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Tips for Long-Distance Travel With Mobility Issues

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[Samantha Brown] Hi. I'm Samantha Brown. Do you want to travel to Europe or maybe go on a wonderful cruise but you have a mobility issue? Don't worry. ♪ music ♪ [popping sound] [horn] If you're traveling with a wheelchair, have health issues or another mobility concern, You don't need to shelve that long distance trip you've been dreaming about. I've got three things to know before you go. Number one. [swooshing sound] Research which cruise line meets your specific needs. [dinging sound] And here's a tip. Look for the newer ships. They tend to have more modernized ADA-compliant cabins. [popping sound] And listen. It's not just about the cabin. [popping sound] For example, Holland America offers a wheelchair accessible transfer system that can make getting on shore easier. [popping sound] Royal Caribbean's Freedom class ships offer wheelchair lifts at the pool and hot tub. [popping sound] And some Princess ships offer kits for passengers with hearing or sight impairments. Number 2. [popping sound] Going to Europe. Definitely consider using a travel agent that specializes in European travel for those with disabilities. [swooshing sound] And there are a lot to choose from. Including Accessible Europe, FlyingWheels.com, and Sage Travel, just to name a few. You should be very specific with your needs in Europe. A lot of the amenities there are, shall we say, different from the United States. So, you'll want to call ahead or email all the providers you'll be using. The tour operators, the hotels, etc. with your specific needs. For example, you want to make sure the hotel has an elevator big enough for a wheelchair. Some of them are about as roomy as a phone booth. And ask if that elevator goes to the ground floor. Because, you guessed it. Some don't. They go to a staircase that then leads to the ground floor. Aah, Europe. It's a good thing you're good looking. And if you need to refrigerate medication, you'll want to ask if there is a refrigerator available to you. If you plan to drive while there, know that most European countries will recognize your US issued disabled parking placard. Just be sure to put it [dinging] under your windshield, not hung from the rear view mirror. But, Europe can be really tricky driving. So hiring a local driver or tour guide for the day, is really worth your money. Oh and here's a nifty fact. If you're traveling in the UK, [pop] the Radar National Key Scheme Key, is available for around 5 bucks. And it provides a key [dinging sound] to 9.000 accessible toilets around the UK. And number 3. [popping sound] [swooshing sound] When it comes to European airports, some good news. All EU airports are now under strict guidelines to assist those with disabilities. [swooshing sound] Have the airline you're traveling with make those arrangements with any special assistance you'll need. And I know I sound like a broken record on this one. But, you gotta build in extra time at the airport to get through security. At least 3 hours before your flight. And be prepared for a pat down at security, if you or your companion is in a wheelchair. And you know, first class may be expensive. [dinging sound] But I say splurge and get access to a nice lounge. Especially if you're traveling during a busy time. [swooshing sound] Having a space to get out of the craziness and just [breath] relax. It makes all the difference. So, stick to these 3 things as you plan your travels and enjoy your adventure. [swooshing sound] For more of my travel tips, visit Travel.AARP.org. ♪ music ♪ [horn]

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 13 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 36
Posted by: aarp on May 14, 2014

Dealing with mobility issues? You don't need to shelve that long-distance trip you've been dreaming about. Samantha Brown has three tips for smooth cruises, travel to Europe, and navigating holels and airports in between.

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