[ Guest Post ] Preparing To Travel With A Disability

Today I’d like to share a brilliant guest post from Olivia about travelling with disability. Accessibility is so important, and disability needn’t always make travel difficult enough that it’s no longer an option. It’s quite an extensive topic, but this covers the basics for some key travel related scenarios, like travelling when you need oxygen, travelling with a guide dog and taking trips with anxiety. Enjoy!

An image of a suitcase behind a golden yellow and blue background, with the writing "Preparing to travel with a disability, guest post" and "Invisibly Me" across it.

Travel With A Disability

Travelling can be a nerve wracking experience for anyone, whether you’re heading off on a boat, train or plane. If you’re heading on a long journey away from home this can be stressful and a lot of us worry about this. When flying, the situation can be escalated as a lot of people have a phobia of flying.

But what about those who suffer with a condition where they may need additional support on board such as Wheelchair, Guide Dog or even an Oxygen Concentrator, is it possible to travel when you have these conditions. For most medical conditions you will need to get it signed off by a doctor, once this has been done, contact your airline to discuss the next steps, whether that is booking an extra seat, being near a toilet or having some assistance from the cabin crew, your airline should go through it all with you. 

Travelling with Oxygen :

A photograph from the window of a plane high up in the sky, showing the wing of the plane, and the water and coastline belong.

If you’re planning on travelling with an oxygen concentrator, a great company that can help you when travelling with oxygen is The Oxygenstore. If you’re looking to rent a concentrator for the duration of your stay they can offer this to you, as well as give you any advice you may need along the way. You will also need a medical certificate from your doctor before hiring and flying with the oxygen concentrator. Using an oxygen concentrator may be a must for someone with a lung condition as the oxygen levels on a plane are way lower than what they are usually. Most concentrators which fit the FAA guidelines are allowed to be carried onto a plane by yourself, make sure you advise the airline of your condition this as soon as possible to allow the correct procedures to be put in place.

Travelling with a Guide Dog : 

When it comes to travelling with guide dogs, your airline has to allow you to do this without charge. Dogs tend to sit in the footwell for the duration of a flight, however, they’re often offered the front seats for additional footroom. A safety harness will be required as it allows the dog to be safe during take off and landing. Make sure you get your dog insured before any flight and also get it checked over by a vet and they will provide documentation to show your airline when booking your tickets. For more information check out the government website which you can locate here.

Travelling with Anxiety :  

Travelling with anxiety can be a massive no-no for a lot of anxiety sufferers sadly, however, those who attempt to travel there a variety of coping mechanisms to help you through your flight. First things first, work out what the Anxiety is about. Whether it’s being in the air, the lack of toilets or the take off and landing are just some examples, once you figure this out it is a good way to work out how to tackle these individual issues.

A photo of some red, white & blue wooden toy planes hanging from string.

Some ways to help your anxiety when you’re going to fly are from being distracted; if you’re on a long flight, I find breaking the flight up in my head into movies can make the time go quicker. Most long haul flights are 4-5 films long which are usually provided on the TVs within the chairs. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and finally tell the cabin crew of your anxiety, they may be able to help with making you feel more at ease.  

Author – Olivia

[ This is a collaborative guest post & as such the ideas expressed here are that of the author. ]

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  1. July 15, 2019 / 3:51 pm

    Then there’s “traveling with prescriptions”. Oh my. It’s OK in the US but abroad–good grief that was complicated!

  2. July 15, 2019 / 3:55 pm

    Great ideas for travel. I like the suggestion of informing the airline of individual needs so they can assist along the way. If everyone is informed, it would make handling anxiety that much easier.

  3. July 15, 2019 / 4:23 pm

    Great advice here. A little planning goes a long way. Also, for those of us without issues we need to be kind to those that do. I’ve seen some very rude people. Not nice one bit.

    Have a fabulous day and week, Caz. ♥

  4. July 15, 2019 / 5:41 pm

    Excellent suggestions, especially the one about oxygen. It’s so important to remember these details for ease in travelling. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. July 15, 2019 / 7:26 pm

    Travelling can be complicated and difficult for a lot of people, but when you add a health condition into the mix, it can be a frightening thought. Nice, helpful post to make flights a bit easier.

  6. July 15, 2019 / 11:00 pm

    It’s truly amazing & wonderful that people are being more mobile – I’ve almost gotten run over by speeding wheelchairs & hospital beds in my local grocery store!

  7. July 16, 2019 / 8:29 pm

    Great tips! I really do fear flying. Coloring/coloring books have helped me somewhat in the past–along with movies.

  8. July 16, 2019 / 9:48 pm

    This is great because I am going to be possibly traveling in a couple of months. How did you know? Lol… (Changed my name due to harassment from a “fan”).

  9. July 16, 2019 / 9:48 pm

    Great advice in this brief post! I’m always shy about phoning ahead. I really need to kick that old bad habit to the curb! xx

  10. July 16, 2019 / 9:50 pm

    Oops, guess I didn’t change my name .. forgot to do it…. lol.. duh

  11. July 16, 2019 / 10:10 pm

    So helpful! I had bad anxiety and the thought of travel made me nauseous.

  12. July 17, 2019 / 12:06 am

    I had an awful lot of anxiety on one of my last flights. It was toward the end of a long day of flying, and I wasn’t coping well. Great advice!

  13. July 17, 2019 / 12:07 am

    I’m not sure if my post went through. Testing, testing…:)

  14. July 21, 2019 / 7:49 am

    My safe place is home. Take me away from that and I struggle with my pain. I also love to travel, but I have anxiety. The quote by Rumi inspires me to keep travelling – “Travel brings power and love back into your life”. Great post and great tips.

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