Recommendations for your trip abroad

Recommendations for traveling with people with disabilities

The additional physical activity that is had during the trip can be strenuous, in addition the changes in the geographical, climatological conditions and in the diet can have consequences if the minimum necessary precautions are not taken. It is also important to consider the accessibility, assistance and facilities for people with disabilities available at airports, hotels, transportation and places to visit. In the same way, it is worth verifying the health care services available at the destination, as well as bringing the medications (by prescription and in their original containers duly identified) that are needed, and making sure that any support equipment that require it to be in optimal conditions before traveling.

Therefore, it is important to observe the following recommendations in relation to the disabilities and particular circumstances of each person.

Recommendations before traveling with people with disabilities

    • Consult your doctor or a travel medicine clinic to properly prepare for the trip. If you have diabetes or some other condition that requires you to eat at regular intervals, ask your doctor to help you make a meal schedule and suggest some type of snacks that you can easily take with you.
    • Make sure you take out comprehensive coverage insurance that suits your needs.
    • Investigate the conditions of the place you are traveling to and try to anticipate possible obstacles. There are specialized travel guides for people with disabilities, organizations and travel agencies that provide assistance to people with disabilities that can give you good advice.
    • Remember that it is your responsibility to let other people know what you need. When contracting or reserving the services of tour operators, airlines, hotels and other service providers, make sure you make it clear that you have special needs and clearly explain what type of assistance you will require. At the airports, do not hesitate to ask the airline for support so that they can take you comfortably to your seat on the plane. If you have special communication needs, let the person providing the services know in advance so that they can take the necessary measures.
    • If you need to use electrical equipment, check that plugs, frequencies and voltages are compatible. If not, you’ll need to get an adapter and/or transformer.

Recommendations during the trip with people with disabilities

    • It is a good idea to contact the airline in advance to verify what are the requirements and procedures that must be covered to travel without setbacks. It is also good practice to try to do the check in in advance to obtain a good seat according to your needs and, on long flights, notify if you have special food needs.
    • On some occasions, airlines may request evidence that the person is fit to travel, so it is a good idea to carry a “travel letter” issued by your doctor that describes your condition or disability and the type of assistance that you may require.
    • If you require a guide dog, remember to check the temporary export/import requirements of your country and the country you are going to, health rules and rules for transporting the animal in the cabin. If you need any other type of special equipment (wheelchair, oxygen tanks, among others) check the rules and facilities with the airlines. There may be specific procedures for packing and transporting equipment. Start the paperwork early.
    • If you are going to take connecting flights, make sure there is at least 90 minutes between the arrival of one and the departure of the next, so that you have enough time to move around the airport.
    • If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask the airline or airport staff. Be sure to be assertive and specific in what you request.

During your stay

    • In the place where you stay, make it very clear what your needs are for a comfortable and safe stay. In case they can’t cover all of them, consider looking for some other option.
    • Make sure you always charge everything you need every day while you are away from your accommodation.
    • If you need to take medication, check frequently that you have enough to avoid running out before you can get a replacement. Additionally, make sure new foods and drinks you try don’t interfere with your medications.

In the event of an eventuality or if you require assistance abroad, immediately contact your nearest consulate or embassy in your country. And do not forget to register your travel itinerary in the Registration System for your country abroad.

Additionally, the National Council for the Development and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities (CONADIS) offers information, recommendations and services that may be useful for those planning a trip abroad.

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