How to plan travelling with kids who have disabilities
by Rikke Damkjær Moen - Physiotherapist and Medical Manager on June 16
When travelling, doing some research to get inspiration and tips is always useful. We’ve picked up some inspiration from some of our favourite online resources, and added our own expertise and experience. Here are our tips and tricks for a successful trip with your child.
Medications and equipment
The first thing you want to do when planning a trip is to make sure you have all necessities in place. Is your child dependent on taking medicines? If you’re going abroad, or to a place with a limited number of pharmacies, you’ll want to have a full stock of medication. Make sure that you order medications early so you can leave for your trip without having to worry about running between pharmacies in despair at your destination (source).
If something unforeseen happens, your child might need medical care. Check if the area you’re visiting has access to medical help for the needs that your child has.
In addition, it might be necessary and convenient to bring some assistive equipment with you on the trip. Use some time upfront to make sure you know how to collapse and pack the devices. If you’re unsure, check with the manufacturer to get tips on how to pack or collapse equipment for trips. If you plan to travel with the NF-Walker, you can contact your Made for Movement representative, who will instruct you on how to dismantle the device, so it’s suitable for transportation.
Transportation and accommodation
Unfortunately, some places are still not handicap accessible, so before you book anything at all, you should get in touch with a travel agent to make sure that your accommodation (and the surroundings) are handicap friendly.
That very same agent, and your hotel, can also help you find transportation that can cater properly for your child’s needs. Depending on others to move around can be annoying at times, so you might want to rent a vehicle, or use your own. Just make sure your child is comfortable being in your car for a long period of time.
Also, remember that there are attractions and transportation that may require a documentation to let you use facilities for people with special needs. This is especially important to acquire if you have a child that doesn’t have a visible disability (source).
Check out what attractions you want to visit
OK, so with the practicalities out of the way, it’s time to plan what activities, attractions and shows you’re going to visit. This is the exciting part, so let your child come with wishes and suggestions. After all, half of the fun is in the planning!
What you can attend depends on what your destination can offer. Theme parks are usually a success with children, as they get a full day of different, fun activities. Attractions can also be fun to visit, as well as sporting events and concerts.
Some attractions and parks cater well for kids with disabilities, but some don’t, unfortunately. Get in touch with your preferred attractions and check if they cater for your child’s needs. As always, you can do some research online and see what the reviews and feedback are like.
Last, but not least: Enjoy the trip!
To make the trip even more pleasant, you could consider going during the off-seasons with smaller crowds and queues.
Also, make sure to check weather forecasts and climate ahead of your trip. If your child is used to move around in colder climate, it could be an unpleasant experience to travel in the hot summer sun without precautions.
Last but not least, remember that you don’t have to go far – travelling should be a pleasant experience. It’s more about what you choose to do, and not the distances you cover. Choose destinations that fit your needs, and don’t worry too much about where you’re going.