figure out how to find wheelchair accessible restaurants. Those ones will, for sure, include everything you will need to feel comfortable.
The most important piece of advice to be given is that you should, in no way, feel like you’re different from any solo traveler. You can do whatever you want, go wherever you want, you just need to pay attention to the details and make sure you plan ahead. Aside from that, just be safe and have fun!