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Resource for People with Disabilities who Travel Helps to Ease Hassles During Peak Vacation Times
Spring Break is around the corner and with increased travel comes crowded terminals, lines and extra luggage. Add a wheelchair or walker to the mix, and it may sometimes not seem worth the hassle. However, Michell Haase, founder of TravelinWheels, a company dedicated to helping travelers with disabilities travel the world easier, has tips to help ease some of these hassles.
"Traveling with a disability is difficult enough, but add in hassles of peak vacation time such as Spring Break and the experience can quickly become much more difficult and frustrating," said Haase. "TravelinWheels arms travelers with disabilities with the information needed to travel the globe more efficiently and easily and these tips are just a few to keep in mind when traveling."
Six Tips to Enhance Air Travel During Spring Break:
T – TSA – Visit TravelinWheels.com to print off a letter stating your rights as a traveler with disabilities and share them with the TSA screener. They deal with so many travelers in a day and they may not remember, so a friendly reminder is always helpful.
R – Remember to bring bubble wrap and duct tape to wrap your wheelchair or walker. This will help prevent any in-flight damage when they are checked at the gate. The last thing you need is a damaged chair upon arrival.
A – Alert your carrier to your needs and arrive early to prevent any issues with last minute gate changes.
V – Visibility is key. Locate a waiting spot by the airline gate check in area and stay there until you board. This way you are visible to the agent who is often dealing with more than 100 passengers in a 15-20 minute period. This will help them remember they have a passenger who needs priority boarding.
E - Eliminate use of cash. Consider using credit cards as much as possible to prevent cash from being dropped, etc.
L – Leave identification, prescriptions and any other "need-to-get to" paperwork with you by way of a lanyard for easy accessability.
By visiting www.TravelinWheels.com, travelers with disabilities can obtain more tips, as well as accessibility details for travel destinations throughout the U.S. and Europe, including hotels, restaurants, attractions, tours, transportation options, medical needs and more. Through the site's content, travelers are provided with virtual tours, detailed accessibility information, destination reviews and first-hand testimonials of experiences, helping travelers with disabilities and their families select the perfect vacation spot.
Since 1993, Haase has been visiting hotels and travel sites with her U.S. Paralympian-hopeful daughter Kelsey, who utilizes a wheelchair, as well as groups of travelers with a variety of disabilities. In 2011, she launched TravelinWheels as the preeminent online "go to guide" for travelers with disabilities and their traveling companions. Haase's mission is to provide a service that encourages and promotes disability travel around the globe.
TravelinWheels is a member of the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality, as well as the European Network for Accessible Tourism and Tourism for All UK. More information about TravelinWheels.