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Travel Tips - Disabled Travel

This guide is for those who have decided to travel independently for themselves or for someone who is planning to travel with a companion who is disabled.

•  Before you travel make sure you plan out absolutely everyhting.  Some aircraft will only take a certain number of wheelchairs or wheelchair bound passengers.  Speak to the airline before booking or travelling making sure they are well aware of your needs.

•  Some hotels only have certain rooms that can be accessed by wheelchair, so again get the travel agent to contact before travel or get a contact number.  Don’t rely on coach transfers, as they will have limited accessibility.  Its much better to book a taxi or car hire before you travel.

•  Make sure you know all about the resort your visiting, some countries don’t cater at all well for the disabled traveller although I would say that most parts of Rhodes are ok, you don’t want to end up on the top of a steep hill or countryside villa with pot holed roads.

•  Following on from researching the resort its very advisable to fully research your accommodation, read hotel reviews or get in contact with other people who have stayed in this hotel to see what their opinions would be.  Make sure each accommodation has excellent wheelchair access and lifts to other floors.  A point to note is that most self catering apartments in Rhodes don’t have good lift access so request ground floor rooms when possible just incase.

•  Before you go make sure you pack everything you could possibly need, including medications and injections.  If some of your injections need to stay cooled, keep a cool bag to hand as some airlines will refuse to cool your injections on a security basis.  Try and make sure you have spare prescriptions to hand and ask your doctor to give give you the common name for your medication - just incase of emergency an you need to tell a foreign or Greek doctor.

•  At the airport confirm with the airline that they have all your requests to hand and they are fully aware you are flying that day.  Check in early to make sure that nobody re allocates your seat.

•  Get into the airport early to avoid the mayhem that is the check in.  Choosing to book an airport lounge can be useful to avoid the throngs of people.

•  If you don’t want your wheelchair going into the hold, try and ask the airline to store it onboard, although as mentioned earlier you would of have to pre-arranged this request.

•  Ask if there is an aisle chair available if you need to get up and go to the loo during the flight. Also ask if there is an attendant who can help you. Make it clear to them what you would like them too do.

•  Label your belongings before you fly out, the last you want is your wheelchair going missing.  Accommodations and hotels have cot’s but they don’t carry spare wheelchairs.

•  On holiday make sure you have got everything you requested and your room will be suitable for the duration of your stay.  Don’t suffer in silence, if something needs done make sure the hotelier or rep gets it done, and accept no excuses.

•  Don’t try and cram everything into the first 24 hours, make sure you relax and take it easy, the heat of a Rhodes summer can quickly dehydrate you and make you tired.