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Mastering Mobility Issues When You Travel

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[Samantha Brown] Hi, I'm Samantha Brown. Having an issue with mobility doesn't mean you need to stop traveling. [Mastering Mobility Issues] ♪ music ♪ [AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown] Traveling with a wheelchair, health issues, or another mobility concern? Well, here are 3 things you need to know before you go. The most important advice for mobility-challenged travel is the same for all travelers— [Plan Ahead] plan ahead, and the 2 most important words are communicate and confirm. Make sure the airline, the hotel, the car rental staff all know that you are coming and what your needs are. And of course, you need to build in extra time at all stops. For instance, at the airport, a good rule of thumb is to allow at least 2 hours before your boarding time for a domestic flight and 3 hours for international. Now, if you're traveling on a busy holiday, like the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas, allow at least 5 days, bring your own sleeping bag and pillow, and something you've always wanted to accomplish, like learning Mandarin. I'm kidding. Okay, hotels—we all know hotels have to have a certain number of rooms that are ADA compliant, but you have your own specific needs. So ask questions—for instance, how high is the bed, if that's an issue? Is there furniture in front of the thermostat that should be moved? When traveling alone, ask ahead of time [Ask Ahead of Time] that a staff member escort you to your room upon check in so they can make any necessary tweaks for an easier stay. Now we're going to the airport. For vital tools like wheelchairs and wheelchair assistance, make arrangements through your actual airline at the time you book your flight, then always, and I mean always, call and confirm your requests a few days before that flight. Now most airlines will give you a priority boarding pass to help you get settled, and I always recommend, if possible, you choose an aisle seat when making your reservation. It makes it easier to exit the plane, and of course, use the restroom. Okay, now we're on to cars—for renting cars, Avis has a great program called Avis Cares, [Avis] and they can provide scooter rentals, transfer boards, [Scooter rentals, Transfer boards] hand controls, spinner knobs, [repeated in onscreen text] and other devices to help you access your rental car. Just make a reservation 24 hours in advance and tell them that you need Avis Cares. Okay, so—you still with me? We've got hotel, air, and car covered—all great advice, I know. Number 2, are you traveling with oxygen? [Traveling with Oxygen] Contact the airline or cruise line as soon as you know you are going to travel. For airlines, they all have different procedures. You should know before you go that you will not be allowed to travel with your own oxygen. In all cases, you will need a certificate from your doctor verifying that you are fit to travel and outlining your oxygen needs. Now, a travel agent can walk you through this whole process and make sure everything goes smoothly. And finally, use your resources. [Use Your Resources] There are so many great resources on the web that focus on accessibility. Some of my favorites are an airport's own official website— I know, so simple— but you've just got to click on the tab labeled accessibility, and this will give you a lot of information, like accessibility maps and arrangements you should make before you travel, as well as special services that that specific airport offers— like Minneapolis, for instance—not only do they have wheelchair-accessible bathroom stalls, but they have entire companion care restrooms. So when it come s to planning a trip, remember— communicate and confirm. [repeated in onscreen text] For more of my travel tips, visit Travel.AARP.org. [Travel.AARP.org] [AARP Travel Ambassador Samantha Brown]

Video Details

Duration: 3 minutes and 24 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 44
Posted by: aarp on May 14, 2014

If you're traveling with a wheelchair, oxygen, or another health concern, check out Samantha Brown's advice on planning ahead and using these essential tips and resources for a smooth, hassle-free trip.

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