Traveling For The Holidays When You’re Disabled

Traveling For The Holidays When You’re Disabled

Traveling for the holidays when you are disabled goes smoother if you take the proper steps. The first and most important is to contact your airline and ask for assistance, as well as making preparations such as packing sufficient medicine, properly transporting your wheelchair, and making reservations for adequate accommodations at your destination.

Traveling for the holidays when you’re disabled does require a certain amount of “homework” and preparation. However, airlines and airports have decades of experience providing help to people in your exact situation.

Here’s a look at some issues involving travel for the holidays if you’re disabled.

Contact the Airline

Airlines and airports are mandated by federal law to accommodate the needs of those traveling while disabled, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Air Carrier Access Act protects the rights of all disabled air travelers on flights in, to and from the United States.

This applies to those with chronic conditions or injuries. The support can come in many ways. By contacting the airport and letting them know your needs, you can get the following types of help.

  • Assistance moving from the terminal entrance through check-in, security, and reaching the gate
  • Early boarding on the airplane, and support in reaching your seat
  • Airplane seating accommodations that meet disabled passenger needs
  • Assistance with loading and stowing any devices or equipment you must bring on the flight
  • Accommodations for service animals (this includes emotional support animals)

Your first, best move, is to contact the airline you are flying on and the airports you are traveling to and from.


It’s possible to take your own wheelchair with you to your destination. Typically, you will be transferred before boarding the plane into a special wheelchair designed to fit in the narrow aisle of the airplane. Your own wheelchair is securely stowed away for the flight. Attendants will have it there for you when you arrive at the gate at your destination airport.


It’s important to take stock of your medications and determine how much you will need to take with you to last throughout your trip. Another approach is to take enough medication for the first few days of your trip and have a prescription that can be filled when you reach your destination. If you are leaving the United States, it’s important to do the research on laws and regulations covering medication.

This is an area where many can benefit from a medical transport company that handles all the details of your trip, including making arrangements to have a nurse fly with you who will monitor your health and managing all the equipment and medication you need during your flight.

Best Accommodations When Traveling For The Holidays

Most major cities around the world have accommodations for those traveling for the holidays while disabled. This requires thorough research on your part. Features to look for include wheelchair accessibility, wheel-in showers, grab rails, shower chairs, and electric beds. For those who may need oxygen, it’s important to see if that is available. This is another area where a full-service medical transport company can provide help.

These are some of the issues that can make traveling for the holidays while disabled as comfortable as possible. Keep them in mind as you make your preparations. The bottom line is that the holidays are a time to gather with friends and family – something that should be available for everyone, even those who have disabilities.

What Is Medical Tourism?

What Is Medical Tourism?

The term “medical tourism” refers to people who travel from their home country to another country to receive medical treatment. The reasons for medical tourism include cheaper healthcare in other countries, getting treatments not available in your own country, getting a higher level of care, and immigrants flying back to their home country because they prefer getting medical treatment there.

Medical tourism has grown in popularity as people decide to find the best medical care possible, rather than making do with what is available in their own country.

Domestic Medical Tourism

One often overlooked facet of medical tourism is domestic medical tourism. This occurs when people find that the specific treatment they seek is done better in another state or city in their own country. In some cases, people will travel because the medical services are cheaper in another location.

This practice has gained popularity in the United States, where certain cities are hubs for the best medical care. People come from across the U.S. to receive a higher quality of care, or to take advantage of new treatments that might not be available in their own area.

Why Do People Practice Medical Tourism?

Any number of factors can drive a person to medical tourism. The following are some of the most common reasons.

Affordable Medical Care

Healthcare costs have soared in the U.S. Many patients simply cannot afford the treatments or procedures within the country. Because cheaper services are available in other countries, they still come out ahead even when factoring in travel costs. Some of the most common procedures that medical tourists undergo include cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and heart surgery, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Higher Quality Care

This issue often leads people to travel from other countries to the U.S. While costs are sometimes higher in the U.S., the quality of care is considered among the best available in the world. However, in some cases, people from the U.S. will travel to another country, especially for new procedures or treatments.

Flying Home

People from the U.S. who are currently living abroad will sometimes return home for medical treatments. They are far more comfortable getting treatment in their own country, and often the medical services available are of a higher quality than those in other parts of the world.

Travel Arrangements

As noted by the CDC, it’s wise to hire professionals to handle the details of traveling for medical tourism. A company such as Flying Angels has both expertise in available medical services as well as handling all the details of medical travel. Highly qualified and experienced nurses travel with patients, and healthcare and travel professionals make all the necessary arrangements for the trip.

Domestic medical tourism and international medical tourism will continue to grow in popularity as more people become aware of the advantages. The key is to weigh all the factors involved to make sure it’s the right move for you and to hire professionals with experience in making medical tourism go smoothly.